Design: Preparing for the Year 2000

In the not too distant future, the earth will teem with 6 billion inhabitants (v. 3.4 billion today). And if the industrial designers' gloomier prophecies are correct, the scene is hardly worth waiting for. As a warning of what the year 2000 might be like, Milan's 14th Triennale of Decorative Arts and Industrial Design first shocks its visitors with a scary picture of a littered and dehumanized world. A barricade of abandoned appliances—TV sets, washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators—bars the entrance to a main salon. Dismembered traffic lights blink bleakly up a...