Bionic Learning Network exhibits - Festo inspires at MoMA in New York
As part of the exhibition “Design and the Elastic Mind”, Festo is showing exhibits from its Bionic Learning Network at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The bionic exhibits Airacuda, a pneumatically driven fish, and the manta ray-inspired, remote-controlled designs Aqua_ray and Air_ray will be amazing visitors from February 24 to May 12. In addition to smart and pragmatic solutions for everyday use, the exhibition will also be presenting future-oriented studies from the world of research – such as those of Festo.
In the past few decades, people have experienced spectacular mutations in some of the most established dimensions of human life as in the units of measure of time, space, matter, and individuality. Individuals cope daily with dozens of changes in scale and pace. Adaptability is an ancestral distinction of intelligence, but today’s instant variations in rhythm call for something stronger: elasticity. The exhibition will show designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history that will demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior, and convert them into objects that people can actually understand and use.
As a design-oriented company, Festo’s exhibits underline the fact that technical products need not only be practical and interesting, but can also have intrinsic artistic value. Evolution has produced perfect designs and functions in nature which continually inspire Festo’s designers and developers. The prototypes created by Festo show new possibilities for the development of intelligent and energy-efficient products and systems. By emulating biological principles, Festo’s Bionic Learning Network was able to create such projects as the Airacuda, the Aqua_ray and the Air_ray. All three projects utilize the FinRay® Effect, a design derived from the functional anatomy of a fish's fin. This construction imitates almost perfectly the propulsion technique used in the natural world.
Festo is an international supplier of automation technology. With its innovations and problem-solving expertise in the field of pneumatics, as well as its unique range of industrial education and training programs, the globally oriented, independent and family-owned company has established itself as the performance leader in its sector. The Festo Group employs around 12,800 people at its 250 facilities around the world. In its fiscal year 2007, the Festo Group generated expected sales of around 1.65 billion euros. Festo is a design-oriented company: “With its holistic design approach, Festo has achieved a high degree of recognition among its customers. Apart from product design, the company’s architecture, interior design, print and online media are all part of its holistic approach to corporate identity,” explains Markus Fischer, Head of Corporate Design at Festo. In the last five years alone, Festo has received 70 national and international design awards, among them seven red dot distinctions in 2007 alone. In 2001 Festo received the honorary title "design team of the year" which has been awarded annually to international design teams which continuously produce innovative design work.
The Bionic Learning Network is an expression of Festo’s commitment to technical education and training. In cooperation with universities and research companies, Festo promotes ideas and initiatives which extend beyond its core business fields of Automation and Didactics and which may prove to be interesting application areas of the future.
Detailed information on the Bionic Learning Network is available at:
Detailed information on MoMA is available at: