Dismantling Maslow’s Pyramid: The Needs Machine


Saturday 5th May

1-5pm at Bethlem Gallery

With Laura Palmer, Ed Thornton and Tim A Shaw

Free and open to all – no booking needed

The task of understanding human need is particularly relevant for modern times. A dominant theory which has remained largely unchallenged in its presentation of need and motivation is Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Need’ – a model which continues to be referenced in social policy, pedagogy, advertising and clinical practice. Via a series of public experiments, the Needs Machine has playfully and meaningfully prodded at elements of the theory and has responded to the needs of those interacting with it along the way.

On Saturday 5th May, 1-5pm, Laura Palmer, Edward Thornton and Tim A Shaw are hosting an open conversation about the findings of the Needs Machine at Bethlem Gallery.

For the first two hours, you can drop-in and join us in adapting the structure of the Needs Machine (pictured) to build a non-hierarchical space. From 3pm, through an informal conversation, we will reflect upon new ways of thinking about need and aim to question some of the assumptions held by the theory – including that needs are necessarily individual, that survival needs are the most essential, and that we all have the same needs. Seating will be first come first served for the informal conversation from 3pm-5pm.

More information on The Needs Machine can be found here.