A new day for design

AURORA installation at the Design Museum manifests a new approach to sustainable design

27 October 2021

3 min read

Are standard design practices contributing to the take-make-waste economy in which valuable resources end up in landfills rather than being reused? A new installation at the Design Museum in London, co-created by Mamou-Mani Architects and the Dassault Systèmes Design Studio, demonstrates how a change in thinking can contribute to more reuse, recycling and regeneration.

With the COP26 climate conference opening next week in Glasgow, people everywhere are asking themselves what they can do to reduce their impact on the planet. Curators at the Design Museum are asking this question of designers, too, in a new exhibition “Waste Age: What can design do?” on display through February 22.

“We must face the problem of waste,” the exhibit’s curator, Gemma Curtin, says in her introduction to the exhibition on the Design Museum’s website. “Instead of thinking of objects as things that have an end life, they can have many lives.”

That premise is exactly what AURORA, a free-to-the-public installation in the museum’s atrium through November 14, aims to demonstrate. Though it looks like an artistic swirl of crystal and gold at first glance, AURORA actually is a study in how decisions that designers rarely control can profoundly change the environmental impacts of their creations – and how what is created for one purpose, if designed with reuse in mind – can have many lives.

In the photos that follow, take a virtual tour of AURORA to discover its hidden design lessons.

Want to go? Purchase tickets. (Note: Museum members can attend free of charge.)

To learn more about the collaboration that created AURORA, including an interactive experience of the installation inside the Design Museum, visit https://www.3ds.com/design/aurora, click "launch the experience" and then click the ? to enter the exhibit via your smartphone’s camera.

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