Combining design and research, the Critical Tide exhibition (6 September –27 October) will open on Friday in Design Museum’s Gallery in Helsinki. It presents eight projects and works offering their solutions to the poor condition of the Ocean and seeking to redesign our attitudes towards it.
Challenges of the current ecological crisis are perhaps most evident in the state of the Ocean. Rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification, coral bleaching and overexploitation of marine resources signal a critical need for change. The multi-professional group that created the Critical Tide exhibition is now addressing these problems with the means of critical design. The exhibition team wants to seek not only responsibly designed products but also to find ways of designing that takes into account the diversity of marine life.
The international curators of the exhibition are creative professionals and researchers in different fields who have worked in design and with themes related to the environment. The team includes designer Julia Lohmann, who is a professor at Aalto University, scuba diving instructor and researcher Pirjo Haikola, designer, curator, and researcher Gillian Russell, and Gero Grundmann, who is a graphic designer and illustrator.
Critical Tide also urges the traditional design sector to take a hard look in the mirror.
“Design has helped to promote the high-carbon lifestyles and hyper-consumption and it remains central to the structures of unsustainability that keep the wheels of our world turning. However, a growing number of designers are taking a stand, proposing ways of designing that show responsibility toward the ocean and its many life forms.” the members of the team point out.
The various works exhibited in Critical Tide are connected by their desire to educate and to improve the coexistence of people and the Ocean. The Baltic Characters project is teaching empathy for species living in the Baltic Sea, while Radical Ocean Futures offers a look at four possible scenarios of the future of the Ocean. Critical Tide also features, among other exhibits, Department of Seaweed, a seaweed laboratory demonstrating new materials, oil clean-up mats made from hair, and a booth where visitors can confess the sins they have committed against the Ocean.
A unique opportunity to meet members of the exhibition team at the Design Museum´s Lunch Talk event
At 1 pm on the opening day, 6 September, in the Design Museum’s Gallery. Free admission.
Design Museum’s Lunch Talk discussion event in connection with Critical Tide takes a critical look at the relationship between design and the environment. The team of curators and the designers involved in the projects will examine how critical design is engaging our shared problems.
Picture: Julia Lohmann´s seaweed sculpture Oki Naganode / Noortje Knulst
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