Looking Ahead: Objects of Change
How future-proof is the design collection? Does the museum collect objects that still will be relevant 85 years from now? In Looking Ahead: Objects of Change, we study the museum collection by imagining a future. To do this, we take a trip to 2108. We look at the collection through the eyes of visitors from this future. Together, we gather knowledge about our cultural heritage and view it through an art-futuristic lens. The time travel starts with the film Fordlandia (Fordlandia) by artist Melanie Smith. Next, the design collection is explored by Museum of 21st Century Design. Two projects complete the journey: The soft city by designer Christien Meindertsma and the Human Power Plant by artist Melle Smets that he created with, among others, Het Huis van de Toekomst.
We now face pressing issues such as climate change, social inequality and biodiversity loss. How does the museum's collecting policy anticipate these issues? In Looking Ahead: Objects of Change, we invite you to think about the new collecting criteria. When we look back at the collection 85 years from now, which collected objects will still be relevant? In the depot, you won't see one future, but several scenarios. A collaboration with Museum of 21st Century Design, designer Christien Meindertsma, artist Melle Smeets, Academie voor Beeldvorming, Bakkerij de Eenvoud, partners of Het Huis van de Toekomst and journalist Kris De Decker. It’s about time to make the future liveable and discussable.
Fordlandia (Fordlandia) (2012-2013)
Start the exhibition with Melanie Smith's Fordlandia (Fordlandia). In retrospect, this film gives another reading of 20th-century modernism. The film depicts how utopian ideals can be overtaken by time and nature. The spherical documentation shows that sometimes history runs very differently.
Museum of 21st Century Design
Museum of 21st Century Design (M21D) helps create a better future by studying and promoting design that improves the climate and society. Rather than maintain a permanent building, M21D creates communities around online and in-person exhibitions that happen in surprising locations. The museum focuses on the future rather than the past. On conversation, not conservation.
The soft city (2021)
In many places in Rotterdam, sheep keep the grass short. These sheep produce 5.000 kilos of wool a year that was previously labelled as waste. Instead of burning it, designer Christien Meindertsma received this 'waste wool' from the municipality in spring 2022. By industrially washing, spinning and processing the wool, Meindertsma examines the quality of the material. Rotterdam wool is very useful. Besides yarn to make warm jumpers, winter hats or woolen tweeds, the wool can also be used as felt for the interior, construction and music industries. This research offers a new perspective on an urban waste stream. See the different steps of her research, the woolen products including a rug tufted by CS rugs and the accompanying film she made with filmmaker Roel van Tour.
This work will be donated to the museum collection by Gemeente Rotterdam. Read more about this project on www.dezachtestad.nl.
Human Power Plant: scenario 3 the neighborhood on manpower (2019-2030)
Cities like Rotterdam aim to be climate neutral by 2030. Artist Melle Smets searches for alternative forms of living and develops them as works of art in the city. When is the city climate neutral? Together with journalist Kris De Decker, Smets presents humans as the most sustainable source of energy on earth. Can we continue our modern lifestyle in a human-powered society?
The answer is yes. The community center 'House of the Future' is founded in 2019 in collaboration with the Academie voor Beeldvorming and Bakery de Eenvoud. Here, residents build prototypes for the human powered society. The drawing shows a walk through the neighborhood in the year 2050. How do Rotterdammers live on human power in a climate-neutral future?
Online exhibition 'The Human Power Plant (2050)'
Melle Smets’ drawing featured in ‘Looking Ahead: Objects of Change’ is also part of the online exhibition ‘The Human Power Plant (2050)’. This exhibition takes you to Rotterdam’s Bospolder-Tussendijken (BoTu) neighbourhood in 2050 and presents a speculative scenario in which residents generate their own energy for everything they need. You can learn more about stories from the neighbourhood, about themes such as energy and cooperation and about various artworks from the museum’s collection.
Workshop Labelwriting: change the object
July 12, 19, 26 & August 2, 9, 16 | 12 – 3 pm | educatieatelier | admission is free, no registration required
Are you ready to travel through time? In this workshop, we study the museum collection by imagining the future. We look at the collection through the eyes of researchers in the year 2108. How future-proof is the museum collection? Does the museum collect objects that will still be relevant 85 years from now?
We start our time travel with a tour of the exhibition Looking Ahead: Objects of Change. Then it's your turn to pick an object from the depot and write your own label, using an art-futuristic lens. Does your chosen object need adapting to fit future needs? How about a vacuum cleaner run on human-power or a trash can that makes its own garbage bags from discarded plastic? Change the object!
Art Lab: which design is future proof?
Saturday 26th of August | 1 – 3 pm | educational room, 2nd floor | admission is free, registration required
Museums preserve objects to be seen by future generations. What if our descendants could select the objects we keep for them? Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Museum of 21st Century Design invite you to bring your own personal object from home – to find out if its design is future proof.
Do you have an object you believe will be relevant in 100 years from now? Bring it into Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen on the 26th of August and tell us why you think it should be preserved for the years to come. Maybe your object will be selected by the future committee for inclusion in the exhibition Looking Ahead: Objects of Change.
Sign up before Saturday 19th of August by sending an email to email@example.com, please include a description and picture of your object.