Raúl Cárdenas Osuna. Securitree transmitter. Prototype. 2004. Steel, 24″ × 57″ × 7′3″ (61 × 144.8 × 221 cm). Prototype by Bernardo Gutiérrez and Ana Martínez, Mexico (2004). Torolab and OMR Gallery. Photo: Raúl Cárdenas Osuna and Shijune Takeda

SAFE: Design Takes On Risk, the first major design exhibition at MoMA since its reopening in November 2004, presents more than 300 contemporary products and prototypes designed to protect body and mind from dangerous or stressful circumstances, respond to emergencies, ensure clarity of information, and provide a sense of comfort and security. These objects address the spectrum of human fears and worries, from the most mundane to the most exceptional, from the dread of darkness and loneliness to the threat of earthquakes and terrorist attacks.

The exhibition covers all forms of design, from manufactured products to information architecture. Featured products include refugee shelters, demining equipment, baby strollers, and protective sports gear. Designers are trained to balance risk with protection and to mediate between disruptive change and normalcy; good design goes hand in hand with personal needs, providing protection and security without sacrificing innovation and invention. SAFE redirects the pursuit of beauty toward the appreciation of economy of function and technology.

Organized by Paola Antonelli, Curator, and Patricia Juncosa Vecchierini, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

The exhibition is supported by Willis Group Holdings Ltd. and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

The accompanying educational programs are made possible by BNP Paribas.

Additional funding is provided by the Mondriaan Foundation.

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