Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Brand Immersion: Design and the Elastic Mind

Yesterday I took a brief walk through Design and the Elastic Mind, a new exhibition at MOMA. The simplest way to describe it is "rocket fuel for the mind."

The web version of the installation is far more eloquent...

"Adaptability is an ancestral distinction of intelligence, but today’s instant variations in rhythm call for something stronger: elasticity, the product of adaptability plus acceleration. Design and the Elastic Mind explores the reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world by bringing together design objects and concepts that marry the most advanced scientific research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations. The exhibition highlights designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history—changes that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior—and translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use. "

This goes beyond being a typical museum exhibition. It is an experience that requires a clear head and a few hours. You'll want to drink in every word on the walls as your brain wraps itself around images and objects that are beautiful, shocking, pragmatic and fantastical. As my friend Yael remarked, "it is like being a kid in a science museum." Information is being crammed into your brain in great volume, at lightening speed and all of it is wonderful - in the every sense of the word.

Only Bruce Mau's Massive Change exhibition comes close to helping us look at the world in important new ways and understand our role in designing changes that are necessary and important.

Skip working late on Friday and see it for free or grab three friends over the weekend and take the plunge. Then let me know what you think.

If you are not going to be in New York before the exhibition closes on May 12th, see the amazing online companion to the exhibit (masterful visual organization of information) at http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/

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