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Science Fiction. Exhibition in Essen

Visionary technologies and ground-breaking innovations, bad practice and doomsday scenarios – everything a designer could wish for! The genre of science fiction evolved from the literature produced in the first half of the 20th century and enjoyed rapid proliferation in the mass media, its futuristic fantasies projected in books, art, film, music videos, comics and computer games. Ongoing technological developments mean that the visions and notions inspired by science fiction works of the past are rapidly becoming part of our contemporary lives. I was a Robot. Science fiction and Pop Culture, a large-scale exhibition on display at the Folkwang Museum in Essen, explores human interaction with robots, cyborgs and AI. A whole host of themes, addressed by more than 200 exhibits, range from “Creation and Function”, “Artificial Creation and Artificial Intelligence” to “Cyberpunk and the Death of Humanity”. Are robots friends or foes of humanity? Do they make our lives better, or will they eventually make people superfluous? Or are they destined to become obsolete themselves in the face of digitalisation, body implants and artificial intelligence? Whatever happens, science fiction will continue to beguile us whilst influencing design trends. As André Malraux wrote: “He who wishes to read the future must look to the past”.

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