Robots. Optimistic diselpunk
Disiel-punk optimiste (FR)
The “Robots. Optimistic diselpunk” program was based on the utopian ideas of changing the world with science and technology. We believe that design is the basis for our educational and art activities. The concept of utopia unites the manifold history of architectural ideas and experiments that the humanity has been working on throughout its history. The antonym for utopia is anti-utopia, and diselpunk trend is one of its forms. It deals with the history of the industrial society. Diselpunk with its ironic attitude overcomes the negative attitude to technology. The word “optimistic” as an addition to “diselpunk” is vitally important for the right understanding our work. That’s how the title “optimistic diselpunk” appeared. In order to carry out innovative activities one needs to be confident in the exceptional meaning of his/her efforts. Otherwise you won’t achieve anything!
The program consists of several independent parts. The first task for children is to invent a helpful robot and to present an advertising poster with a title and a slogan. This poster was later turned into a brochure cover with the robot user guide. We needed to describe the technical features of the robot in the guide, and then work out the graphic design, add illustrations and diagrams.
The next task. For several weeks the children kept gathering different parts of electric household appliances, computer boards, and parts of toys in the center of the workshop. This big pile of garbage turned to be a great playground and a good exerciser for the imagination. The children had to shape their own “first man” based on their own constructive logic, aesthetic taste and imagination. Thus the sculptural robotic objects were assembled.
The next task was done by the younger children. They made a fold out book that united the figure of a robot with its description. The book construction allows it to unfold thus turning into a silhouette image. We can say that robot books are cardboard marionettes that have some text, illustrations, small technical details and include little brochures with the description of robots.
The next stage of the program was making a virtual construction set, i.e. a computer program that allows making robots from different parts and everyday things. These robots can move, shine, make different sounds. A robot’s image can be printed in two versions – as a brochure for instructions and as a simple poster. But the most interesting thing is that you can automatically send your robot to a virtual online exhibition.
The next project in the program was making comics under the title “Inventors and their inventions”. The project task was to invent two things – your own special graphic language and a story about the inventor. The comics were supposed to be a result of the both components being put together.
The latest project was called “Measurers not for measurements”. The purpose of the project was creating objects that fully engaged the viewers’ perception. Thus we needed to create absurd and absolutely useless research instruments. We called them “measurers” because most of the exhibited objects were designed for “numerical” measurements. But some of the things that we tried to measure were the states of the soul, such as laughter, smile, and sadness. There were also objects that are hard for us to comprehend, like the Center of Universe or the Interrelation of Everything in Nature, or the Whiteness of the First Snow. These tools stir the viewer’s imagination by putting him into a situation that’s hard to ungderstand. The observer’s brain tries to cope with the situation and starts working intensively, thus coming up with explanations and speculations on the matter. The imagination starts working. That’s what our devices are meant for.