Michigan State University’s Science Gallery Detroit is pleased to announce its third annual exhibition, FUTURE PRESENT: Design in a Time of Urgency, which will open on Sept. 11 during Detroit Month of Design and run through Dec. 11 at Bedrock’s 1001 Woodward Building in downtown Detroit. The entire season is free and open to the public.
This year’s exhibition theme will explore humanity’s nuanced relationship to various forms of design and the impact it has on the future. Further, the exhibition will illustrate three key themes as they relate to design: the impact of technology on society; design and systemic change; and creating participatory design processes for a sustainable future. FUTURE PRESENT will include works from more than one dozen national and international artists, scientists, and researchers; and, four commissioned pieces, including three from three Detroit-based emerging artists. Guest curators for the exhibition include Olga Stella of Design Core Detroit, Cézanne Charles of rootoftwo, and South African artist and curator Ralph Borland.
“As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Detroit Month of Design, we are also reflecting on the future we want and the actions needed to bring that future into reality. The involvement of organizations like the Science Gallery Detroit allow us to explore the vital role design plays in helping cities, businesses, and communities adapt to current challenges,” said Olga Stella, executive director of Design Core Detroit.In light of the pandemic, Science Gallery Detroit is taking extra precautions to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for visitors. Capacity into the exhibition will be limited to 30 guests per hour, and visitors must reserve a free timed-ticket in advance. Attendees will enjoy a 40-minute tour of FUTURE PRESENT, and the Science Gallery staff will sanitize the exhibition hourly. Special hours have been reserved on a daily basis for seniors and vulnerable populations. In compliance with the governor’s executive order, attendees will be required to wear face masks at all times.
While the exhibition will be a low-touch experience, guests will have access to a smartphone tour that will include videos, audio clips, and images to augment exhibition content. Additionally, Science Gallery Detroit’s team of mediators will work remotely, and in real-time via telepresence robots, to engage visitors in dialogue helping them to further explore exhibition themes.
“A core component of design is finding creative solutions to complex challenges,” said Devon Akmon, director of Science Gallery Detroit. “Our team has taken an innovative approach to designing timely and relevant exhibits in Detroit while presenting exciting and informative programs to a global audience through a range of collaborative partnerships.”
This year’s show kicks off with a bevy of sci-art virtual programs. Starting opening weekend, Science Gallery Detroit will host a Curators’ Conversation on Fri., Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. followed by an exclusive performance on Sat., Sept. 12 at 10 p.m by Ghostly International artist Shigeto. Both events are presented in partnership with Detroit Month of Design and Ars Electronica Festival 2020, which is known as one of the world’s largest international multi-media festivals that celebrates technology, science, and the arts.
In sum, one dozen virtual sci-art programs will be part of the FUTURE PRESENT season, including The FUTURE PRESENT Poetry Slam: Design in a Time of Urgency presented in collaboration with Detroit Symphony Orchestra and featuring celebrity judges jessica Care moore, Nandi Comer, and Joel Fluent Greene, airing Sept. 14. In October, the virtual programs will continue as Science Gallery Detroit partners with WDET-FM to present the acclaimed electronic artists John Collins and Mark Flash of Underground Resistance during this year’s Concert of Colors.
FUTURE PRESENT is made possible by MSU’s Science Gallery Detroit founding partner, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU), and Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation.