Final Year Students from the BA Design and BEng/MEng Design Innovation
We can ask ourselves lots of questions about what this years graduating students have decided to call their show. Two mismatching words: Future Folk.
We've got "future"... over used in both optimistic and gloomy rhetoric and "folk" a word associated with ale, guitars, songs about our industrial past and much overused by George W Bush.
There are multiple versions of the future On one hand the talk is of dirt and gloom, the creation of a world that we feel guilty for, complicated, unfair with defrosting tips. And the other version offering squeaky-clean perfection, quiet electric cars, futuristic vacuum cleaners and scientific skin cream.
And folk? who does that mean.. are they the designers; the users THE PEOPLE. There is something modest about the word, nothing grand, nothing glitzy, no Superstar designers here. Perhaps it means you and me, and them. We could have had future people... too Tony Blair? We could have had future (user)... too Ivory tower designer? But we've got Folk. Folk aren't larger than life, they go about their business, they are part of something. They're normal. They grumble. They sing. And they graft. They're like us. That is what this title does... it includes the average Jo. It asks us questions. Questions about how we act now and what we want as we are lead into a complicated future.
If there is a manifesto of Future Folk it is grounded in the messiness of the everyday in the here and now. It questions more than it answers, and that is right... questions in a time of contradiction are perhaps the only thing that wont cause any harm.