“A plan or protocol for carrying out or accomplishing something” Merriam-Webster Dictionary
We associate the word “design” with modernity, innovation, fashion, style—yet a quick glance at history will prove that this seemingly contemporary concept has actually been a part of human nature since the birth of our species, because design is inherent in our ability to think. Anthropologically and archaeologically, we know that, since ancient times, human beings have fashioned objects to perform tasks they could not accomplish on their own. That was the beginning of the history of design.
The MAN houses several prime examples of those first objects designed by humans to overcome their physical limitations, put natural resources to good use and adapt to their surroundings, thus improving their quality of life and comfort level. These tools shaped the cultures of the past and have stood the test of time, and today they remain a part of our culture and values.
But every creation starts out as a preliminary design, evidence of human creativity and the value of carefully planned objects, confirming our understanding of “good design”. Many aspects and functions must be considered in design, as we will discover on this tour. As we follow the itinerary, we will learn about the first objects fashioned by early humans that have survived, for one reason or another (their materials, manufacturing and/or decorating techniques, forms, aesthetics, etc.), to the present day, which is actually their future.