People use objects that have been designed and produced in many different ways. But what makes the one object a work of art and the other an object for everyday use? This exhibition illustrates the multitude and versatility of design and explores how it comes into being, who creates it and for whom, why it sometimes goes wrong, how design serves society, and the trends that inspire it.
Nearly all facets of society have been designed: useful objects, living rooms with elegant yet functional furniture, and environmentally friendly materials. Objects as simple as the bus stop, the logo of a transport company, a lamp, or a two-person sofa have all been invented and designed by designers who combine functional characteristics with aesthetic qualities. Design is everywhere.
The shape, meaning, and functionality of design vary and determine our appreciation of it. Clients and designers make choices from a nearly endless list of criteria and create the end result based on a schedule of requirements. This is why there are so many different kinds of juicers and citrus presses, for example. All of these juicers and presses turn fruit into fruit juice, but the one juicer is energy efficient, the other incredibly user-friendly, and another is simple and functional. Yet each of these is a gem in the kitchen of all users.
Design can heal or improve the body by adding or removing something. These are the aids, devices, and implants that correct physical disabilities or improve physical functions. Sometimes, it’s about something completely different, about design that changes the body to reflect personal wishes or aesthetic desires. The design of the body is contentious and leads to many heated debates. Should we improve the human body? Or should we use robots, or implant the aortic valve of a pig? Especially when it comes to improving the human body, ethics and social issues come into play.
Not all designs are a success. Research shows that over 75% of all new products fail. This can be the result of a fault in the design or because the public's needs and demands have not been taken into account in the development process. What appears to be a revolutionary brainwave on the drawing board might not be as brilliant in practice: objects can break, products don't work as they should, or perhaps there is simply no demand for them. That said, mistakes can also result in better or improved design.
Design reflects the trends of the day. These trends are invented by philosophers, designers, and artists, or they arise in society or are inspired by technology. Trends appear, disappear, and fuse. In the early twentieth century, Dutch designers combined craftsmanship, decoration, and industrial production. A few decades later, the Dutch art movement De Stijl (neoplasticism) gained international fame, just as the post-war industrial design had and the following humorous, witty, and minimalistic designs created by Droog Design studio. These days, designers are incorporating criteria such as sustainability and diversity into their work. Dutch Design embodies an investigative and innovative style of design, popular amongst designers and clients. Dutch Design has since become a global concept and is no longer the exclusive domain of Dutch designers.
Design is more than making objects look special. Objects, services, and applications can make everyday activities simpler. Design also has a cultural, scientific, and socio-economic significance. It offers solutions for social issues, contributes to technological developments, and makes the world a more beautiful and liveable place.
The exhibitions at Cube explore the various big and small ambitions that lie at the foundation of design. They examine the social, ecological, cultural, and ethical implications of design and what this has meant to society, the environment, and humanity in the past, in the present, and what it will mean in the future.
Cube is also a permanent laboratory where students and designers engage with the public to discuss designs, explore the way in which we spatially design our world, and investigate what new insights design gives us. Cube does this in special laboratories where visitors can become part of the design process.
Colofon / Colophon / Impressum
- Concept & samenstelling / Concept & compilation / Konzept & Zusammenstellung
Gene Bertrand, Wouter van Dillen, Hans Gubbels (Cube design museum)
- Ruimtelijke vormgeving / Spatial design / Raumdesign
Wouter van Dillen (Cube design museum)
- Grafische vormgeving / Graphic design / Grafisches Design
Nadine Vroomen (Cube design museum)
- Teksten / Texts / Texte
- Vertalingen / Translations / Übersetzungen
Duo vertalingen & Vertaalbureau Louvenberg
- Fotografie / Photohgraphy / Fotografie
Noud de Greef (Cube design museum)
- Realisatie / Realization / Realisierung
Madeleine van Daele (Cube design museum), Clabbers Interieurbouw & MTR Signing
- Bruiklenen / Objects on loan / Leihgaben
Vivian van Slooten (Cube design museum)
- Met dank aan / We are indebted to / Unser Dank gilt
Jan de Bruijn (Kunstmuseum Den Haag), Daphne Nieuwenhuijsen, Sylvia van Schaik, (Rijksdienst Cultureel Erfgoed), Tejo Remy, vrijwilligers Cube design museum & alle bruikleengevers
Made possible with help of Mondriaan Fonds & dr. Hendrik Mullerfonds.
What is design
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