Reactions to a Complex World This event is now over

Fear and Love

Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World presents eleven new installations by some of the most innovative and thought-provoking designers and architects working today.


What to expect

These newly commissioned works explore a spectrum of issues that define our time, including: networked sexuality, sentient robots, slow fashion and settled nomads.

The exhibition asserted that design is deeply connected not just to commerce and culture but to urgent underlying issues – issues that inspire fear and love. This was a bold, multidisciplinary and global exhibition that aimed to capture the mood of the present and establish the Design Museum as the home of design debate.

Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World

© Luke Hayes

Christien Meindertsma presents Fibre Market

© Luke Hayes

Madeline Gannon presents Mimus

© Luke Hayes

Ma Ke presents The Earth

© Luke Hayes

Neri Oxman and Stratasys present Vespers

© Luke Hayes

What they are saying

"From the shocking secrets of dating apps to 3D death masks and the meet’n’greet robot, this is a fun ramble through the zeitgeist." ★★★★ The Guardian

"The exhibition design, by Sam Jacob Studio, is simple and superb, with sinister grey pleated curtains making sense of a route through the space and adding a touch of medicalisation and mystery." FT

"The ambitious new show is packed with food for thought." Time Out

"It explores a spectrum of issues that define our time." Dezeen

Booking information

Exhibition ticket prices
Adult £14
Student/concession £10.50*
Educational group booking price: £3-£7 per student (groups of 10 or more)
Family (1 adult + 3 children) £22
Family (2 adults + 3 children) £32
Child (6 - 15 years) £7
Children under 6 years free
Members free
Last exhibition entry 17:00

10% discount is applied when booking 10 or more tickets online. Alternatively, please contact the Bookings Office (Mon - Fri 10;00 to 17:00) on +44 20 3862 5937 or +44 20 3862 5900.

The recommended time for viewing this exhibition is 1 hour.

Become a member for unlimited free entry to all exhibitions.

*Concession tickets include seniors (over 60 years) and job seekers.

Watch the exhibition build

BBC News comes to the Design Museum

Mimus is a giant industrial robot that's programmed to be curious about the world around her. Her creator Madeline Gannon joined the BBC's Ciara Riordan in the Design Museum.


OMA/AMO presents The Pan-European Living Room

In response to the recent Brexit vote, OMA, the architecture practice founded by Rem Koolhaas, presents The Pan-European Living Room. Furnished with a piece of design from each of the 28 EU member states, the installation proposes that our very notion of the domestic interior has been shaped by an ideal of European cooperation and trade.

The centrepiece of the room is a vertical blind in the form of the OMA-designed barcode flag for the EU.


Hussein Chalayan presents Room Tone

UK-based fashion designer Hussein Chalayan has produced a series of wearable devices that detect your emotions and project them for the outside world to see. The pieces, entitled Room Tone, address the idea of repressed emotions, while exploring the everyday anxieties and emotions, from fear of terrorism to sexual desire, connected to city-living.

In collaboration with Intel.

Hussein Chalayan

Madeline Gannon presents Mimus

A multidisciplinary designer based in Pittsburgh, Madeline Gannon created custom software to transform a 1200kg industrial robot into a living, breathing mechanical creature named Mimus. More than a tool for performing repetitive tasks, Mimus is able to sense and respond to your presence as you near her enclosure. With support from Autodesk, Gannon shows that despite our collective fears and anxieties surrounding robotics, we have the power to foster empathy and companionship between humans and machines.

Madeline Gannon

Q&A with Madeline Gannon

As the new Design Museum's opening exhibition 'Fear and Love' draws to a close on the 23 April. installation designer Madeline Gannon speaks to the Design Museum about her design inspirations, career so far and 'Mimus', the mechanical creature on display at Fear and Love.

The making of Mimus

Video | Courtesy of Madeline Gannon

Mimus illustrations | Courtesy of Madeline Gannon

Mimus illustrations | Courtesy of Madeline Gannon

Mimus illustrations | Courtesy of Madeline Gannon

Mimus illustrations | Courtesy of Madeline Gannon

Mimus illustrations | Courtesy of Madeline Gannon

Kenya Hara presents Staples

Tokyo-based Kenya Hara, the graphic designer and art director of Muji, has examined what we eat to create Staples - a graphic display about the most common staple foods around the world. Hara argues that the roots of our cultural identities, from landscape to cuisine, lie in the grains that we consume daily.

Kenya Hara

Neri Oxman and Stratasys present Vespers

Neri Oxman, an architect, designer and professor at MIT in Boston, has created with the Mediated Matter Group and 3D printing company Stratasys a series of death masks called Vespers, using ultra-high definition 3D printing. Reviving this ancient ritual object traditionally made using wax or plaster with state-of-the-art technology, Oxman speculates on how wearable accessories might help to transform us at the end of our lives. This new body of work is the culmination of a project that recently included a mask created for Björk.

Neri Oxman

Andres Jaque presents Intimate Strangers

Architect Andrés Jaque, based in New York and Madrid, explores the way network culture is designing and defining new forms of behaviour and interaction. Focusing on dating apps, his audio-visual installation Intimate Strangers presents a series of tales about how our pursuit of sex and love through social media is changing the way we view the city, our bodies and our identity.

Andrés Jaque

Arquitectura Expandida presents Potocinema

Arquitectura Expandida, an activist architecture collective from Colombia, is creating a replica of a school that they have designed and built in one of the most disadvantaged communities of Bogota. The structure, Potocinema, houses a series of videos by young people from the school in Bogota, who are reflecting on fear and love in their neighbourhood.

Arquitectura Expandida

Rural Urban Framework presents City of Nomads

Hong Kong-based Rural Urban Framework explores how the nomads of Mongolia are adapting to urban life, giving up traditional freedoms for the difficult conditions of unplanned settlements. Their installation City of Nomads is a structure that examines how to adapt the traditional ger (yurt) for a more communal life. A transformed ger will be constructed in the exhibition to provide visitors with an insight into a different way of life.

Rural Urban Framework

Metahaven presents A Love Letter to Sea Shepherd

The graphic designers Metahaven, based in Amsterdam, present a film about the marine wildlife conservation group Sea Shepherd. The film Love Letter to Sea Shepherd, accompanied by a series of highly graphic flags, is a work of advocacy in support of organisation’s anti-whaling activities, but also a meditation on forms of intelligence that we barely understand.


Ma Ke presents The Earth

Chinese clothing designer Ma Ke presents her ongoing project Wuyong, or ‘Useless’. Ma Ke’s philosophy is to create clothes that have a strong connection to the land and the rural traditions of China. Rejecting consumerism and ‘fast fashion’, she treats her clothes as forms of artistic but also ethical expression.

Ma Ke

Christien Meindertsma presents Fibre Market

Dutch product designer Christien Meindertsma’s installation Fibre Market explores the potential of recycling textiles. Noting that there is almost no culture of textile recycling, she examines the lost value of 1,000 discarded woollen sweaters, turning their fibres into a highly physical and colourful presence in the exhibition.

Christien Meindertsma

Shop online

Featured designers

Meet some of the most innovative and thought-provoking designers and architects working today. Each will present a new installation in the Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World exhibition.

Related activities

Self-guided visits for learning groups

The new Design Museum welcomes schools, colleges and universities for self-guided visits to all exhibitions. Here is everything you need to know to plan and book an inspiring self-guided visit to museum.

Background image: Christien Meindertsma presents Fibre Market