Imagine Moscow – Design Museum London


The Iron Cloud, one of the imagined buildings of the Soviet Union

Soviet Union architecture and design on great scale. A year ago I saw a wonderful collection of product and graphic designs from the SU in Rotterdam. Back than I was mesmerized by the simplicity of the design and the high emphasis on functionality. So when a colleague told me about this exhibition I was immediately interested.

This exhibition shows another dimension of great design: showing greatne
ss together. Until this exhibition I didn’t think about how the government used architecture and design to show how great the Soviet Union could be. This totalitarian push to be innovative and show the world what the possibilities are is credit for the leaders of that time. Nowadays we don’t particularly see that design can show the innovation in the name of a nation. We innovate mostly in name of ourself. Which is a pity, or moreover, a missed opportunity. Open design, open innovation or shared innovation is a future I would like to embrace. Together we can, we can work on wicked problems, we can address issues that are urging and we can find solutions that fit most people in society. The Soviet Union was a wonderful experiment in many ways, it has failed, but I learned last Sunday that it also brought people together and created opportunities for philosophers, architects, artists and filmmakers to imagine how great that nation could be. For innovation, innovative systems we ought to look forwards, but also backwards to learn from what is there. Could the Soviet Union be an example of open innovation?


Strange & Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island

A documentary that shows the story of a sleepy island just outside Canada that was getting an intervention from local born Zita Cobb who decided it needed an upgrade. Together with architect Todd Saunders she gave the island a makeover. What is so special about it? All the elements that were kept that are special for the islanders and their cultural expression. Product designers were consulted to fill a gorgeous inn that opened as part of the project. This is holistic design in all areas. 

The way all disciplines connected and kept the heritage of Fogo alive is a blessing if you ask me. I hope more places in the world can grow like this place, with pride and love for their culture.