Art has always been an interesting tool to bring up social issues. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam challenged 26 designers to dream out loud of a better world, and shows the work that came out of this in their latest exhibition Dream Out Loud. Complex issues of the future are explored in order to inspire, reflect and create a better understanding of the present world through art and design. While social design may not always produce immediately viable applications, it opens up new ways of thinking, or brings the achievable closer through the power of imagination. The Stedelijk Museum creates a platform for people to dream big and it opens up new ways of thinking through the power of imagination. We decided to highlight a few of them to already get your thoughts on the future going.

Agi Haines — Circumventive Organs

As many people know, organ donors are scarce. Advanced technology like bio printing is already offering other ways to duplicate human organs, but what would it be like if we could create organs ourselves? British designer Agi Haines explores the use of a 3D printer to design and produce improved organs. We could for example try to recreate animal cells that have useful properties, which might be a way to treat or cure chronic diseases that we humans are facing.
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Elisa van Joolen — One-to-One & Invert Footwear

If you cut clothes of high-end brands and rearrange them with mass-produced ones, will the identity of a fashion label still be visible? Where does this identity begin and where does it end? For her project 11”x17”, Elisa van Joolen cut 11x17 inches from garments and rearranged the different brands, to highlight how consumers mix and match in everyday life. For the Invert Footwear project, Van Joolen turns Nike and Converse sneakers inside out to see what remains of the brand identity. And in her latest project One-to-One, she inked items of brand name clothing and used these to print on other pieces. In her work, Elisa breaks the hierarchy of fashion labels and allows us to question the status a brand label conveys by seeing its actual, material properties.
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Bas van Abel — Fairphone 2.0

The production of smartphones requires expensive materials and people often don’t use a phone longer than one or two years, because they either buy a better version or some parts of the phone are damaged and not replaceable. With Fairphone 2.0 you can buy a phone and join a movement. Bas van Abel created a mobile that consists mainly of user-replaceable parts — screen, battery, loudspeaker, microphone, and camera can all be removed and exchanged. This way you don’t have to buy a completely new phone only because the battery needs to last longer or your camera needs to have more pixels. You can just upgrade this on your Fairphone and help save the environment from exploitation.
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Floor Nijdeken — Crossover Collective

In a world where “social” is mainly an online thing, Floor Nijdeken created Crossover Collective, which encourages strangers to sit down together to work on a tapestry. By working on something creative together, it makes conversation unavoidable and thus encourages people to get to know each other. The installation is a reaction to the anonymous character of mass-produced goods and a desire for the practice of traditional crafts. Working on tapestry together yields a moment of peace in a busy world where we are constantly triggered by information from phones and tablets.
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Studio Roosegaarde — Smog Free Ring

Daan Roosegaarde and his team created the world’s largest smog vacuum cleaner in Rotterdam. The seven-meter-high tower draws in smoggy air and filters it, providing people with the experience of breathing clean air for free. In order to create a tangible souvenir of this experience, Roosegaarde designed Smog Free Rings, each piece made from the compressed dust retrieved from a thousand cubic meters of city air. By sharing Smog Free Jewellery, you donate 1000 m3 of clean air to the city, which makes the artwork not only a local solution for parks, but also an inspirational experience of a clean future.
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Dream Out Loud. Designing for Tomorrow’s Demands can be seen at the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) until January the 1st.