MoMA acquires DIY electronics products to reflect technology’s "significance" for design

An Arduino boardThe pieces will form part of a collection that the museum calls “humble masterpieces” – which also includes the Post-it Note and the Bic Cristal pen – first brought together and displayed for an exhibition of the same name in 2004. Related story: Build Your Own Musical Instrument by Technology Will Save Us at Hacked LabEach relies on a degree of user interaction or input to function, such as assembling or programming the devices to perform various tasks or create sounds, with a strong focus on teaching simple electronics and programming at the same time. “We believe our new acquisitions will withstand that test.”
“Museums are looking at the real context of what is happening in the design world, and there are many facets that designers are now using their skills to affect,” said Koby. “Sharing the broadest parameters of what design is in the world is really what design museums should be doing.” Makey Makey is also described as an “invention kit”, and turns any object into a touchpad when connected to the internet using the wires included. Launched last year, the kit comes as a box of components that the user assembles into handheld gaming device and then programs using the instructions provided. Ototo by Dentaku”These objects reflect the deep and central role technology and interface design now play in education, production, and our everyday lives. In their own unique ways they allow audiences – artists, designers, and active maker-culture enthusiasts, pros, children, and amateurs – to engage with the processes and final products that are usually the preserve of electronic engineers.”
The acquisition is unusual because none of the items are finished products – the process of making and adapting them is a fundamental part of their design. Makey Makey”It’s not something pre-made by a company that then just gets sent to you,” Technology Will Save Us cofounder Bethany Koby told Dezeen. Makey MakeyCreated by London-based company Dentaku and designer Yuri Suzuki, Ototo works in a similar way but turns objects into synthesisers. “Museums specifically focusing on design as a discipline are looking much wider than the traditional outputs of objects,” said Koby, “because that doesn’t define design anymore.”
All five objects are also aesthetically designed to make it easy to understand how they are put together and how they function. Main image, this image: DIY Gamer Kit by Technology Will Save UsPaola Antonelli, MoMA’s senior curator of architecture and design, announced the acquisitions of Arduino, Ototo, Makey Makey, the Colour Chaser, and the DIY Gamer Kit earlier today. “The process of using the gadget can only happen if you decide to make it yourself.

Updated: 06.11.2014 — 19:45