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TOMORROW NOW — when design meets science fiction

Mudam Collection

Conceived by Alexandra Midal and Björn Dahlström in collaboration with Mathieu Lehanneur, TOMORROW NOW - when design meets science fiction investigates the subject of science fiction not merely associated with the omnipotence of anticipation and futuristic predictions, but in its coincidence with the emergence of furniture design discipline. The exhibition, homage to Hugo Gernsback, Luxembourg-born inventor of the term science fiction, explores decoration elements as well as design itself, the standardized products as well as experimental architecture, the most contemporary forms in art as well as the most daring innovations in design.

“Tomorrow now – when design meets science fiction” is the first exhibition devoted to the relationship between design and science fiction, elements that have come together several times during the course of the 20th century. Although a primordial source of inspiration for the cinema, the visual arts and architecture, science fiction’s closest links are, however, to design.
Three periods stand out from these encounters. The first is linked to anticipation and innovation in the case of Hugo Gernsback who in 1929 invented the term “science fiction” and published cheap magazines that popularised the subject. There was also the Universal Exhibition in New York in 1939 in which designers who traditionally envisaged the production of industrial objects seized on that of private, public and urban spaces, of which the Futurama is incontestably the most surprising and premonitory example. Science fiction and design worked together to show how technology can be put to the service of mankind.
The second conjunction between science fiction and design takes on impressive proportions in the post-war period when the two universes became the subject of an energy and a jubilation combined with the dream of space conquest in the process of being made concrete. The eventual discovery of new intergalactic territories which is counterbalanced by the stress placed on interior worlds, subjugates designers. They were inspired by the imaginary aspect of science fiction, creating a myriad of capsule-like forms and borrowing from it the fictional mode which, when diverted, validates technology or denounces it.
Finally, along with investigations based on a conception of linear time, we find a third bridge between design and science fiction which, this time, offers a vertical temporal axis. This challenge to Cartesian logic rests on the postulate of the existence of a fourth dimension, that of time, which, when associated with the other three dimensions, becomes a gateway to a parallel world. Breaches in space-time may be found through these “wormholes”, teleportation doors and other black holes. Neither anticipation nor prediction nor retro-future, these parallel worlds are juxtaposed with present reality.

The Interview series
by Alexandra Midal offers five points of view to account for the complexity of creating the future. Watch the interviews withDan Graham, Paco Rabanne, Piero Frassinelli, J.P.Telotte and Denis Santachiara.

Exhibition with works by Alvar Aalto, Eerio Aarnio, Ant Farm, Aerolande, Archigram, Egmont Arens, Matthew Barney, Norman Bel Geddes, Claude Bellegarde, Arthur Bracegirdle, Marcel Breuer, Clifford Brook Stevens, Buckminster R. Fuller, Maurice Calka, Alain Carré, Casati & Ponzio, Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Hussein Chalayan, Philippe Charbonneaux, Gino Colombini, Joe Colombo, Coop Himmelblau, André Courrèges, François Dallegret, Stephan Dupuis for David Cronenberg, Henry Dreyfuss & Walter Teague, Dunne & Raby, Charles & Ray Eames, Ecal / école cantonale d’art de lausanne, Jean-Claude Forest, Jean-Claude Forest & Serge Gainsbourg, General Idea, Hugo Gernsback, Peter Ghyczy, Paul Granjon, Eileen Gray, Fergus Greer, Konstantin Grcic & Nitzan Cohen, Haus-Rucker-Co., Herzog & De Meuron, Kawashima Hideaki, Edward C. Hoffman, Hans Hollein, Arne Jacobsen, Frederick Kiesler, Shiro Kuramata, Yonel Lebovici, Mathieu Lehanneur, Raymond Loewy, Lot-Ek, M/M, Anthony Malden, John McCracken, :mentalklinik, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Jean-Luc Moerman, Dario Montagni / Sergio Berrizzi / Cesare Butte, Mariko Mori, Gianni Motti, Olivier Mourgue, George Nelson, Marc Newson, Nutting Associates inc., Onyx, Shoji Otomo, Verner Panton, Walter Pichler, Danielle Quarante, Quasar Kahn, Paco Rabanne, Gerrit R. Rietveld, R&Sie, Denis Santachiara, Rihard Sapper & Marco Zanuso, De Pas / D’urbino / Lomazzi / Scolari, Chen Shaoxiong, Yinka Shonibare, Ettore Sottsass, Superstudio, Matti Suuronen, Roger Tallon, Noam Toran & Nicholas Williamson, Noam Toran & Wilfrid Wood, Kyoichi Tzusuki, Patrick Veillet, Jean-Pierre Vitrac, Elton F. Whitfill.

In the framework of the exhibition a catalogue will be published featuring texts and interviews by artists, writers and designers - Dan Graham, Shane Carruth, Denis Santachiara, Kyoichi Tsuzuki, Paul Lesch, J.P. Telotte, Peter Cook, Tim Armstrong, Dunne & Raby, Piero Frassinelli, Paco Rabanne and Philippe Parreno among many others - on design and science fiction in relation to history, literature, film, architecture, fashion...
Publication date: summer 2007.

From May to July, the Cinémathèque of Luxembourg City supplements the exhibition TOMORROW NOW - when design meets science fiction with a selection of important films in the history of the science fiction genre. In collaboration with Mudam.


  • Alexandra Midal and Björn Dahlström