Over the Christmas break I visited the V&A Museum in Dundee for the first time. I’d never been before and had no preconceptions other than having visited the original V&A in London.
It was a bleak day, with slate-grey skies, and a wild, freezing wind, but the impact of the Dundee shore, overlooking the estuary of the River Tay, was all the better for it. The museum sits like a strangely geometric birds nest flanked by the impressive RRS Discovery ship and certainly makes an impression.
Walking into the atrium, self-styled as the living room of the city, you can’t help but be taken in by the scale of it, all angled walls and wooden slats. Our toddler was at home immediately, running off around the shop and restaurant.
We hadn’t actually realised before visiting that the current exhibition was called ‘Hello, Robot’ and dealt with a range of o-so-contemporary themes surrounding automation, technology and the line at which we as humans interface with the machines we build. A very happy coincidence, as its a topic that I find really interesting.
The exhibition covered all sorts of ground, from the representation of robots in popular culture (including the R2-D2 prop used in Star Wars!), a look into how robotics is re-shaping the world of work, fashion and travel and also perhaps most intriguingly a selection of examples of how art and product design are moulding and reflecting our use of these new technologies at a very personal level.
The exhibition is well worth a visit, and it’s on until Sunday, 9 February so you still have a couple of weeks to get along. And even if you can’t make it in time I’d still recommend a visit to the V&A Dundee regardless.