Art and Parcel

Walking into FLOWmarket, a white-curtained grocery offering shelfulls of “Holistic Thinking” and “Inner Calm,” is like wandering into the wrong movie theatre and staying to figure out the story. Maybe it’s the cynic in us, maybe it’s our environmental packaging phobia, but by labelling otherwise empty packages with titles such as “Empathy,” the Danish designer, Mads Hagstrom, is commodifying consumerism itself. He hopes that by “putting the needs of life into products” he might awaken our awareness of participation in capitalism and consumption.

Hagstrom hinges this idea on the premise boldly proclaimed throughout his promotional materials, “If you want to change the game — you’ll have to play the game.” Although we’re not sure if the game he’s playing will ignite the change he envisions, it’s clear that FLOWmarket is sparking discussion about the commercialization of sustainability and the emotional as well as environmental impacts of design across the Javits floor.

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