Tuesday, October 23, 2018


On the second week of the Master, we were invited to visit the exhibition, “The Future is here” at V&A Museum. When entering the exhibition, the first thing you encounter is a big robot doing laundry, which certainly did poorly judging by the way it was performing the tasks. But of course, it was not the robot’s fault as it is in the phase of the prototype and the robot is supposed to learn as we humans do: trial and error.
Hatsune Miku, originally a design character created to illustrate a software box, is now an international Japanese virtual pop singer and has collaborated already with artists like Lady Gaga, Marc Jacobs and Pharrell Williams.
Editing and manipulation of genomes to bring back to the ecological system the great passenger Pigeon, and the question Who wants to live forever? That opens a complete section showing the advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence with the promise of radically extend our lifespans.

These inventions among others display what it seems to be what we have to expect to happen in the future, or better to say is already happening. But earlier in class, we were encouraged to ask why and how, but moreover, what if?. This question referred explicitly with the purpose of design.

Many of the projects presented in the exhibition seem to be created for a noble cause where technology plays an important role. Like the solar-powered drone Aquila developed by Facebook that will enable internet connection in remote places, or the smart houses designed with the purpose to enhance our immune system and to prolong our lives.

All the proposals displayed in the exhibition intend to present an improved future and a better version of ourselves, but still, the question persists, what if we do not need all these advances to live better? The texts in neon letters bright strongly: We are all connected, but do we feel lonely? According to the Office for National Statistics, despite people are more connected than ever in social networks through smart devices, the proportion of people feeling unhappy and isolated has risen in the last three years.

As designers and agents of change, we can not ignore technologic advance, but we need to look back in the past to learn from there, how societies have evolved encompassed with technological advancement and to analyse in the present in what extent new inventions benefits as in real meaning.

Technology in Bed, Hanif Shoaei, 2014

Reference list:

Office for National Statistics

Friday, October 19, 2018

The London Underground

One of the fascinating things that I found in London is Railway transport. This interest might sound mundane for Londoners or any European citizen as the railway is a popular medium of transportation in most EU cities. UAE a country that has only 47 years founded inaugurated its first metro system, the Dubai Metro, in 2009. I lived in UAE for ten years, and during all my residence there I did take the metro only three times, mainly for tourism purposes. In 2007, the year I arrived in Dubai, the metro system was under construction. Having a car was imperative due to limited options for transport and weather conditions. In PerĂº my home country, the Lima Metro system started its operations in 2011. I was not there by then, and the times I visited Lima I used a couple of times this transport.
In this two weeks in London, I have taken trains and buses more times than in the last five years. The effectiveness of the railway and buses system, so complex but at the same time easy to use, is granted to a clear understanding of an existing need and visionary planning of the transport communication within the city.
The first railway London line was opened in 1863, the Metropolitan Railway, using steam locomotive and connecting six intermediate stations between Paddington and Farringdon. Its first year of operations the line carried 9.5 million passengers.
Today the London Underground – the Tube -  serves more than one billion passengers per year, and connects 270 stations in all London. The link between the development of London as a world city and the existence of the Underground is undeniable.