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Design Column #10 - Crazy Care

from January 31 2015 until July 5 2015

Mike Thompson en Arne Hendriks, FATBERG (2014) Exhibition Overview Design Column #10. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Alice Cares (2015), photo: Wetzer & Berends, courtesy: CRISP Circus Engelbregt, The Medicine Factory (2014) Exhibition Overview Design Column #10. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Alice Cares (2015), poster IFFR Simon Berry, Colalife.org, 2014, Courtesy: Colalife.org Exhibition Overview Design Column #10. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Mike Thompson and Arne Hendriks, FATBERG (2014) Exhibition Overview Design Column #10. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Circus Engelbregt, The Medicine Factory (2014), photo: Helen Boon Exhibition Overview Design Column #10. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Simon Berry, Colalife.org (2014), Kit Yamoy poster, Courtesy: Colalife.org Exhibition Overview Design Column #10. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg Circus Engelbregt, The Medicine Factory (2014), Activity in the laboratory, photo: Bjorn Jansen Alice Cares (2015), videostill

Design Column #10 Crazy Care shows how an innovative idea can revolutionize health care.

The welfare state is under pressure: education, employment, social security, and now the most recent problem - care. There are more old people than ever, and increasing longevity means they use the care system for longer. There are hundreds of rules, exceptions, grants and policies in place to streamline and regulate the system. When does a safety net become suffocating web?

The new care act introduced in 2015 changed the organization of care. The new rules focus on the biggest common denominators because the effect is greatest there. The consequence is that people with special care needs, such as the disabled and those with chronic illnesses, are left out in the cold. Is the government lacking in solidarity, do friends and family not care for their loved ones, or is the real problem the fact that we are all living in a system that is extravagant and no longer sustainable? We pile one change on top of another, but shouldn’t we be concentrating on the heart of the problem and looking for simple, clear ideas?

Ideas that make a difference

Every three months the Design Column focuses on a news item in the form of a small exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The column is a place where new ideas are made visible, where the power of imagination is given expression. Designers and artists are especially interested in experimental imagination. With their idiosyncratic vision, they see things differently and are capable of bringing about change.

Blog Design Column

Every Design Column is accompanied by a blog, here you can find reactions and up-to-date information on the current and previous editions. Please visit: www.designcolumn.nl.

In conversation with

The Design Column is not only a presentation but is also an opportunity for reaction and dialogue. You are cordially invited to participate in a roundtable conversation that will take place at Museum
Boijmans Van Beuningen and Droog. If you would like to participate in this conversation, please contact the curators of the Design Column at designcolumn@boijmans.nl. Also check out the blog at www.designcolumn.nl.

With thanks to

The Design Column is made possible with the support of the Creative Industries Fund and the BankGiro Loterij.

On view in Design Column #10 Crazy Care (gallery 51)

Circus Engelbregt, The Medicine Factory, 2014

Martijn Engelbregt does not believe in welltrodden paths, pigeon-holes and rules. He has developed his Circus Engelbregt in an endeavour to increase social sustainability in the world by disrupting it on the one hand and connecting it on the other. For example he wants to democratize our health with his DIY pills called OER © Equisetum Remedy. European law forbids it but
why shouldn’t we be allowed to make our own medicines?

The online video channel ARTtube shows a video on The Medicine Factory.

Simon Berry, Colalife.org, 2008

In developing countries diarrhoea is the second biggest cause of death in children under the age of five, although it is preventable with simple anti-diarrhoea medicines and education. How can it be so difficult to get simple medicines to people in remote areas when Coca-Cola is available everywhere? The British charity ColaLife is making clever use of the existing infrastructure by distributing medicine kits through the channels of widely used consumer goods like Coca-Cola, sugar, salt and oil.

Alice Cares, 2015

It seems inevitable that technology is going to play an increasingly greater role in care. How about the Dutch digital care file, self-help apps for people with psychological problems and care robots for the elderly? Alice is one such care robot, designed to accompany lonely old people with dementia. She offers companionship and she can also be employed for practical help - like physical therapy -, she shows emotions and can even make moral choices.
It is an obvious question: can a robot provide true intimacy? And will the use of robots lead to a lessening of human contact and hence further de-socialization? ‘Alice Cares’ premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on 23 January.

Mike Thompson and Arne Hendriks, FATBERG, 2014

FATBERG is a critical design research project being undertaken by Mike Thompson and Arne Hendriks. The objective is to create a growing island of fat that will drift around in the ocean. Fat is useful. It is a reserve of energy that is stored in the body and is only broken into in times of scarcity. But in our affluent western society it no longer has any function whatsoever because there are no times of shortage. Fat is now an iconic problem linked to beauty, excessive consumption and health problems. What should we do with all the surplus? Thompson and Hendriks maintain that a floating fatberg is a way of no longer regarding fat as a problem but seeing it as a source of innovation.

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