Collective [ir]Rationality

Studio Knol made an exhibition and experiment around the theme of mass behavior – human and animal, rational and irrational – at MU Hybrid Art House during Dutch Design Week.

People who emphasize their own independence like to comment on the herd behavior of their peers. They resent the docile nature of the masses, the thoughtlessness, the lack of initiative. But is that right? Every year, Dutch Design Week attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors who flood the city in the hope of being surprised. What moves them? Studio Knol put it to the test with the extensive spatial study Collective [Ir] Rationality.

Unsuspectingly, visitors are shown around an enormous landscape, designed to confront them with their own herd mentality. Do we conform to (presumed) rules and authorities, do we mainly do what the rest does, or do we not care about all this and do what seems logical? Different pavilions, each with reference to the animal kingdom, are the playing field of choices and movements of the thousands of visitors, carefully observed by Studio Knol. Only at the exit do visitors realize and understand the experiment. With a completely different view of the DDW they continue their way, a little less part of the herd – or more?


Client: MU Hybrid Art House
Location: Strijp-S, Eindhoven
Concept and Design: Studio Knol (now Studio Lonk and Jay Kay)
Design Collaboration: Christiaan Bakker
Realtime Observation Software: Luciano Pinna
Interactive Projections: Tim Huiberts
Sound Design: Jeroen Loohuijs
Assistance: Femke Stout, Milou van Zomeren, Max Rouing, Cas Zeegers, Max Blondeau
PR: Lara Mikocki
Photography: Corneel de Wild, Hanneke Wetzer
Video: Oddone