You're not to / Milan

The name and the theme for the exhibition, ‘You’re not to’, is framed in the spirit of Dano-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose’s famous novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks. The book brings forward a concept called the ‘Law of Jante’, which is considered to be the culmination of Nordic humbleness to favour the collective effort. The ‘Law of Jante’ frames ten axioms as life guidelines such as ‘you’re not to imagine yourself better than we are.’ or ‘you’re not to think anyone cares about you’. These questions challenge us as individuals, but also in our thinking parallel the roles of the designer in today’s and tomorrow’s contexts. The enquiry stimulates maybe more than anything our tolerance for otherness. Sandemose’s text from 1933 is still valid by addressing some of the prevailing conditions in our societies, where our social environments are yet very polarised. As the world is in transit emitting cultural diversity like never seen before, the appreciation for heterogeneity remains in doubt.

With this exhibition project we wish to engage into a public debate, both with the professional and wider audience, of the current state of our societies and how design relates to it. ‘You’re not to’ -exhibition puts on display a series of student works as experiments to approach a variety of surfacing issues in the present cultures by celebrating the otherness and the taboos. ‘You’re not to’ is revisiting the Scandinavian democratic design ideals in the 2018 Norwegian perspective. The exhibition is structured around the individually crafted 1/1-design prototypes as research specimen. The exhibition is both exhibited in Milan, Italy and in Oslo, Norway.

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