Ghost in the Smart Home

The new movie by Rupert Sanders, based on the hugely popular anime Ghost in the Shell by Musamune Shirow opens with a haunting preface. It is set in 2029 and observes as the boundary between human and machine becomes more and more blurred. In the time it has become customary for people to choose to “enhance” themselves by replacing a limb or an internal organ with a synthetic one, therefore also one with many new high-tech features. In that context, one private company works on blurring that boundary even further by creating the first “synthetic full-body prosthesis augmented-cybernetic human” – Major Mira Killian. She has an entirely robotic body except for her human brain. Therefore the story argues that by keeping the brain the soul, or the ghost, remains unaltered independent from the body, or the shell.

Now the obvious question this setup poses is where the boundary between human and machine really stands – how far can one go on altering and enhancing  before one turns to a cyborg? All that further leads to the discussion what is it that defines a human at all.

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Casa Batllo meets Hundertwasserhaus

In today’s conversation we have invited two distinct guests, one based in Spain and another in Austria. The two share a similar intention at their conception and a common start in life, however although both largely succesful now, they occupy a very different status today. In the following quite existential talk between Casa Batllo from Barcelona and Hundertwasserhaus from Vienna, they discuss topics such as concept display, meaning of existence and ways to connect to the public.

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"Arrival" and the Departure of Design

A review of the recent  production “Arrival” from director Denis Villenueve, in cinema November 2016.

Firstly, Arrival has to be one of the best movies to have come out in 2016 so far, a complete masterpiece, where all arts are in sync – the music, the picture, the story up to the smallest detail, the characters, the structure of the entire story. However, it is impossible not to notice the subtlety of the design proposal. 

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DAE Graduation Show at Dutch Design Week 2016 : what we learned we shall not forget

My review on the Design Academy Eindhoven Graduation Show 2016 as part of Dutch Design Week 22-30 Oct 2016.

Ironically the title of the show leads to the heart of the problem consciously so or not. “In need of … “. For it has everything but content.

The everlasting spirit of modernism hasn’t left the building, the teachers nor the students and their work. Recycled ideas of recycling and design denial. The exhibition predicts a dutch design in ashes.
Nevertheless, however the poorness of quality projects or lack of innovative and fresh ideas, the show is considered a success by its own standards.
Dutch design keeps sustaining itself on the shoulders of its predecessors and their rich benefactors. Still the future actors of dutch design seem to have learned only one thing – namely how to sell. You will probably never encounter an art / design educational institution exhibition with so much commercialism and ego. Each project is for sale, before even being developed.
A necessary skill no doubt, but so is good design concepts and they seem to be on extinction in DAE.