We are part of the new exhibition at the Design Museum, Denmark in Copenhagen: ‘The Future Is Present’

26 Jul We are part of the new exhibition at the Design Museum, Denmark in Copenhagen: ‘The Future Is Present’

An exhibition about the design of the future.

How it came about:

Curator Pernille Stockmarr contacted me in 2021 after we were both panelists at Denmark’s annual design festival: ‘3daysofdesign‘ in Copenhagen, Designmuseum Danmark. I was the only virtual panelist (limiting my carbon emissions by not traveling) at this sold out event. Their technology was fantastic – I was in the row with the other panelists onstage with the Chair of the event, as a head on a TV screen at a similar height and size as the other panelists and I could see myself and the audience from my screen – It was very clever and I didn’t feel left out of the conversation at all! Pernille and I kept nodding in agreement whenever either of us spoke. I found what she had to say about the power of design really thoughtful, positive and engaging. Straight after the event I received an email from her asking for a zoom chat to discuss the exhibition ‘The Future Is Present’ she was curating to launch June 2022 and how she thought a room of ‘Gentle Protest’ Craftivism would be perfect for attendees to think about the future of activism. How could I say no?!:)

Pernille listened to my concern about not oversimplifying our work or making it look like a gimmick. We discussed how best we could present the pieces to help explain the context-based activism strategy behind each project and tool without overwhelming attendees with long essays to read.

I enjoyed and learnt a lot from our many meetings, emails, doodles going back and forth on a map of the exhibition layout suggesting different ways we could display work and which pieces to put in and take out (this was the hardest!).

After months of planning I packed and posted the pieces in Spring to the museum all clearly labelled but wishing I was there to help hang/display our room. Pernille and her team were empathetic. Hopefully I can go see it soon! And I hope you can too.

The exhibition: The Future Is Present:

The exhibition asks the questions:

  • Is society more diverse or more homogeneous in the future?
  • How will we prioritize and design our communities?
  • How do we create healthy and nourishing relationships?
  • Will our behavior become more socially oriented, or will we be further apart and become isolated?
  • Which human values will be more important?
  • What will the future look like, and what will design look like in the future?

“Currently, designers around the world are working on solving some of our global challenges. Thinking radically and creatively, allowing themselves to be guided by both reason and emotion. They search extensively for inspiration, ask different questions, and envision themselves in the communities, whose lives they want to improve.”

Pernille Stockmarr, Curator of Designmuseum Danmark

The challenges of the future:
Climate crisis, refugee flows, surveillance, and pandemics. Something must change, and it must change now. We need to use our resources smarter, change our patterns of consumption and rethink how we live. We need to share what we have, more equally, and ensure that everyone is heard. A revolution is taking form and we will ask what our world will look like in 10, 20 or 30 years?

The challenges and opportunities are many – leaving us with the greatest question of all – what kind of world and life do we want? What is being designed right now, and the choices we all make today, will shape and create our future. So, what will be good design in the future?

The exhibition has three main themes: Human, Society and Planet+.

The themes will present different questions, future scenarios, design examples and art installations – some suggest solutions while others are more speculative. A last theme ”Shaping the Future” will finalize the exhibition and show examples from the museum’s own collection of utopian dreams and past visionary designs that have influenced and shaped our world.

The exhibition opened June 2022 and is open to the public until 1st June 2023 and I’ve already seen some social media posts from attendees saying how they enjoyed our Gentle Protest craftivism room which asks the question:

Our Gentle Protest room’s question: Can activism be gentle and effective in creating positive change?

Our giant Craftivists Manifesto is the first thing you see when you enter our Gentle Protest room as part of this exhibition (available here to download or buy a print)
Get comfortable and watch our 4min stop-frame animated video made with WovenInk (gifted) to understand the strategy behind all of the ‘gentle protest’ craftivism work we do and the image it can have.
Here is our version of a ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ showing some of the samples and kits that craftivists around the world use alone or in groups to help change hearts, minds, policies and laws one stitch at a time

An example of our ‘Don’t Blow It’ handkerchief project where we stitch bespoke messages and images on hankies for power holders (local politicians, business board members, journalists, religious leaders and others) to encourage them to use their power for positive change and for us to hold them accountable as critical friends not aggressive enemies.
This is an exclusive print of a double-page spread from our upcoming The Craftivist Collective Handbook I am currently creating, compiling and writing. These pages are of images and words from Canary Craftivists who took part in our award-shortlisted national climate campaign Summer 2021. The pages will come after the Why To essay and How To step by step instructions of how to take part.
A selection of hand stitched real tweets on felt ‘Twitter birds’ are hung near natural light for viewers to read and learn how the Craftivist Collective and our Gentle Protest methodology helps a diverse group of Changemakers on their journey to be effective and compassionate campaigners.

“Your film is great! Your room felt cosy and apt for the content. The whole museum was one of the best I’ve been in. Even my teenage boys engaged!”

– Attendee Belinda

Do you find the Craftivist Collective helpful? Do you want us to continue to survive and thrive? This best and most cost effective way to help our positive, powerful and pioneering Gentle Protest work in this fragile and messy world is to become my (Sarah P Corbett’s) patron with monthly kindness here. You can also offer a one off donation via PayPal to craftivist [dot] collective [at] gmail [dot] com or Sarah P Corbett , The Cooperative Bank, Account Number: 07400959, Sort Code: 08 93 00

In solidarity and with gratitude,

Sarah P Corbett
  • Reni Landor
    Posted at 17:43h, 16 October Reply

    I have just seen your exhibits at the Design Museum and am intrigued! What a wonderful thing to be doing!

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 11:48h, 17 October Reply

      I’m so glad you found our room helpful and enjoyable Reni and I hope you can join us in some gentle craftivism wherever you are alone or with others. Our kits, tools, free manifesto and free online course are all available to support you on your journey if you want to keep exploring this quiet, kind and slow form of activism. Plus if you have any questions that are stopping you exploring just email me 🙂 Sarah x

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