Explore how robots impact our lives, from fashion to architecture, and how design in turn is changing robotics.
Do you want a robot to take care of you? How do you feel about objects having feelings? Are robots advancing evolution? These are some of the questions posed to visitors in this exhibition exploring the impact robots have on daily life, and our hopes and fears for the future as science fiction increasingly becomes reality. Over 200 objects illustrate our long-held fascination with artificial humans, how robotics already shape our world, from fashion to social care, and the blurring of boundaries between human and machine.
The exhibition looks particularly at how design has come to play a crucial role in the developing technology, offering practical solutions and also exploring ethical and political questions. The Drone Aviary by Superflux is a design fiction project depicting a dystopian world where drones control all communication and law enforcement, and the ‘Net’ achieves physical autonomy; Robotlab’s Manifesto tests the limits of the kind of work robots can accomplish, randomly creating manifesto statements – as if on a production line – and throwing the print-outs at visitors; and the End of Life Care Machine by Dan Chen is a robot designed to comfort the dying, questioning the value of intimacy without humanity.
In a special commission for V&A Dundee, Masters students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have responded to the exhibition’s themes with a robotic architectural project. Combining robotic fabrication with traditional Scottish building materials used in blackhouses and cruck-frames, the commission explores ideas of collaboration between humans and robots.