Designs (clockwise from left) by Sophie Rowley, Josh Worley and Katharina Gross.
Designs (clockwise from left) by Sophie Rowley, Josh Worley and Katharina Gross.

Designs (clockwise from left) by Sophie Rowley, Josh Worley and Katharina Gross.

From 13 to 20 September, come and see our free Restless Futures exhibition as part of London Design Festival. It explores how design culture is addressing global issues. As well as workshops, demos, live exhibits and performances, the show will feature over 40 designs by recent Central Saint Martins graduates.

As with other parts of the Restless Futures programme, the work is based around four key themes:

No More Stuff

In a world of diminishing resources, just adding more stuff is no longer a viable solution. Work includes Cecile Rudolph’s project to develop fish skins, porridge, and beetroot into lace that can be eaten. In Sophie Rowley’s Material Illusions: The Poetics of the Everyday, she looks at using synthetics to mimic organic materials.

Democratising Innovation

Innovation has been commodified, but it can be refocused on the common good. Sarah Gold’s Alternet is a radically reinterpreted internet structure, helping individuals regain privacy in an era of global surveillance. Meanwhile, Shu (Spencer) Zhou aims to help the many young newcomers to Beijing who are living in cramped underground basements, exploring low cost ways they can learn and find a job.

Disruptive Technologies

Designers and artists can help make sure emerging technologies are a force for good. For instance, Sarah de Costa has helped develop a bra designed to deliver a life-saving drug through the skin of young women diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Amy Congdon’s Haute Bacon collection, featuring tissue-engineered jewellery made of bone and dried bacon, suggests a new way of producing luxury fashion.

Expanded Boundaries

Rather than circling round the same old ideas, art and design should engage widely and collaboratively. For her Made in Patachanca project, Sabrina Kraus Lopez collaborated with Peruvian NGO Awamaki to help safeguard traditional Peruvian handicrafts in an increasingly mechanised future. Meanwhile, Gigi Barker has produced flesh-like furniture that explores the subtleties of the skin’s surface.

More information:
– The Restless Futures exhibition
– No More Stuff
– Democratising Innovation
– Disruptive Technologies
– Expanded Boundaries