Franziska Hatton and Hannah Rose Robinson, two students in their final year of studying BA Hons Three Dimensional Design, hosted an exhibition of their work at Federation House in Manchester that launched on the 15th May and ran through until the 17th called A Room For Discussion. The context of their individual practice is critical design and they work under the name FHR Lab. Although they collaborated to exhibit their third year work, the pieces included were however individual though the themes explored do relate to one another. The exhibition was held in a space used by artist Kathryn Miller with the help of Castlefield Gallery.

 Franziska says “As a designer I produce critical pieces which reveal public issues that are ordinarily overlooked, taken for granted or simply not questioned” while the aim of Hannah’s work is to spark debate as she looks at the possible emotional outcomes that today‚Äôs emerging technology has on society.


Fransizka’s work includes Apothekit, a piece focused on the uncertain future of the UK’s National Health Service and whether future generations will still receive the healthcare and to what extent. With knowledge of research on the NHS, Franziska developed a speculative scenario that would help reduce these statistics and keep the NHS performing at a high level. Apothekit inhabits a future scenario in which the NHS has become overburdened, forcing the vast majority of the general population to monitor their own health, and self-medicate. The home Apothecary Kit (ApotheKit) seeks to make this not only possible, but simple and effective, by providing the basic tools and equipment to create and store herbal remedies.

The Bookless Future

The second piece created by Franziska, The Bookless Future, offers critical reflection on the fate of analogue books in an increasingly digital age. A speculative scenario, which accompanies the piece, portrays the future where analogue books are no longer in mass production. As such traditional books have become a collectors item, which only the fortunate can own and experience.

How We Became

Hannah created a piece, How We Became, where in the future, man-kind will become a hybrid species with the use of DNA from the jelly fish known as Turritopsis dohrnii. This work is a speculative museum display, set in the far future looking back at the near future on how and why we became a hybrid species.  Hannah has created fetuses in various stages of growth to show the transition of human to hybrid. The piece is there to provoke thought about society and individuals who want to live longer. 

Do You Want To Know?

Hannah’s second piece, Do you want to know?, challenges the audiences view on technology surrounding quicker diagnosis methods. There is more technology being developed to diagnose our illnesses much faster, and although this is a positive for society, Hannah wanted to question the implications if may have on both an individual’s emotional and psychological self. She  wanted the audience to address the next step of diagnosis. “What happens when you find out you have a disease?” “What next?” “What will you do with this knowledge?” The game created is playing on a very serious idea within society today – Do you really want to know?

The Exhibition

I found the pieces to be extrememly thought provoking as they consider important themes within today’s society. For me, being an avid book reader, I really liked the ideas that The Bookless Future dealt with; I personally prefer having an actual copy of a book but I do find myself purchasing books via iTunes Bookstore and the Kindle store to read on my iPad due to the ease and speed I can buy and read a book. What do you think of A Room For Discussion?