Arnaud Sprimont

Space is the place – Mudac Museum

Cosmos. Design from Here and Beyond – Lausanne / Zwitserland

Marie Pok in collaboration with Thomas Hertog
Date: 08.09.2023 – 04.02.2024

Black holes, dark matter, nebulae, exoplanets, gravitational waves, the Big Bang, the multiverse… The countless cosmic objects and phenomena that make up our universe are sources of inspiration for literature, music, visual and performing arts… Design is no exception to this fascination. Since the dawn of humanity, the universe has been an inexhaustible source of wonder. What is our place in this immense expanse of space, whose origins date back 13.8 billion light years? How did cosmic evolution unfold? Are we alone? Why does the universe exist? Cosmos, an exhibition produced and presented in 2021 and 2022 at the CID – Grand Hornu in Belgium, unveils the work of designers who have, in conceptual, technical or poetic ways, questioned the architecture of the universe and the hidden laws of physics that govern it. From Einstein’s theory of relativity to quantum theory, from gravity to the nature of space and time, from the micro to the macro, the modern image of the cosmos is embodied in various design and architectural projects that take us far beyond its scientific roots, bearing witness to its mysteries and beauty.

Interview of Thomas Hertog

Thomas Hertog, an internationally renowned Belgian cosmologist, is also the co-curator of the exhibition Cosmos. Design from here and beyond. CID director and curator of the exhibition, Marie Pok, went to meet him at the faculty of theoretical physics at KU Leuven. From string theory to his approach to the anthropic principle, Thomas Hertog brilliantly and eloquently sweeps through the Universe. “The Big Bang is the beginning of time, the beginning of space… It is, perhaps, a boundary of a physical reality,” explains the former colleague of the famous Stephen Hawking, who shares the hypothesis that our universe is not unique but that there are in fact parallel universes that coexist. Thomas Hertog is a world-renowned scientist, and has been closely involved in the creation of our exhibition Cosmos. Design from here and beyond. Keen to bring scientific research into a cultural space, he argues that the language of art is most definitely particularly appropriate for describing the elegance of the cosmos, a concept developed by many physicists, from Einstein to Hawking, via Heisenberg and Greene. The discussion focuses on the one hand on the freedom that creatives have to approach the cosmos, and on the other, on the intuition and creativity that scientists bring to the subject.

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