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EMERGING SIGNS : Global nonsense

Recreational nonsense, goofy parodies and a newfound fascination for glitches of any kinds all point to absurdity as today’s dominant form of entertainment. In addition to its fun factor, this type of humor is also used to reveal and thereby expose society’s many flaws: lies, corruption, stupidity, lack of logic... Like the Dada movement, which emerged in the 1920s as a reaction to the unfathomable cruelty of WWI, its deconstructive edge has a reconstructive virtue.

 : Part analog bashing, part captivating aesthetic, the emerging Glitch Art movement thrives on digital bugs; brilliantly illustrated by Peder Norrby’s inventory of errors in the Apple Maps app ( 2013). 3-4 FAKE CULTURE
 : As the credibility of traditional media continues to wane, the popularity of fake online news sources, like The Onion (USA) and Legorafi (France), continues to rise. Their fictional yet plausible and totally inane articles are written in a deliberately serious and professional tone that perfectly mimics traditional press. They ridicule our credulity and expose many of society’s shortcomings. 5-6 ERROR SPOTTING
 : From Youhadonejob to Epicfail, websites that scan, catalog and expose careless real world blunders and visual spoonerisms confirm the irresistible – at times creepy and at times thrilling – appeal of everyday absurdity.

FUTUR(s) INSIGHTS : Building on absurdity

By challenging logic and common sense, absurdity frees the imagination and opens unexpected creative and conceptual prospects. While consumer goods, design and fashion markets seem currently short on originality or inventiveness, absurdity comes forth as a valid creative and innovative process. It addresses the need for evermore intense forms of novelty and surprise.


After indulging in serendipitous design, in which chance is the creative stimulus, there has been a shift to absurdity as a full-fledged innovation process fueling unconventional uses that, beyond their gag effect, are truly relevant and genuinely functional.

1. Funny Face Password by Google. Google has filed a patent for a next-generation password replacement based on funny faces ... Absurd? Maybe, but far more difficult to hack than simple facial recognition. 2. Soft Cabinet High by Studio D. van de Klomp. With its surrealist edge, this line of rubber foam furniture doubles up as a protective storage system for fragile domestic objects such as china. 3.Hula Washer by Sang-Soon Lee. An unusual washing machine: you generate the energy necessary to clean your clothes by spinning the washer like a Hula Hoop. A fun and ecological concept. 4. Soup Sticks by J. Lechner. Is there a clean way to eat Asian soups? The designer Julian Lechner has found a solution with these new generation chopstick straws.