February 18, 2013 - DESIGN + SCIFI


A first theme dedicated to Design, Science and Science Fiction.

This theme questions the links between design, science and science fiction. It travels through speculative situations and real projects. Design is defined by its ability to build on present innovations and to imagine possible futures, further and even in a galaxy far, far away…

Let’s entre the fictional world and imagine what could happen if tomorrow Superman needed a chair? Or if the Klingons attacked Earth? How would the designer react? It would be better for his adaptation and anticipation skills to be initiated to the science fiction universe.

No seriously. Science Fiction’s directives are to go off and regain, with an external sight and a more informed vision, our society. It is an incredible inspiration tool that permits oneself to project beyond reality and to analyse with extraordinary hindsight. Thus it is a favourite instrument to dream, to fantasise and for excess. This is how Jules Vernes invented the submarine before its creation in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas, how in Brave New World, Aldous Huxley anticipated the cloning, how H. G Wells in The War of the Worlds describes an alien attack or how George Orwell depicts a society where everyone is watched by Big Brother. By utopia or dystopia, they display our own world’s facets.

The Cité des Sciences of Paris dedicated in 2011 an exhibition about this dialogue, when science is inspired by fiction « Science (et) Fiction, aventures croisées » (Science (and) fiction, crossed adventures). Another exhibition at the Wellcome Gallery of London called « What If? » presents artists’ and designers’ representations to prospective questions: when the art and design worlds answer science by fiction.

Fiction can become real if scientific and design skills, invention and project, are mixed up.

Furthermore, there are similar ways for designers and scientists to experiment: it is through tangible proposition research, reiterated attempts, curiosity and thirst for bringing new solutions.

We will explore the limits of ethics, science and new uses around different discoveries and various projects and determinate to which extent fantasy can become real.
« What If? », Wellcome Gallery, February 2010_March 2011, London, United Kingdom.
« Science (et) Fiction , aventures croisées», Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, October_July 2011, ­Paris, France.