Now in its eighth year, Designers in Residence
invites four emerging talents from the world of design to take over a gallery in the Design Museum, using it as a site from which to provoke conversations, actions and thoughts around different conceptions of migration.
The 2015 Designers in Residence are: Chris Green, Stephanie Hornig, Hefin Jones and Alexa Pollmann. Each has responded to the theme with a specially developed project, showcased for the first time in an exhibition at the museum.
Integrating drones: Chris Green explores the potential for drones as a living layer of urban infrastructure. Presenting a vision of the city in which drones have integrated into the everyday, his work considers the design of these autonomous vehicles, and the ways in which they could rewire the future city.
Transforming furniture: Stephanie Hornig questions the meaning of home and the role of furniture in increasingly compact and flexible live/work environments. By designing objects with light architectural materials she proposes new alternatives for domestic furniture, where each piece can adapt to different contexts as the owner moves through life.
Shifting industries: Hefin Jones uses his background in service design to work with ex-mining communities and towns. He encourages his participants to use design thinking to repurpose traditional Welsh culture and heritage, imagining the role they might play in the future of space travel. Seminal characters from the coal mining industry are remodelled for this cosmic future in a series of documents, films and photographs which acknowledges the potential tensions and aspirations associated with an entirely new perspective.
Migrating national identities: Alexa Pollmanns existing design-fiction 'Indivicracy' imagines a radically transformed version of democracy for a socially-networked future. Delivered in form of a political tale, Indivicracy speculates on the cultural highlights of a newly emerged, non-territorial society. For the exhibition Alexa creates new pieces for a national costume - from shoes and gloves to a personal falcon, as well as a new national dance in which visitors can participate. The collaborative installation suggests unsettlement as an increasingly plausible form of existence and showcases motivations for migration, challenging its often negative connotations.
The Designers in Residence programme provides young designers with time and space to research and consider new ways of developing their work. During the four months leading up to the exhibition, residents discuss their projects with established practitioners, industry experts and residency alumni, as well as with the Design Museum's legal, commercial, learning, development and curatorial teams. Each resident is offered a bursary, commissioning budget and the production costs required to realise their new commission.