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up to and including 28 August 2016

Design Column #13 - Migration Matters 2

Design Column #11 Migration Matters featured practical and more conceptual projects related to the migration crisis. This new Design Column explores what happens when design is deployed to study the political dimension of this problem. Design Column #13 Migration Matters 2 poses the question: can design make visual sense of the abstract figures, and mountains of metadata our reality seems to be made up of?

Almost five million Syrians have fled their homeland and worldwide approximately sixty million people are currently displaced. Never before have so many people lived in a different country to the one in which they were born. In total there are now 244 million people – refugees and migrants – seeking prosperity and happiness abroad. These are unimaginable statistics. We have no idea what all those zeros mean and what the consequences are for such large numbers of people moving around the world.

We cannot begin to imagine the reality of life in a war zone or as a refugee. How fearful must you be to decide to leave everything behind and travel tens of thousands of kilometres to build a new life elsewhere? Your home and your city have been reduced to ruins and you find yourself in a parallel universe of high fences, laws, incomprehension and uncertainty.

Population displacement is turning out to be one of the most complex political challenges for the decades to come. Controlling the movement of people has become an important focus and new issues arise: to what extent can surveillance take place from a distance via ‘remote eyes’? What is the role of drones in this scenario? How far does our privacy extend in this surveillance society? And what is the effect of the barriers that are being created in the shape of fences, walls and longwinded bureaucratic procedures.

Ideas that make a difference

Every three months the Design Column focuses on a news item in the form of a small exhibition. 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. The Design Column creates a space for these innovative concepts.

Kunstwerken die te zien waren in Design Column

Kunstwerken die te zien waren in Design Column

Please watch the ARTtubevideo about the work of Ruben Pater here