Imagined futures, ongoing present

1.The future, it is known, has yet to happen. However, more often then not it is used by various agencies to promote their agendas – be it economic, social or political ones. Will the world end in an ecological catastrophe in a few decades? Will we live on Mars? Will the immigration crisis change geo-political scenarios? Will we require new nutritional sources? highlighting a certain future narrative – be it bright or dark – directs our actions today, as citizens, consumers and users. The truth is, if we have learned anything these past two years, it is that the future is in essence unpredictable. Therefore we need to face the known and near on one hand, while planning mechanisms that flex beyond the foreseeable future on the other – to stop, observe and plan objects that freely move forwards and backwards in time. In other words, objects that are designed for an ongoing preset.

2. The past, it is known, has already happened. Its course determined by the systems of culture, morality, customs and economy of each era. Those vanish in time, leaving traces and fragments to be found in street names, uncovered earthwares, in customs, writings and memories – culture molded into tools and ceremonies. None of those tell a full story, yet put together, they can weave dozens of different narratives. what if we ask design to take the role of the anthropologist, and replace deep time for short time? to prepare and plan for an ongoing present, we must first examine it – in the place our daily habits, ceremonies, objects and spaces take in our lives. To look at the now, so we can design for it.

3. We can never be fully prepared for what is to come, and it seems our desire to predict our future needs and design for them becomes ever more impossible. However, there are responsibilities that can no longer be overlooked. The designer, it seems, requires a new type of thinking – not one that focuses on the end product, but one focused on process and infrastructure. These are required to be elastic enough to move forward without leaving a trace – to give up history for the integrity of the future.

Curators: Tal Erez and Anat Safran

Exhibition design: Shavit Yaron, Narkis Joffe