Inspiration of Past and Present

Hey Guys just some inspiration of putting together the past and present. Maybe we could think of a way of adding the future in there as well. Just a thought.

These images are from Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, where the past and present come together in a somewhat haunting photo series of World War II. Not only just depicting the plight of Anne Frank and her family, this exhibition allows you to explore the entire city of Amsterdam via an app called Anne’s Amsterdam.

Go over the Berlage Bridge, discover the Jewish neighborhoods near Blauw Bridge, the southern part of Amsterdam where many Jewish people were arrested, and even stand on the steps of Opekta, the business Anne Frank’s father ran after moving to Amsterdam in 1933.

Anne Frank Nazi solders near park overlaid with modern setting


Jewish girl on stoop overlaid with modern photo


three jewish girls vintage photo overlaid with modern photo


WWI vintage characters overlaid with modern photo


nazi soilder gather


groups of people greet parade vintage WWI Photo overlaid with modern setting



Rachel Oakley is an Aussie writer based in NYC with an obsession for the creepy, cool and quirky side of life. Some of her main passions include philosophy, art, travel, and sarcasm.

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Out of bounds

I mentioned this idea in the previous entry on the exhibition space, but I thought it was so relevant to our project in general, that I wanted to elaborate on a it a little it more.

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The project that inspired me is called ‘Out of bounds: breaking the rules in famous museums’ and shows people crossing the boundaries that art institutions and culture as well set for a viewer / visitor of museums / galleries, etc. I think this project is a great indicator of how we could escape an idea that design being displayed in a museum in fact loses its function (because it’s a glass box and we cannot use it now). On one hand, we can think about interactivity in the museums and it’s done more and more often to attract to learn / experiment / explore, but in my experience it has been done on a very superficial level, mostly for kids and people who do not visit museums too often.

How about giving the freedom to a viewer to become a curator of the exhibition? It might sound very abstract, but a very simple idea of touching objects (not interactive models which will never truly represent the weigh / texture / materials, etc.), holding it, using it, even at the expense of breaking this very object (which would be OK, because it was designed to perform an action but it can also FAIL to do so, very different from an art piece that IS and not necessarily DOES, so there is no fear of breaking it, other than a physical damage).

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Exhibition space

I wanted to share some of my own ideas about the exhibition space / curating. In my BA I was minoring in business of fine arts and curating and maybe many of these examples I am going to post are quite famous and you have most likely seen them, they are just initial thoughts / ideas on the production part of our exhibition and they could work our (partly) for different themes that we will vote on in the end:



I love how exhibitions becomes a part of the ordinary life / ordinary life becomes an exhibition space with a use of color / highlight / focus. A normal space is transformed into something magical that you stop by and want to look at and see what is different about it.



Clean, concise and very holistic exhibition that has a context but at the same time all objects that are part of the show are displayed in a very clean, art way, without being buried under piles of other things. There is an overall feeling of ordinary mixed with a slight hint that these ‘everyday’ objects are not actually used.



Instead of looking at separate objects, maybe we can create a whole obsolete reality? Not just one object, but the whole living reality that will become possibly obsolete in the future?



Quite opposite to the idea of incorporating objects into the ordinary life / context, displaying the design objects as real art pieces, on the walls / in glass boxes, very distant to the viewer that cannot touch them because of their value / uniqueness.



Link the discussion about design and art and exhibiting design / art in the gallery / museum context. This project of  ‘crossing physical boundaries’ is an amazing example of how art is distant from a viewer and a great comment on the idea how easily we can mark something as valuable / ‘art’ by putting borders / glass / signs.

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Museum Documentation Methods

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After viewing the interaction sites at museums, Came across various methods of Documentation for a Museum Purpose. Some are similar to what clare had posted. But i Particularly liked the one where we could document something inside a black area and highlight it using focus lights. Are we are talking about obsolescence,(meaning depletion in Future) we could show a Black area around it as opposed to a white one which gives a scope for improvement.

As interactions are the first thing that make a display interesting I was amazed to see at the Natural History Museum how everyone was only looking to interact with the displays, if they were not interesting enough they would just go to the next one. Hence we should also look at the same aspect.

The first picture is of a puzzle(at the V&A) to arrange the pattern of the mosaic correctly. seemed quite interesting way of putting together a group of objects and allowing the user to think which object would be obsolete first. Im sure each ones interpretation of the same would be different and we could document these interactions in a way. Just a thought though.

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Interesting Visual Narrative

Yesterday While I was at the V&A, there was this interesting installation in the open grounds about the a Chinese documentation of life… It was a really interesting miniature world created by actually bringing the rocks from the country. It was an interesting documentation with lighting and sound effects.

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It is an interesting method of creating a visual narrative to a depiction of a theme and it also engages the user to move around it in an orderly fashion

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The Past – The Present – The Future

We looked at the idea of why things in the past were so decorative. I came to a conclusion that these decorations documented a culture, a way of living, A NARRATIVE.

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When these narratives are documented in a particular way they give the future a way to look at the past ( We know about the past through these artifacts). Documentation of the past finds us a track for the present, ultimately leading it to the future.



(Took these images at the V&A and Natural History Museum)


While we are still uncertain about the future people make their assumptions about it. Here is Bill Gates with ” the road ahead”

But look now!!! The future of a PC is nearly obsolete in developed countries with high edge products apple has to offer. I was also looking at objects that may be obsolete in the future and have a few links to it

Also looking at things that have not changed for a while (here i mean in terms of function)

Also objects that changed the world.

If we track back to history, (In context with what Linda proposed in the last tutorial, i.e. looking at objects from the past), I was looking fro the one thing that is static till today. After research through the industrial revolution the most obvious answer is “The Wheel.” But the existence of the wheel stems back to way before the industrial revolution to pre historic times. Hence i feel the wheel should be a part of our project and we should also look at objects that have remained the same over the past.

We need to look at how the past uses of the wheel have been, are been and will be used in the future. Almost all futuristic mechanisms will work on movement for which I think Movement and motion is necessary which again links it to the wheel.


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Hi all,

From reading through all the posts, I see the potential we’ve got as a team.

Elaborating more on the theme of obsolescence , I visited the Barbican today, and viewed the “POP ART DESIGN”. This really got me thinking about the title of the exhibition. why is art and design together a part of the title??

After viewing the exhibition, I came across some useful insights in context to our theme.

Obsolescence and Planned obsolescence – The brief said that some objects are designed in a such a way that they are bound to be obsolete. otherwise how would a brand be able to offer new products? Though at that planning stage the vision of the future may still be uncertain but there is that vision for the future of something better.

Apart from this, during the pop art era, the artists thought of everyday objects to be a part of art and design and vice-verse. Hence Andy Warhol used everyday objects to fit into the art scene as it was more natural and connected to everyday life. Hence supporting our statements that design is integrated into anything and everything around us.


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New Proposal3

In my opinion, maybe we should think about past before we started to think about future. Look at the development of design: some designs are limited by technology, like computer and mobile phones (they are basically electronic products). Others are influenced by fashion, cultures and religions, like chairs, tables and beds.

I really like Clare’s idea about museum of future obsolescence is interesting. And that makes me think if we choose a development line of objects like paper-notebook-computer-mobile phone. Maybe we can choose several lines and string them together to show how objects evolved.

We can use illustration to show this process.


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New Proposal 2

Future design makes me think:

Do future design easy to use?

Or will future design confuse people in today’s society?

What will designers’ mind change in the future?

Look at modern devices we now uses, they become more and more powerful and pretty like things in science fictions. There is an idea the people design things they wish. And there are possibilities for designer to change their mind in the future. And design some things hard to understand for contemporary people.

So I come up with the idea that what would happened if we design some staffs which seems like future products and video how people interact with them. That might be really interesting!

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New Proposal 1

Should we connect our concept to our manifestos?

For example,

1. SIMPLE: we can mix two functional objects into one and take photos of them. 2. FUNCTION: we can design something without one function, like a teapot without its handle that Clare mentioned. (I think we should choose function carefully). And use some special material or pigment to record the interaction trails.


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