Hello, Robot: Design Between Human and Machine

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Have you ever met a robot? You probably have, whether you’re aware of it or not. Robots are everywhere in our society these days. From the media to daily life, there are more smart machines than most people would think.

As humans, we are constantly debating about privacy, automation of processes, and our excitement and fears about having machines take over (parts of) our lives and even bodies. But what is your opinion about this topic?

The exhibition “Hello, Robot.” in Design Museum Gent in Ghent, Belgium, is a great place to find out.

Our ideas and expectations around robots are strongly shaped by pop culture.

Interaction Between Human and Machine

Hello, Robot. features four highly interactive sections in which the visitor is invited to think about topics such as ‘science & science fiction’ (what a robot actually is), ‘programmed to work’ (thoughts on how would we like to work in the future), ‘friends & helpers’ (the emotional aspects of working and living with robots) and ‘becoming one’ (the evolution of robots).

Walking through the exhibit, the visitor is asked a total of 14 questions such as “Do we really need robots?“, “Do you trust robots?” and “Can a robot do your job?“. These questions make one reflect that the answers are not so straightforward, but lead to even more discussions.

On 14 February 2015, NASA announced Curiosity’s discovery of a heart-shaped crater. The same day, NASA released these digital Valentine’s cards.

Taking Back Control

We have become prosumers: we consume what we produce ourselves.

The curators of the exhibition have done an excellent job to compress this incredibly broad topic into such comprehensible displays. The museum provokes deep thought about how we should deal with new technologies, both as individuals and as a society as a whole.

The ever-evolving digitalization and robotisation sometimes seems to alienate us from the reality that we create ourselves. Yet at the same time we go back to nature more often than ever as a source of inspiration to improve our artificial construction plans, hoping it will give us a stronger grip on reality, our humanity, our future… perhaps even our happiness.

The real question is: How do YOU choose to react to a world that continues to become smarter?


Visit Hello, Robot. Design tussen mens en machine / Design between human and machine from now until 15 April 2018 at Design Museum Gent, Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000 Gent, Belgium

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