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February 25th, 2008

MOMA: DESIGN AND THE ELASTIC MIND

This new exhibit at MOMA, which runs from February 24th through May 12th, shows how design helps people adapt to change:

In the past few decades, individuals have
experienced dramatic changes in some of the most established dimensions
of human life: time, space, matter, and individuality. Working across
several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps
and nanoscale images, gleefully drowning in information, acting fast in
order to preserve some slow downtime, people cope daily with dozens of
changes in scale. Minds adapt and acquire enough elasticity to be able
to synthesize such abundance. One of design’s most fundamental tasks is
to stand between revolutions and life, and to help people deal with
change. Designers have coped with these displacements by contributing
thoughtful concepts that can provide guidance and ease as science and
technology evolve. Several of them—the Mosaic graphic user’s interface
for the Internet, for instance—have truly changed the world. Design and
the Elastic Mind is a survey of the latest developments in the field.
It focuses on designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in
technology, science, and social mores, changes that will demand or
reflect major adjustments in human behavior, and convert them into
objects and systems that people understand and use.

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