Design and the Elastic Mind

Jürg Lehni and Uli Franke
École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (écal)
Hektor spray-paint output device. Prototype. 2002–ongoing

Introduction to Design and the Elastic Mind

Jürg Lehni and Uli Franke
Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne (écal)
Hektor spray-paint output device
Prototype. 2002–ongoing Stepper motor, toothed belts, aluminum casing, spray can, suitcase, custom-made electronics, and Scriptographer software. Lent by Jürg Lehni and Uli Franke.
Image by Jürg Lehni

PAOLA ANTONELLI: Hello, I’m Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. I’m pleased to welcome you to Design and the Elastic Mind, an exhibition about design and innovation and the designer’s central role in helping humans adapt to technology, and technology adapt to humans.

You’re looking at Hektor, a Spray-Paint Output Device concocted by Swiss artists Jürg Lehni and Uli Franke. In it, a suspended spray paint can is connected to a computer. Using a software interface, Jürg can control and direct the can to write words and draw images on the wall.

With its combination of old and new, high-tech and low-tech, software code and basic human tools, control and anarchy. “Hektor” exemplifies the dynamic nature of our rapidly changing technological environment. This continuously shifting landscape of innovation, now more than ever, requires us to remain elastic, to negotiate change without letting it interfere with our own rhythms and goals. That elasticity is at the heart of this exhibition.

Design and the Elastic Mind also reflects on how the figure of the designer is changing, from form-giver to fundamental interpreter of our mutating reality. In this Acoustiguide, you’ll hear perspectives on some of those works and ideas from designers like Tony Dunne, Fiona Raby, Ana Mir and Peter Frankfurt as well as Peter Galison, a professor of physics, philosophy and the history of science.

I hope you enjoy the show.

To hear instructions on using this Acoustiguide, press 101 at any time.

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