Invisible, intangible, immaterial. Yet present and vital everywhere. No life on earth is possible without air. Scientists and philosophers share their fascination for air with contemporary designers. The Design on Airexhibition at CID in Grand Hornu explores the relationships between design and air, the most ethereal, and at the same time the most essential of the four traditional elements.
Air – at least for now – is free, belonging to everyone. But in our anthropocene age, it is also becoming an increasingly threatened resource, in need of protection. How are designers reacting to this? How do they deal with air? What does air mean to them? And can design justifiably be compared to air?
In Design on Air,the theme of air is approached from diverse angles, from air as an inflatable material to blowing air as a formative and technical procedure. From the movement of air to the quality of air. Sometimes, the priority is a search for material expertise or innovation in technical production, or such functional issues as safety and comfort, or it might be about the magic of the rarefied, the fleeting, the ethereal. The one need not cancel out the other.