Mailchimp and the Design Museum have collaborated on a free interactive exhibition, that examines the impact of email. Opening 28 September, Email is Dead will journey through the history of email from its beginnings in the 1970s, to what the email experience might look like in 2070, delving into how the form of communication has shaped lives, relationships, economies and even our cultural landscape.
The relevance of email in an increasingly interconnected and technologically advanced world is a debate that has been prevalent for many years. But is trusty email really on its way out? Today, more than 50 years after its creation, over four billion people still use email and it remains the primary source of communication for the world’s businesses. “As its design and function have evolved, email has outlived cultural movements, technological hardware and countless trends, proving not only its cultural relevance but also its functionality that continues to stand the test of time,” says a Mailchimp press release.
At the exhibition colourful, inflatable and interactive displays will invite visitors to bury their own “email time capsule”. Meanwhile, an “inbox elixir” and “email therapy machine” will offer playful solutions to real-life email scenarios – like a pile up of unanswered messages, or the temptation to send that email you really shouldn’t send. You’ll even be able to take an “email personality test” to discover what type of emailer you really are, and check out a photobooth that transports you to absurd locations to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of email.
“Email is one of the most prevalent communication tools in the world, and everyone’s connection to the medium is personal,” says Michelle Taite, Intuit Mailchimp's CMO. “With this exhibition, we'll present a life-sized reminder of how distinctive, powerful, and indispensable email is to life as we know it [...] ultimately answering a question we are often asked: Is email dead? Not even close.”
GalleryDesign Museum & Mailchimp: Email is Dead (Copyright © Design Museum & Mailchimp, 2023)
Design Museum & Mailchimp: Email is Dead (Copyright © Design Museum & Mailchimp, 2023)
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Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.