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22nd September, 2015

The Object Agency: Futures Day at London Design Festival

Event Details

22nd September, 2015
10.30 - 3.45pm
Lecture Theatre, V&A, Cromwell Road, SW2 2RL

On 22 September, a singing cactus, a toaster with character and an intrepid suit take to the podium alongside designers, curators and theorists, inviting us to imagine a future world populated by smart objects. The Object Agency provides professional representation for smart objects.

We might live in a future where fridges, lamp posts and pot plants seem to think for themselves. To thrive as a human in this world would mean forming new kinds of relationships with these objects: what happens when your fridge passes comments on your diet, or a lamp post witnesses a crime?

‘Agency’ describes the power and ability to act. More playfully, as the things we design for ourselves become smarter, more intelligent and more interactive, they’re going to demand agency representation for their professional skills!


  • 10.30am – 11.30am: Introduction by Cher Potter and Lina Hakim
    The day’s curator, LCF/V&A Joint Research Fellow Cher Potter explains the ideas and objects that link the talks and seminars together and discusses new object typologies in the museum context. She is followed at 11am by cultural theorist Lina Hakim who describes the ‘social life of things’, giving a material culture perspective on smart technologies.
  • 12pm – 12.45pm: Ilona Gaynor
    We hear from Ilona Gaynor, a London based designer and filmmaker. She discusses the role of design within the legal system, and the idea of objects acting as as witnesses in the courtroom.
  • 1.45pm – 2.30pm: Thomas Thwaites
    We hear from Thomas Thwaites, a London based designer and writer. His recent work investigates the ways in which designed objects can extend and transform the experience of being human.
  • 2.45pm – 3.45pm: Alain Bellet
    We hear from Alain Bellet, a Lausanne-based designer and lecturer at ECAL. He discusses recent student projects that do away with the frictionless hopes of the ‘smart home’ and instead includes a series of impudent and uncanny products.


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