Take a closer look at Design Museum Holon’s (Israel) current exhibition, State of Extremes, featuring works of contemporary design that tackle our world of extremes. The exhibition’s five categories – Spiraling, Extremer, Polarization, New Normals and Extreme Lab – are comprised of installations, objects, speculative proposals and videos, reveal, critique, resist, mitigate and sometimes even exacerbate extremes and the mechanisms that drive them.

Compression Cradle by Lucy McRae

A contactless world is a notion that is slowly becoming the sad truth of our reality. Compression Cradle is an installation that mechanically, and “affectionately”, swaddles and wraps users to explore the human need for touch in a future when technology has dissociated us from our bodies. In anticipation of devoid of human touch, Compression Cradle is a suggested remedy. The immersive machine squeezes the participant in soft, tactile pads and cushions. The machine has a sequence of aerated volumes, creating the warm embodiment of a hug.

Compression Cradle fits under State of Extremes’ category of Extremer. Extremes can be good, as when they push human capacities towards ever greater achievements. However, once set on a trajectory, extremes often take on lives of their own, posing questions about unintended consequences, and how far we are willing to go.

State of Extremes, curated by Aric Chen and Maya Dvash (Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon), takes visitors through over 70 works – exploring a world of social, political and environmental extremes. When Design Museum Holon opened the exhibition at the end of 2019, it was unknown that these works would be topical in the global situation forced upon us. State of Extremes embodies the power of design, impacting change, and how humanity can facilitate a better future.

Photo credit: Elad Sarig