I recently found this article in BusinessWeek, “Art Museum as Research Lab“. It details an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (now closed) which presented new designs in data visualization and other disciplines. The show, “Design and the Elastic Mind,” featured 200 projects by international designers and firms. The exhibition illustrated innovative processes in disciplines not usually associated with design, for instance in nanotechnology, as well as design for new markets in developing nations, and “three-dimensional printing” of physical objects directly from computer files.
The article is of particular interest because it places both design and cultural organisations in the centre of the innovation debate, something that rarely happens. I was recently at a Business Seminar at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum where I asked a question about the value of building new design relationships between cultural organisations and industry. While the panel responded with initiatives such as Proctor and Gamble’s ‘Connect and Develop’, the discussion stopped short of teasing out the potential of these debates.
I’ll be interested to see what happens in Australia in relation to design and cultural organisations. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation recently released a new paper SOCIAL NETWORK MARKETS: A NEW DEFINITION OF THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES where cultural organisations were finally considered part of both the innovation debate and the creative industries, but only when they were dealing with new knowledge. Additionally, design was added to the agenda all within the context of social networking.
As the exhibition in New York demonstrated, there are some real outcomes for design in collaboration with cultural organisations. I look forward to watching how this debate develops!