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How Bright is Our Future? IDS installation investigates new design technologies


At this year’s Interior Design Show (IDS) Toronto, the team at Design Workshop Architects introduced a thought-provoking, arresting installation to the fast-paced trade show. IDS visitors entered a dark enclosure to encounter a forest of tree-like fixtures.  Titled How Bright is Our Future?, the IDS2018 Feature Installation offered an interactive medium for attendees to share their feelings about the future.

How Bright is Our Future? IDS, Design Workshop Architecture

How Bright is Our Future? Photos by Tom Arban.

Each of the installation’s “trees” offered the viewer a tactile surface printed on the skin of the tree that responds to the viewers touch. They were asked to react to the most promising and terrifying changes that will inform our future, and record how they view that topic: either as one of hope or one of fear.How Bright is Our Future? IDS, Design Workshop Architecture

Data gathered from all the inputs contributed to an illuminated meter that displays where each individual, as well as the collective result, puts us on that spectrum of fear and hope. The results were also projected onto a screen where each participant sees how they influence the future – but they must confront the reality that we will all create this future together. The immersive installation aimed to start a dialogue about recognizing change, and get people thinking about what’s next in the future of design.How Bright is Our Future? IDS, Design Workshop Architecture

How Bright is Our Future? was conceived by Design Workshop Architects’ Michael Donaldson, and was one of four feature installations to support the future-forward theme of IDS’s 20th anniversary Toronto show.How Bright is Our Future? IDS, Design Workshop Architecture

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already here. Technologies formerly found only in the realm of science fiction are now part of our daily lives or wait just over the horizon of the very near future. Each of these new technologies has the potential for great good or unintended negative consequences,” the Design Workshop Architects website explains.How Bright is Our Future? IDS, Design Workshop Architecture

More information about the installation is available here. Photography by Tom Arban.