From October 4th 2013 to March 2nd 2014, the Design Museum Denmark is showcasing the exhibition; The Exhibition Lab – 3 Perspectives on Everyday Design.
One of the objectives is to question how the exhibition design itself affects how we perceive the design objects. For this exhibition, Curator Laura Liv Weikop has used an experimental communication and presentation approach.
The result is three very different experiences that show everyday design objects in different ways. Each exhibition room is reached by entering a wall of long, white curtains with printed text on them. This makes it clear that you are now entering a new experience, a new exhibition.
Exhibition no. 1: Attractive Things Work Better
Donald A. Normann (b. 1935) claims that things with a functional purpose not only need to be practical, functional and aesthetic. They should also be attractive, enjoyable and fun. It brings us more creativity and makes us feel good. And when we feel good – we are better at solving problems. Therefore, everyday design objects need to be attractive.
Our Washing Up Bowl designed by Ole Jensen is placed next to Classic Danish design objects like Lego, Carlsberg Beer, the Ant Chair and several other everyday items.
The Krenit Bowl designed by Herbert Krenchel is here shown together with VIPP Pedal Bin and the Blue Fluted Mega plate from Royal Copenhagen.
This stringent exhibition design is very classic museum style; you can see but not touch the design objects.
Exhibition no. 2: What You Own is Who You Are?
Everyday design is part of who we are. It evokes emotions and great memories and shows our personalities. We use the objects as status symbols; our homes show who we are. This setup is like a small home interior. The viewer can look, touch and feel the design objects.
This was our favorite of the exhibition rooms. It has its own storytelling and shows the everyday design objects in the context where they are actually used. In the first exhibition room, we were missing the opportunity to touch the design objects, but the approach in “What You Own is Who You Are?” encouraged a much more interactive approach by the visitor.
Exhibition no. 3: Design Fulfills Needs
The third and last exhibition room is focused on how design can help us in our everyday lives. This exhibition room is based on explaining the different functions of each design object through a combination of how the item is shown and described in the booklets mounted on the tables. The products are devided into categories such as lighting, medical equipment, clothing, household designs and so on.
The exhibition has an explanatory kind of approach making this exhibition room feel more like an education setting. We learn a lot, but once more we are only able to observe.
The exhibition is accompanied by a blog (in Danish) where curator Laura Liv Weikop in the next six months will be following the visitors’ opinions about the exhibition(s).
The exhibition has just opened and will run until March 2nd 2014 at Design Museum Denmark. So if you have a couple of free hours this weekend or are planning a visit to Copenhagen, add this exhibition to your “to do” list.