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Out of the Box

Take Control — Lose Control

What drives people in their boundless quest for knowledge? Perhaps we hope that continually expanding our knowledge will enable us to control reality, our own humanity, the future... and maybe even our happiness. A hope against hope at most, since the purpose of science is not simply to bring about straightforward progress. 

In today’s society we are increasingly confronted with the results of the knowledge we have gained. To many, ironically, this society seems more chaotic and less comprehensible than ever before. We don’t seem to be sufficiently prepared to make certain choices, or face certain dilemmas. Should you, for example, be able to select an embryo based on the physical appearance of your future child? The ever-evolving digitalisation and robotisation seem to, at times, alienate us from our own manmade reality. It might seem contradictory, but we are resorting back to nature as a source of inspiration (biomimetics) in order to improve and perfect our artificial building plans. 

Ghent University Museum addresses those themes, by entering into dialogue with the temporary exhibition Hello, Robot at Design Museum Gent. The exhibit entitled Take Control — Lose Control focuses on a Ghent-based story about research into robotics, digitalisation, design and biomimetics. It zooms in on a number of ethical issues regarding human engineering, but also concerning knowledge creation leading to automation.