Ivy Ross and the Google Design Studio’s “Comma” at Tokyo DESIGNART

From pastel objects to the brand's soft devices, this new exhibition mixes technology and art

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On now until 27 October, Comma, the new exhibition by Ivy Ross and Google Hardware’s Design Studio at 21_21 Design Sight, highlights the design influences of the brand’s newest products, and shines alongside other larger events at Tokyo DESIGNART 2019. Curated by Li Edelkoort, this installation places Google products (a Pixel 4, Pixel Buds, a Nest Home Mini, and others) next to design-forward but everyday objects in hopes of showcasing how seamlessly the two intermingle.

Intending to represent “a pause, a thought, a haiku… these in between
moments in life,” the exhibition proves to be a peaceful respite from the noise of city life in Tokyo. It’s separated into two parts: a straightforward, gallery-like presentation of backdrops by INAMATT alongside objects by Google and others, and a studio space where hardware sits next to its inspiration. The latter hosts hands-on lessons, and affords guests the opportunity to play with a Pixel 4 or a Nest Mini, or to gaze at the rough drafts of these final products. The former, while gentle, lends visitors a better understanding of the intention of all collaborating parties: to soften the design of tech products to better fit our lives.

While Google is still relatively new to hardware in comparison to other companies, the Google Hardware Design team (led by Ross) has ensured the company’s design division is formidable and legitimate—thanks to a diverse group of industrial designers, engineers, creatives, program managers, producers and more. If the company’s recent unveiling events were not evidence enough, Comma reminds us of Google’s commitment to clean, contemporary design.

Comma is open to the public until 27 October at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo, Japan.

Images courtesy of Google