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Monday, April 30, 2012

A Tour of the Future

One of my favourite experiences in Barcelona was the Museum of Ideas and Inventions.

Filled with quirky things, ideas and innovative (but sometimes useless) items, it was a fun way to spend an afternoon.
One must weigh herself after 2 weeks of pigging.

A relief to know i'm Kate Moss's weight! There's also the weight of Yoda and Frodo.
Silly inventions can be bought at the gift shop too, i was tempted but knew it is actually quite useless! They had a bubble wrap calender for 17 Euros, where you can pop a bubble a day, hard for the bubble wrap maniac!

You need to experience winter to know almost everyone tucks their hands in their pockets to keep warm if they aren't wearing gloves.

So here comes the invention...
Not for sale are also inventions like a TV remote control that is shaped like a wand! It looks like magic as you channel surf with a flick of the wrist.
 I think the best ideas and inventions are created to serve a need.
Imagined by Pep Torres who wrote (i adapted his copy) and created every item (not photographed here) by hand, the relatively small museum featured a resident exhibition that shows normal day-to-day life over the next 300 years through a series of inventions that stimulate reflection about our present.

The below are some of my favourites but not the entire exhibition.

A Tour of the Future by Pep Torres

With both men and women being more promiscuous, relationships are short lived. Instead of feeling the the empty spot where she/he used to occupy, by 2158 onwards, nobody who had any sense would buy a double mattress that could not be split into two. Therefore, Puzzle Bed would be the future. The bed can be split into two to become singles so no worries if your jilted lover decides to scoot with her/his half.
As if driven by the force of gravity, fashion, which had progressively lowered trouser waists during the 21st century, uncovering navels and underwear reached its height of expression with the Japanese-born Barcelona designer, Nokito Mas (i love how Pep's fictional character is a Japanese particularly for this fashion trend of the future).
21st century's fashion, low waist jeans with no visible panty line.
Pep imagined the future fashion concept will be called Tube Fashion, where that cloth is removed from the crotch area leaving just two legs and giving a total view of the wearer's underwear.

Pep must have not seen the below image already circulating over the Internet 5 years ago.
Not surprisingly, the photo source claimed its the fashion trend in Japan.

However, wittingly, Pep predicts that by 2095, the legs will join up to the waist again and fashion came back to the traditional high waisted trousers.

If he wasn't an inventor, i'd say he can be a fashion designer!

At the end of 2150, the growing number of people living alone will spring up fried eggs pre-packaged and ready to eat. With houses ridiculously expensive and the hectic pace of life, everyone will eat precooked dishes to save time and the extra space needed for a kitchen can be dispensed with.
As society evolves to one that is only concerned about themselves, Pep imagined Plant 'O' Metic, an ingenious flowerpot that is able to move around by itself in search of the precious sun rays whenever the owner goes on holiday.
In 2230, data storage capacity had reached its limit on all the materials tried to date. The growing demand for memory and processing power for the new holographic and material transmission devices marked a turning point in technology which enabled a series of advances to be made for which the existing storage media were insufficient.

Brain tissue would be kept stable so that it provided the almost unlimited memory and processing power. Even though existing memory was carefully erased from the tissue (provided by anonymous donors), cases arose in which the tissue attained a certain degree of self-awareness and asked itself not 'who am i' but 'what am i'. This will trigger an ethical debate.

This was my favourite "imagination of Pep" and the only photograph i took of the entire Future exhibition.
With the terrible eating habits of millions of people, there'll be the Happy Mirror as a way of increasing self-acceptance and self-esteem before leaving home. The invention consisted of a slightly convex mirror that stylised the reflected image to the desired degree, using a control that adjusted the mirror's curvature.

No one will buy mirrors that can't be manipulated in the future. Already in the 21st century, men are putting on make-up, girls can't do without make-up and there's a new addiction. Photoshop.
And because of the Happy Mirror becoming a standard item that was present in all homes, the difference became even starker between those who devoted their lives to staying extremely thin and those who were simply a little plumper.

In 2278, there'll be the Weight Ticket system for public transport where people paid by their weight since the amount of energy required to carry 50 kg was not the same as that required to carry 100 kg.

From then on, the people who used public transport bought 1000kg tickets. Before inserting the ticket in the machine, a platform weighed the passenger and subtracted the weight from the card. The less you weighed, the more trips you had for your ticket.

During this period, it is common for politicians to promise reductions in the price per person kilogramme during election campaigns.


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