Paola Antonelli gave a preview of her new exhibit at MOMA, Design And The Elastic Mind at the World Economic Forum in Davos and it is opening tonight, Tuesday, in New York. Run to see it. Paola, the senior curator at MOMA, explores how designers translate disruptive innovation into objects and systems that ordinary people can actually understand and use. In this role, designers are the drivers of culture and progress. This has been especially true in recent years when the pace of change has been extraordinary and we’ve had to stretch ourselves to synthesize. Check out the image below of a woman using bees to detect various diseases (they can detect cancers and other illnesses).
Showing over 200 objects and installations, she shows how designers are trained to understand the implications of the new, empathize with the patterns of old human behavior, and create products, services, experiences that bridge the two. Think of the Mosaic graphic user’s interface for the Internet as just on example.
As for the term "elasticity," well, it's what people need today to cope with constant technological change. It's beyond adaptability. It's adaptability plus acceleration.
Here's some more explanation from the catalogue: "Of particular interest will be the exploration of the relationship between design and science and the approach to scale. The exhibition will include objects, projects, and concepts offered by teams of designers, scientists, and engineers from all over the world, ranging from the nanoscale to the cosmological scale. The objects range from nanodevices to vehicles, from appliances to interfaces, and from pragmatic solutions for everyday use to provocative ideas meant to influence our future choices."
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.