Suzanne Lee is the Founder of BIOCOUTURE, the first ‘living materials’ design consultancy. The last time i met Suzanne, she was cultivating bacteria into green tea and harvesting layers of cellulose which, once dried looked like leather that she then used to make garments.
Suzanne’s work has now taken an even more ambitious dimension as she is building an open innovation resource to enable collaboration within the global biological materials community
This brilliant little exhibition considers the connections between craft practice and sound art in the ‘digital age’. Exploring the physicality of sound, the works are characterised by both their sonic properties and materiality
Ototo is an experimental printed circuit board (PCB), which, combining sensors, inputs and touchpads, allows you to easily create your own electronic musical instrument
The designers will be talking about the aesthetics of scientific experiments but also about the human capabilities in sensing future events. They’ve explored this slightly debatable topic with a series of experiments inspired by the experimental evidence for the existence of physiological precognition, depicted the Sensing the Future paper written by Daryl J. Bem a social psychologist and professor emeritus at Cornell University.
Digital media are disappointing for books. All books look the same on an iPad, for example. On a monitor, a book isn’t thick or thin, big or small. Features such as a Japanese binding, embossing, letterpress printing, or gilt edging are only possible in print. Consequently, it isn’t surprising that young, contemporary designers, publishers, typographers, illustrators, and editors are enthusiastically ringing in a new era for printed books.
Fully Booked: Ink on Paper is a collection of books and other printed products that celebrate the distinctiveness of design, materials, techniques, workmanship, and production methods–and push their limits
In the face of impending climate crises, environmentalists are standing with the Bio-Conservatives or with the Techno-Progressives.
However, a number of emerging factors suggest possible alternatives for the relationship between environmentalism and science. Among these are the DIYBIO or Biopunk movements and the campaign for open access to science, as well as headless and cell-based networks of activists such as Anonymous
Zhenhan Hao explored China’s copy culture in an attempt to go beyond the ‘illegal’, ‘vile’ and ‘evil’ epithets that are usually associated with the practice. In China, the artist/designer proposed a new production model for craftspeople in Dafen village and Jingdezhen, ‘the porcelain capital of China’, to imitate and create at the same time. The result is a series of improvised products that sought to inspire the imitators to explore their imagination and creativity
Sitting somewhere between criminality, deceit and disruption, each scheme seeks to exploit the unique infrastructure, ecology, potential for dispute, and legal ambiguity of the Arctic region to provide devious financial rewards
My guest tomorrow will be Ilona Gaynor and she’ll be talking to us about forensic science, police reconstructions and the not so technically sophisticated (but very smart) way to rob a bank in broad day light on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles
The book ‘features outstanding poster campaigns, publications, and cross-platform corporate design for international cultural institutions by both young designers, who are striving to prove themselves creatively, and established studios, who are experimenting with new forms of visual expression.’
With the introduction of bioprinting the possibility of new organs is becoming a reality. The ability to replicate and print cells in complex structures could mean different cells with various functions could be put together in new ways to create new organs that would take millions of years to evolve naturally. Frankenstein-esque hybrid organs could then be put together using cells from different body parts or even different species
While emphasizing the multiple correspondences between collectives and groups like Arte Povera, Archizoom, Superstudio, and figures such as Ettore Sottsass and Alessandro Mendini, The Italian Avant-Garde: 1968-1976 also highlights previously overlooked spaces, works, and performances generated by Zoo, Gruppo 9999, and Cavart. Newly commissioned interviews and essays by historians and curators shed light on the era, while contemporary practitioners discuss its complex legacy
The Welsh Space Campaign (WSC) launches ordinary Welsh people into outer space, by finding a cosmic context for Welsh traditional culture and skills
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby use elements of industrial design, architecture, politics, science and sociology to provoke debate around the power and potential of design. UmK challenges assumptions about how products and services are made and used, through reinterpretations of the car and other transport systems
Patrick Sevenson-Keating uses design to create objects and experiences that communicate and make the most sophisticated theories in physics more tangible. Not only are we going to talk about quantum physics, Big Bang and particle accelerators but it’s actually going to be pretty enjoyable
A new work by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen in which a product was designed especially to be made in China. The object’s only function is to choreograph a dance performed by the labourers manufacturing it. By shifting the purpose of the labourer’s actions from the efficient production of objects to the performance of choreographed acts, mechanical movement is reinterpreted into dance. What is the value of this artefact that only exists to support the performance of its own creation? As the product dictates the movement, does it become the subject, rendering the worker the object?
From enhanced-CCTV surveillance to bench handles, various tracking and prevention systems are employed in controlling the users of public space. These systems are often neatly designed and seamlessly integrated in the existing architecture, acting in a persuasive way on its users. While preventing unwanted interactions between the authorities and citizens, these systems leave no space for discussion or disobedience
My guest at Resonance today is Austin Houldsworth, a young designer with whom we are going to discuss money, its physical disappearance and the financial crimes that could be committed within a completely electronic marketplace
I’ve interviewed Lisa about her farmification project for the blog last year but this time, we’ll be hearing about the fate of the joystick factory workers one year on (clue: it doesn’t involve many game controllers), obsolete technologies and eating pigeon wings as a contraceptive measure
Hertz makes robots controlled by cockroaches, video game systems that you can literally drive around, he gives talks about Zombie Media and has just crafted a magazine about critical technical practice and critically-engaged maker culture that puts us all (us being media people) to shame
Microscopic glass flakes, Blood Lab-On-A-Stick, piezoelectric ceramics, Catalytic Clothing (clothes that purify the air around), noise-absorbing ceramic, titanium foam, antimicrobial copper, instantly-hardening fabric, light-reflecting concrete, self-healing concrete, soft magnets, self-cleaning glass, etc. And i had no idea that bullet-proof vests contained ceramic.
There is nothing arid nor soporific about new materials
Ilona Gaynor’s new project, works with police reconstructions, cinematic culture and with ‘Forensic Aesthetics’ to design the perfect bank robbery. And i don’t know how she did it but she managed to convince the FBI New York Dept of Justice and the LAPD Archival Department to help her in her study
The industrial revolution was a revolution for engineers. Now designers are at the forefront of a new revolution. They are part of networks that enable them to develop new materials and systems, build their own machines, and seek new tools for production and distribution. These developments offer an alternative to mass production and open paths to a new economy and society
The project is miles away from what you’d expect from an architecture work. No model, no plan. In fact, it looks more like an essay made of photos, short videos and texts. Together, they reflect on immoral architecture, unsympathetic machines, reality filtered by technology and more generally, our symbiotic relationship to technology. In fact, Madhav Kidao likens his project to “an exaggerated caricature of our present and near future relationships to technology as is stands.”
300 Years Time Bomb looks at the relationship between time and technology by presenting a long-lasting timed explosive. In the scenario, a time bomb is set to explode in 300 years time. The bomb’s timer displays the years in seconds making us question what meaning such a large number holds and changing our dramatic relationship with countdown timers
This week i’m talking to Thomas Thwaites. During the radio program we’ll talk about that toaster of course but we will also look at some of his other projects. In particular, Unlikely Objects: Products of a Counterfactual History of Science, a work that explore what our scientific knowledge would have been like had the Darwinian revolution never happened
This week, Joseph Popper proposes to send one person on a journey into deep space from where they will never return, Neil Usher designed a robot that finds human faces in the clouds, Shing Tat Chung looked at what would happen if traders and estate agents gave free reign to superstition and Tobias Revell talks about the timeline that charts the history of power up to the early 22nd century and how that 24/7 banking ship fits into the picture
One of the most curious, amusing and thought-provoking projects of the Design Interactions graduation show this year asks questions that range from ‘What is more important in making us who we are: our genes or the experiences we go through in life?’ to ‘Can a mouse be Elvis?’ and ‘Does buying a pre-owned item gives one the legal right to another individual’s genetic data?’
The project is called ‘All That I Am’ and with it, Koby Barhad suggests that we could create an Elvis mouse using a specially-designed set of training cages and 3 online services
For this episode, i went to Battersea to interview the new graduates of RCA’s Design Interactions. In order of appearance: Koby Barhad will talk gene sequencing and Elvis Presley, Rapahel Kim is still working with rotifers but this time he designed a farm for them, Ai Hasegawa talks about the next frontier for Japanese love hotels and Angela Bracco (who is from Design Products) is of course answering my questions about If You Can Smell It It Has Mass
Designer Lisa Ma traveled to a joystick factory located in one of the suburbs of Shenzhen. She spent several weeks with the factory workers, sleeping in dorms, sharing their meals in the canteen, making friends.
Because most of these young factory workers come from a farming background and because joysticks might well become obsolete soon, she proposed to the factory owners that they would allow the joystick makers to work part-time in a nearby farm. She called the experiment ‘Farmification’ – using farming to keep the factory community together when work dwindles
My guest on the show is Dr. Jonah Brucker-Cohen whom i’m sure you all know. Jonah is a researcher, artist, and writer. Apart from his work as an artist, Jonah has been teaching in several universities in New York, lecturing internationally, writing essays for magazines focusing on technology and since he is teaching a course called Designing Critical Networks at Parsons in New york, i thought he’d be the perfect guest for a program which covers issues such as social media, subverting network experience, hacking, and internet censorship. We also took the time to focus on some of his own works, from the now legendary Wifi Liberator to Scrapyard Challenge Jr. 555 Noisemaker Kit and America’s Got No Talent
Today, the creative scope of existing visual storytelling techniques is being expanded to meet the formidable challenge of extracting valuable news, surprising findings, and relevant stories from a daily flood of data head on. Visual Storytelling focuses on contemporary and experimental manifestations of visual forms that can be classified as such
Tim Miller has devised 101 ways to use a trailer. Yes, a trailer, that mundane, strictly utilitarian object no one would ever waste a glance on. The designer, however, sees the trailer as a blank canvas that has the potential to become a tool for the realization of collective as well as individual dreams. You can use trailers for anything, you can reinterpret them, you can use them to manipulate the world around you or better said you can ‘pervert’ trailers according to your desires and needs
he book is thus putting the spotlight on ‘Socially and Politically Engaged Design’. Design! With a bit of architecture thrown in. If you’re into activist, socially engaged art, you might find that many of the projects presented in this book are very reasonable and appropriate. They have less bite than the work of, say, Santiago Sierra (more about him tomorrow) but that shouldn’t be held against them. Because these designers are smart. And levelheaded enough to look for practical, witty solutions to very circumscribed issues. There’s no ‘Design will save the world!’ here
The falling cost and increase in speed of DNA sequencing has given rise to two extreme scientific worlds: giant pharmaceutical companies who trawl the Arctic Ocean in search of potent genes that would profit them in a lucrative cancer market; and DIY biologists who try to beat the system
Japanese love hotels go out of their way to satisfy the most outlandish fetish: some rooms offer the feeling of being inside a subway carriage, a class room, or a Hello Kitty SM room, others locks you into an alien abduction nightmare (/dream).
Ai Hasegawa, second year student in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in London, proposes to close loving couples into an even more extraordinary fantasy.
Her Extreme Environment Love Hotel simulates impossible places to go such as an earth of three hundred million years ago, or the surface of Jupiter by manipulating invisible but ever-present environmental factors, for example atmospheric conditions and gravity
The exhibition at Somerset House shows 28 projects shortlisted for a competition that invited architects, engineers, students and designers to submit proposals that reclaim overlooked spaces across Greater London. Inspired by success stories such as New York’s High Line, the competition aims to demonstrate how alternative way of thinking about urban space can inject new life and energy into some of London’s most neglected corners.
The selected entries range from underground climbing tunnels to Atlantic salmons in the Thames, firepits in Crystal Palace, bee keeping, rooftops of tower blocks turned into social hubs and artist studios nested inside church spires
The exhibition which you can currently see at MU in Eindhoven invites visitors to reflect on questions such as: How do you integrate the digital, the screen, the computer and the internet with the physical world? What role could designers play in this field?
Creativity is no longer the sole territory of the designer. User-driven design has never been easier for the public to generate and distribute. Users of websites such as Flickr, Threadless, WordPress, YouTube, Etsy, and Lulu approach design with the expectation that they will be able to fill in the content. How will such a fundamental shift toward bottom-up creation affect the design industry?
Earlier this year, Jeremy Hutchison sent emails to manufacturers around the world, asking them to produce a fairly simple and common item. He added a special requirement though: the product had to be imperfect, come with an intentional error. Moreover, the worker was in charge of deciding what error, malfunction or fault he would add to the good. No matter how much i had read and seen about the project, i still wanted to interview the artist