Um. This is AMAZING and, as MOMA design guru Paola Antonelli put it, “I want to go to there.” The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright visits a new installation at the Barbican in London, where visitors get to walk through a torrential downpour without getting in the slightest bit wet. Love the comment from one of the creators, Stuart Wood of the collective Random International, as he grapples with the perennial art vs design conundrum. “No would-be designer would create something that’s completely pointless,” he says, justifying his self-description as artist. That’s as maybe, but I for one find this type of installation far from pointless. Magical, in fact.
Even as I write this, I’m scowling at the pathetic excuse of a power cable that’s currently charging my MacBook. It’s ripped, torn, and utterly ragged, an affront to Apple’s philosophy of good, simple design. And it totally happens to every Apple cable I have ever owned, always, which means (by powers of deduction) that actually it’s totally not my fault. Enter Sugru, the magic material that is going to help me to stop my disgraceful habit of throwing away said power cords and grumpily buying a new one, thus hastening the destruction of the universe. Apple might not like this much, but I think it’s thrilling. Also thrilling is Sugru’s own story, which is such a wonderful tale of persistence and grit that it should be required reading for any would-be innovator. Even the introduction is charming: “From “hmm” to “yay” via “eureka” and “wow”.” Read it.