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Design Incubation Centre Singapore Domus Academy I-Design Marie Ă’ Mahony on Technological Threads

V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media Philips Design Probes

MoMA Design and the Elastic Mind RPI - The BioArt Initiative

Le Laboratoire & Mathieu Lehanneur Holst Centre Z33 Art Centre

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113| Strategic Design Scenarios – Vision Lines 20


Sappi Alok Nandi Frederik De Wilde


Giovanna Massoni

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Leah Heiss

Marijn Dionys Giuseppe Pignataro Link Leasure Kris Provost Michaella Van Vuuren Rene Serrano Yolanda Tasco Suzanne Kollen Lucyandbart

Sarah Kettley Alberto Meda Sarah van Marcke

Noumenon Bettina Sch端lke | Veroniki Korakidou Carlo Bernardini Frederik De Wilde Agustin Otegui Alok Nandi Shapeways Beam Inc Dreaming the New Tim Guldentops Maaike Bakker


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Since this solidity is no longer an intrinsic quality of things, it must be the result of a deliberate endeavour to define what must endure so that everything else can change without losing meaning and without destroying the planet. If it takes that course, design will belong to its time, and the meaning it acquires will help to shape the future.* I’m not fond of quotes; it’s a practice that doesn’t belong to me: the act of quoting is like collecting inanimate finds that lost their narrative charge. Nevertheless, I decided to make use of a ‘stolen sentence’ to start this text, because of an emotional anecdote. My very first approach to a notion of ‘immateriality’, unlinked to any spiritual connotation, happened many years ago: an article of Ezio Manzini about the ‘geology of the artificial world’, published on a great Italian magazine, Alfabeta - that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. Manzini was one of the first Italian thinkers to consider the emergence, driven by technology, of a new objectual world towards immateriality, from physical objects made with recognizable materials to the performances of a new generation of objects. Alok Nandi and I searched for a hybrid title, suggesting flows of meanings, expressing fluidity and solidity at the time. Tangible and intangible, singular and plural visions, In.tangible.scape.s is a performance as well. A collective, participative project, according to Addict style, but increased in intensity by collecting together a number of platforms and not only individuals. The aim is to co-building contents and meanings, hypothesis and scenarios around an open issue: emerging technologies, successful applications, liable solutions, sustainable promises and risks in bridging science (the future) and creative domains (the Erlebnis, the experience). Imke Debecker, Outreach Communications Coordinator at IMEC and I went through all possible resources, assembled a list of names and launched a call for participation to organisations, research centres, academia and creative people. Addictlab members database did the rest. Scientist, designers, artists, art and design curators replied and were requested to use a number of pages as they wanted.

This issue #29 is the result. In.tangible.scape.s is a joint initiative Addictlab and IMEC. It all started more than a year ago. IMEC, Europe's leading independent nanoelectronics and nanotechnology research centre is driven by a dream: opening up the horizon of emerging technologies research, not only by widening the fields of scientific studies, but involving and informing as many people as possible. Science is for all, not only from an educational point of view, but also as a mean of increasing creativity and creating a true dialogue on science, technology, possible applications and implications. By crossing the borders between science and technology and art and design, industry, research institutes, academia, education partners and policy leaders can enter into a dialogue with the broad public. In this aim, IMEC came to Addict Creative Lab for a first project that resulted in a publication: #27 Nanotechnology. This Inspiration Book generated workshops and exhibitions during 2007, and it’s still adopted at IMEC as a communication tool to explain both youngsters and scientists that science and creativity have no limits. The present project is to be considered a step further: emerging technologies are becoming important media in art and design. Even if still delimited to a niche category (e.g. digital or bio-art, interactive- or experience design) we all believe that in an optic of sustainable development, this might lead to a responsible, appropriate technological evolution.

Addict and I warmly thank our main supporters and collaborators: Imke Debecker, Jo De Wachter of IMEC and Jo Decuyper, RVO-Society. The Labresearchers Carl De Smet - Noumenon, the Belgian artist Frederik De Wilde and Alok Nandi – Architempo to having increased the reflection and enlarged the research field. We are grateful to all the Labmembers, to having reminded us, once again, that our input is always secondary to what already happens in reality and that creativity is a bottom-up experience. Last but not least, our deepest gratitude to all the ‘sharing economy’ contributors: Marie O’ Mahony and all her designers/fashion designers/artists together with the Science Gallery, Dublin; Paola Antonelli and Patricia Juncosa of MoMA and all the selected ‘elastic-minded’ designers; the designer Mathieu Lehanneur, Anthony van den Bossche of Duende Studio, Basile Gueorguievsky, and David Edwards of Le Laboratoire; Maria Grazia Mazzocchi, Claudio Moderini and Renzo Giusti of Domus Academy; François Jégou, Sara Girardi Colelli, Giulia Durante and Paola Paleari of Strategic Design Scenarios; Jan Boelen and Liesbeth Huybrechts of Z33; Koen Snoeckx of the Holst Centre; Yixiu Wu, Siwei Fang and Patrick Chia Seow Leng of Design Incubation Centre, National University of Singapore; Clive van Heerden, Senior Director Design Innovation and Jane Hardjono of Philips Design; Kathy High, Daniela Kostova and Rich Pell of Arts Department Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Michel van Dartel of V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media. A special thanks to the designer Leah Heiss for her enthusiastic response, and to James King, Cynthia Pannucci of Art & Science Collaborations (ASCI), Hiroshi ISHII of Media Arts and Sciences MIT Media Laboratory for their networking contribution. Marike Hechter, Addict South Africa labmember, deserves our particular recognition for her great artistic direction of #29, together with Elisa Longobardi for her re-editing support. Giovanna Massoni

Issue #29 is a sort of portal connecting platforms and individuals and creating new networks. Exhibition curators, as well as major companies research departments, schools and universities, organisations together with designers and artists filled the bi-dimensional space to hopefully create a fourth dimension of debate and solutions.

* Ezio Manzini "20th century AD". UNESCO Courier. Dec 1996. 14 Jul. 2008.


IMEC Outreach from an R&D perspective Imke Debecker – Outreach Communications Coordinator - IMEC Jo Decuyper – Director RVO-Society

As an independent research centre doing nanoelectronics and nanotechnology R&D 3 to 10 years ahead of current industrial needs, IMEC is entering the challenging era of converging technologies. In research and business this convergence will open up a whole new horizon of perspectives and possibilities. From a societal point of view this merging of two worlds will create a unique opportunity in which a more intensive bidirectional communication between science and society should be developed. After all, these converging technologies will impact the way we produce, communicate, consume and live our lives. The integration of these new technologies in our society can be considered as one of the critical aspects of the successful development of emerging technologies. This means we will have to establish an open dialog with different communities, stakeholders and publics on the potential applications and societal & ethical implications. This dialog is a real challenge for the future generation of scientists. They bear the responsibility that their research takes sufficient input from society and generates the solutions to the global problems marking our future. As an R&D institute IMEC is already closely connected with a whole range of stakeholders and communities. However, today these communities mostly consist of people that already have a background and/or deeply rooted affection for science and technology. Because of the disruptive social and ethical consequences of converging technologies, our dialog with society should be broadened and intensified. We should not only reach out and interact with this limited number of interested and already involved people. We should also engage into a dialog with this enormous group of people who feel science and technology is something abstract and complex, only understandable for experts and highly educated people. This is not an easy task. Especially not when looking at the subject we’re communicating about. Throughout the previous decades the scientific research community has succeeded in building up an enormous amount of scientific and technological expertise. In today’s research we’re being confronted with extremely small dimensions and unfamiliar phenomena. As a result nanotechnology is highly complex, abstract and inaccessible for non-experts and lay people. This makes today’s scientific knowledge very difficult to grasp and imagine. The language, techniques, images and objects used in science communication need to be adapted in order to make science and technology more tangible and understandable. By doing this, science and technology can become more accessible for non-experts, a primary foundation to create the necessary societal dialogue on emerging technologies.


Bringing science and technology to life trough art and design

Throughout the history of our development, science and art always had a close relationship. One can find examples of the one influencing and living in symbiosis with the other and vice versa. Although Leonardo Da Vinci might be the best known personification of this multidisciplinary convergence between art and science, there are many lesser known scientist and artist who’ve been crossing the borders between art and science back and forth. Through their universal language, art and design can provide new languages, techniques and images to communicate about the complex and intangible scientific and technological reality of today. They can take in an intermediary position between experts and non-experts. Not only to make a complex scientific topic like emerging technologies more tangible, but also to inspire people about another world that has different dimensions and features. Art and design can trigger to see things differently. They can translate science into tangible objects, images and concepts, lay people can understand and manage. This intermediary function not only provides a platform for the translation of science to ‘the human scale’. It also provides an environment in which fundamental questions about the ethical and societal implications about emerging technologies can be asked. This will be indispensable when addressing the impact nanotechnologies will have on our lives. Especially today, when so much about nanotechnology is still uncertain and a lot of questions are answered with: “We don’t know” or” “We think/hope that”. From our own difficulties in tackling the complexity of communicating about nanotechnologies with nonexperts, IMEC decided to join forces in 2007 with Addict Creative Lab. The main driver behind this collaboration was the need to open up a dialog with non experts that was based on perceptions, imagination and inspiration. Previous experiences in interaction with non experts, strengthened the belief that the communication should not be based on a one way interaction of knowledge diffusion, since this would create a division between one (or more) experts and a majority of non-experts. The first inspiration book emerged from a very open, yet fundamental question: “How can we – visually or conceptually – communicate nanotechnology research so it becomes more accessible for non experts?”. This question resulted in: “The Nano Research”. In October and November the content of the book was used at two public events in Flanders, the IMEC Open House day and the Science Festival Nano Nu. After a short “framing” introduction, visitors could explore at their own pace the ideas, visions and concepts from the book through displays and movies (if available). At both events people could give feedback. At the open house this was done via a small questionnaire. This had one main question: “Nanotechnology holds the promise that it can provide solutions for a lot of problems. What do you want it to be used for?”. For the Nano Nu festival a more open approach was developed. After exploring the ideas and visions on the borders of science and design, the visitors were invited to do the same as the artists/designers in the book. They were handed a sketchbook and could draw or write down their ‘ultimate’ or ideal nano-application. The main aim of the Addictlab-IMEC collaboration is to create an open platform on the boundaries of science/ technology and art/design. In this open platform we want to benefit from the ability designers, and good interdisciplinary thinkers have, to transform an esoteric subject like emerging technologies, into a more tangible and aesthetic concept, making nanoscience more accessible. Science & art/designcollaborations will not only generate outcome that will impact the external-general public dimension of the practice of science. The experience of these types of collaborations will also influence the way scientists perceive their role in society, they way they approach their scientific object and make statements about it in the public domain. Visions and ideas from designers and artists on the sustainable development of emerging technologies will get the chance to enter into the R&D labs, and put in the hands of a new breed of scientists, one that is inspired by the power of science to change society for the benefit of all. 7

Education is key The need to recruit more interdisciplinary and socially-aware scientists comes at a time when the interest in science studies has been dropping dramatically over the last decades. The problem is fundamental: science education is dull although science itself is mostly perceived as interesting and useful for humanity. And the problem will likely increase because as fewer scientists graduate, fewer science teachers make it to the class room to spark the interest of the younger generation. Many efforts to counteract this tendency are inspired by communication experts. Their assumption is that we need to promote science as being fun, attractive and leading to interesting careers. Based on this assumption television shows, interactive websites, science centers and many other campaign tools have been deployed all over the OECD countries. Largely in vain. Why? It is not difficult to see why youngsters don’t buy the science advertising. It may be fun to perform a science experiment (e.g. in the well controlled conditions of a science center), it surely isn’t fun to study very hard to grasp even the simplest bit of scientific knowledge. The career argument does not work either for kids today. “Why study for example chemistry (and work hard) when a far less tedious study may bring you at the head of a company that employs hundreds of chemists?” Our youngsters grow up in a world where everything is at their fingertips, results are instantaneous, rewards can be totally unrelated to efforts etc, at least many have this perception. But the truth is quite different. Reaching the top in sports, becoming a trained musician, or learning how to fly a passenger jet all require a large effort. Effort that one can only sustain if one has


sufficient talent, ambition, passion … Discovering one’s talents requires time and patience. Developing ambition requires support and guidance. And making proper choices can only be based on personal experience and not on what one is told by others about their own experiences. So if we want to attract more youngsters to science and technology studies we must provide a better science teaching in primary and secondary schools. The Roger Van Overstraeten Society (RVO-S) has been created by IMEC to foster a new, more inspiring science and technology education. Starting with the toddlers and working all the way up to college level, RVO-S has brought innovative educational projects to the schools in Flanders (Belgium). These projects build on topics taken from the research at IMEC (e.g. electronic chips) and introduce children in the wonders that flow from it. Most importantly, these topics are brought to the classrooms in a format that invites experimentation and discovery. RVO-Society’s vision on technology education is founded on some very important principles that stimulate to look at science from a different angle. Creative thinking is at the core of our vision. Making a mistake is not a failure. It’s a first step towards success. When entering our classroom at IMEC you’ll be blown away by the chaos, loudness, and discussion among the kids. But you’ll also be amazed when they proudly present their first working circuit. This effect even carries on into higher education. We found genuine enthusiasm when engineering students built an RFID application for handicapped people. So, our vision on science education is not only based on input form the R&D world. It also feeds from the creative world that celebrates trial and error, creative thinking and learning with the heart.

Teachers that are willing to adopt these projects are assisted with demonstrations, guidelines and more. This teacher support is of the outmost importance, for teachers are free to choose their educational material and working methods. Changing contents of their lessons to introduce new topics (like nanotechnology) requires a lot of effort on their part. So they need all the support we can offer. After some 8 years of work, RVO-S has demonstrated that many youngsters have a genuine interest for science and technology that can be reinforced with proper educational tools. It is still too early to conclude that this interest also leads to more scientists and engineers. What we do know is that 1) one must start at a very young age to spark interest for science and technology, 2) that a new approach with much more room for experiment is absolutely necessary and 3) that no change lasts forever and that continuous support of teachers is a necessary condition. These findings also hold promise that nanotechnology can be used as a bait to attract more young scientists and eventually more scientists into this adventure. IMEC has taken two initiatives, one on the borderline between research and art, and one on the borderline between research and education. Together these initiatives hold potential to better involve the general public in the scientific enterprise and to inspire more youngsters. IMEC is looking for partners to share this knowledge and to cooperate to bring the nanotechnology closer to the focus of attention of as large a community as possible.

Nano Nu feed back sketches The in.tangible.scape.s- platform: looking ahead The research that has been the basis of this inspiration book has been fruitful in many ways, in a sense that it has inspired different side-projects that pay tribute to the vision of in.tangible.scape.s. This means this book is not finished. It is the starting point and basis for a whole lot of projects and collaborations to come.

November 21 2009, in.tangible.scape.s live at IMEC

Get up-close and personal with in.tangible.scape.s. on November 21. With inspiring presentations of the most striking contributors and the official launch of the book.

Collaboration with the Stedelijke Academie of Leuven on nano-art (September 2008- February 2009) Every year students of the Stedelijke Academie of Leuven focus their work on one theme. For 2008-2009 they decided to investigate the world of nanotechnology from an artistic point of view. The content of this book mixed together with the previous publication ‘the nano research’ will be used as inspiration for these young and enthusiast artists. Check out their annual exhibition in February.

Project on flexible and stretchable electronics and wireless sensor nodes

In this project we want to invite upcoming designers to develop a design application based on flexible electronics and sensor technology. The combination of flexible, stretchable and washable electronic circuits together with sound, motion, light, pressure and heartbeat sensors, open up a whole array of responsive design applications that interact with their users and/or environment. More information on this project soon!

2009: Call for ideas on interactive solar power installation

Renewable energy is the future. This project is planned for 2009 and aims to set up a collaboration on the development of an interactive, kinetic installation powered by photovoltaics. Stay tuned for more information !


Sappi from business as usual to business unusual Why not? Thought leaders – both companies and individuals – operate in different fields but have one thing in common: an insatiable curiosity and willingness to question. When others draw a line, they cross that line. Instead of saying, "It can't be done," they ask: "Why not?". They believe, as Albert Einstein once said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning." But questioning in itself is not enough – there also has to be understanding. Understanding of the economics that govern the system of manufacture and supply-chain management. Understanding goals within a multi-faceted environment and understanding the significance of complex data in the attainment of those goals. Our long history of questioning and understanding at Sappi has resulted in industry-leading processes and products that provide us with a competitive edge. We have several firsts to our credit that highlight this focus. Recent firsts include the world’s first high bulk-to-weight coated paper, the first commercial co-pulp (Somerset Synergy) created from a blend of soft- and hardwoods and the first coated 10

sheet designed specifically for copy machines. Launched in 2007, Tempo ™, a silk paper that significantly reduces ink drying times is another milestone innovation. Why paper? Despite new information and communication technologies, in the 21st century people are using more paper than ever before, particularly in the developed world – to inform, educate and communicate and for a wide range of industrial applications. What’s more, paper is a key driver of social progress, with lack of access to published material creating a fundamental gap between the developed and the developing world. In the light of intense global focus on the environment and the need to get carbon emissions under control, consumers are asking whether they should be using paper, wondering how sustainable a resource it is and whether they shouldn’t be choosing plastic over paper. The facts speak for themselves: In common with other responsible pulp and paper manufacturers, Sappi makes paper from renewable

resources grown in sustainably managed forests and uses objective forest certification systems to guarantee that the wood used complies with specific criteria. These forest certification systems include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) ®. What’s the difference? Roughly a million years. Like paper, plastic is generally produced from natural resources – coal and oil which are fossil fuels. The key difference is that, unlike trees, oil and coal are not renewable. The other key difference lies in the carbon implications. Carbon, in its many forms, is exchanged among the atmosphere, oceans and land through the process of photosynthesis. Until humans began burning fossil fuels, the carbon cycle was closed to new inputs of carbon. By burning fossil fuels we are adding “new” carbon to the atmosphere and changing our climate. Paper is not only renewable, but forests, be they natural or plantations, mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and

About Sappi Headquartered in Johannesburg, Sappi is the world’s leading producer of coated fine paper and chemical cellulose. We also produce specialty papers, uncoated graphic and business papers, as well as packaging papers, newsprint and pulp. These are produced in our manufacturing facilities countries on four continents and sold to customers in over 100 countries. Our shares are listed on the Johannesburg, London and New York stock exchanges.


Water use by sector in S.A 2%



Irrigation Domestic & Urban


Mining & Industry


Power generation 62%

Commercial Forestry Rural use

What’s in a process? For Sappi - a lot of renewable energy. Sappi makes extensive use of biofuels throughout the manufacturing process – in integrated pulp and paper mills, the most important biofuel is lack liquor. In North 12

The challenges of climate change mean that we have to manage and leverage the climate change risks and opportunities associated with our products. Good governance and innovation in this regard are fundamental to our licence to operate and to our sustainability as a company. Beginning at the beginning At Sappi, we use bagasse, or sugar cane waste residue at our Stanger Mill and we have looked at using other fibre in our mills around the world. In principle, we could use any form of fibre for paper production - from animal dung to weed, as long as the fibre content is high. However, non-wood fibres are usually only available at certain times of the year, are difficult to store and generally more complex to manage than wood fibre. But the most definitive argument for using wood fibre is that trees have the highest yield of cellulose per cubic metre when compared to other fibre sources and consequently, particularly from a carbon footprint point of view, are the best source. Promoting recycling The environmental benefits of recycling fibre include reduced or delayed demand for fibre from forests, and there are positive carbon implications in the form of reduced methane emissions from paper sent to landfills – particularly significant in view of the fact that methane is a greenhouse gas estimated to have between 21 and 24 times the global warming potential of CO2. Manufacturing paper from recycled fibre also uses less energy than processing virgin fibre. At Sappi we actively promote recycling and the majority of our papers are 100% recyclable. Shifting mindset Converting biomass to power and heat is part of the daily business at many of our mills. But should we draw the line there? Perhaps we need to shift our mindset away from the view that mills should be




g/kWh 1000









sel (cru de oil) E (r em dN ote G (r NG em Syn ) ote the tic D 700 0km iese l (re mo te N G) D ME Syn ( wo the od, tic D blac iese k liq l (w uor ood ) , bla ck li quo r) DM E (w Syn ood the ) tic D iese l (w RM o o E (r d) Com ape see pre d) E sse dB U iog as ( was Eth te) ano l (w hea Eth t) E ano U Eth l (co ano rn) l (Su US gar can e) B razil Eth ano l (c ellu lose )

As South Africa is a semi-arid country, water use is a concern. So, do plantations use a lot of water? The reality is they do not when viewed in the context of other crops, Water use in South Africa is dominated by irrigation, which accounts for around 62% of all water used in the country. Domestic and urban use accounts for about 27%, while mining, large industries and power generation account for some 8%. Commercial forestry plantations, which are not irrigated, account for a little less than 3% of total use by reducing runoff into rivers and streams.

So how do we leverage our carbon advantage?


If that wasn’t a strong enough argument for choosing paper in a climate change conscious world, yet another strong argument for paper is that in Southern Africa, where we own, manage or lease more than 540,000 hectares of land, our timber plantations are usually located in rural areas on land that does not have any viable crop alternatives. This is particularly important as unemployment is high in South Africa, in particular in rural areas where employment opportunities are scarce and forestry offers people a secure future.

In this regard, some of the options we are considering include: • By increasing our energy efficiency further, during the pulping process we could use part of the lignin to produce biofuel through gasification processes which add carbon and hydrogen to burned gases, ultimately producing biodiesel. • A different method would be to use extreme heat to break down the com pounds – a process known as pyrolysis – in the lignin with the same end product. • Both methods and processes are low in CO2 generation and as such a far better alternative than the use of fossil fuels (see graph below)


By contrast, there is no such biomass energy generated in the production of plastic and producing one ton of plastic requires four tons of fossil fuel.


Wood products and the wood fibre in paper also store carbon throughout their lifetime. Forests only contribute to net carbon emissions when they are logged, converted or burned at a faster rate than they grow back. A sustainably managed forest landscape can be considered relatively carbon neutral if, as with Sappi, logging is balanced with re-growth.

self-sufficient in energy to asking ourselves just how big a chemical producer or a producer of power or heat the available biomass allows us to be. This, particularly in view of the fact that we own or have access to large amounts of biomass.


America, 73.3% of all energy used in Sappi’s North American mills comes from renewable resources (black liquor, bark, sludges and purchased biomass). The percentage of renewable energy for South Africa is 38.1% and for Europe is 31.8% with the global figure standing at 48.6%.


storing it as biomass. This is recycled to the atmosphere when the biomass is harvested or burnt – a process considered to be carbon neutral as the carbon dioxide generated is the same amount that was bound from the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis.

Energy Efficiency, % Co2-equivalents, g/kWh

Where to from here? Rising oil prices, ongoing political instability in the world’s oil-producing regions and the possibility of increased green and carbon taxes around the world present real, positive opportunities for Sappi. Thinking outside the box of our core business, we see significant opportunities in maintaining our core business model of producing pulp, paper and board while optimising derivatives like biofuels. We have the renewable resources. We have the processes and the production facilities. In other words, everything is in place for us to build on a business opportunity and make our business more economically sustainable in a way that helps to mitigate climate change and add overall value to the group. . And as we do so, we will continue to ask “Why can’t we…?”, “How about…?”, “What happens if?”


In.tangible an.notation.s: from hyper- to extrafiction. by: Lab / Researcher: Alok Nandi

A multi-layered title may allow to tackle an hybrid undertaking. This paper is claiming that naming has an effect on shaping and ensures the following in the emergence of a design journey. Notation and annotation are conceptual tasks which would allow to leverage the enlargement of creative activities. It can also help in investigating the interstices of areas which are supposed to be articulated and to be stable. We would then navigate between tangible, intangible and inter.tangible zones of knowledge and emotion.

to indicate first of all that these are not objectively given relations which look the same from every angle of vision, but rather that they are deeply perspectival constructs, inflected very much by the historical, linguistic and political situatedness of different sorts of actors: nation-states, multinationals, diasporic communities, as well as sub-national grouping and movements (whether religious, political or economic), and even intimate face-toface groups, such as villages, neighbourhoods and families’.

Knowledge expansion, its tacit and implicit formulation, should result in specific design action. Based on George Polya’s problem solving works, the attitudes possible in reference to knowledge can be listed as per: • What you know (e.g. day to day reality) • What you don't know (e.g. knowledge held by others) • What you know you know (e.g. Science, good information, reflection) • What you don't know you know (e.g. intuition, tacit knowledge) • What you know you don't know (e.g. emerging issues, scenarios, knowl edge from asking questions) • What you don't know you don't know (outside your paradigms and ways of thinking) • What you want to know but one can not know by any science or method (e.g.: Conditions of the Future, which *may be* is the core offering of design)

Scapes are, thus, like real land which is built up and altered by roads, buildings, natural elements like rain or wind and ‘unnatural’ elements such as economic development or wars. In this case, these ‘(un)natural elements’ are similar to what Appadurai sees in history, language, actors and their constructions and movements. While this last explanation was physical or tangible, Appadurai also speaks of scapes as ‘imagined worlds’ (following Anderson and his idea of ‘imagined communities’)

Design for, in or of in.tangible.scape.s opens paths of elements allowing to answer some of the abovementioned questions raised by Polya. In another publication, I am busy exploring a path related to the connections between cuisine, food and design. In this one, I will focus more into an area where I did some research, in the area of “mixed realities”, for the sake of travelling in emerging and creatives scapes at the intersection of sciences and art, of technology and design. However, it would be interesting to situate the –scape suffix in reference to Arjun Appadurai’s works on globalisation. In Appadurai's words: ‘I use terms with the common suffix scape 14

Appadurai says: ‘The suffix scape also allows us to point to the fluid, irregular shapes of these landscapes, shapes which characterize international capital as deeply as they do international clothing styles.’ Mixed Reality Story-telling is explored by immersing real actors in virtual settings, while breaking the narrative design process into storysetting with story flows. The specific architecture of virtual and actual spaces will be mixed so the “interactors” can experience a novel narrative or poetic experience. The Transfiction [3] concept and system has been designed for mixing synthetic and natural images in real time and allows one to interact with virtual objects and props, without the need to wear glasses or gloves. It is a screen-based immersive system with gesture tracking to give users a control of the events displayed. A mise-en-scène of narrative spaces in the screen allows the exploration of new spatio-temporal articulation. Fragmentation of spaces and senses of these mediated spaces are apprehended. A specific instance of experiencing an immersive projection and a deambulation into artificial spaces and hypertravelling into these is designed and analysed.

From demonstration to participation, the nature of the relationship between perception and action underlies the ability to perform tasks. The sense of presence [of "being there"] is analyzed in an hybrid action spaces. Narrative modalities are investigated through body tracking, position detection and image recognition systems. This paper, focused on one specific type of installation, gives a description of the system and the roles of the protagonists in the setting. The concept of hyper-cinematographic grammar is introduced and then the projection of the protagonist's image is related to its fusion with the narrative. Present in time and presence in space are prerequisite for using the system for exploring a panorama (360° image) from one point of view. The system serves as basis for one approach to interactive cinema and questions the boundary between game, role-playing and narrative. These boundaries are very much at stake in in.tangible. scape.s. Mixed-reality mise-en-scene The initial hypothesis is simple: people see themselves on a screen, like in a mirror, but the visual environment (visual background) is removed in realtime. In parallel, algorithms analyse and interpret the body movements to trigger events in a narrative graph. The augmented (or magic mirror) effect, which creates the illusion of immersion, is provided thanks to image segmentation and then re-composition of real-time video images with visual scenes served from a media assets database: this ensures coherent and meaningful sequence composition. The interaction aspect is provided thanks to basic body/gesture analysis that allows users to use their hands and body to virtually 'touch' or 'grasp' objects and participate through their body attitudes in interactive scenarios. The next phase, after the "magic mirror", lead to a new paradigm: the user (also known as the interactor) does not see her/himself, but some visual clues allow her/him to understand that s/he pilots the course of events on the screen. The interactor is projected into the space visualised on the screen, hence cognitively and narratively. The screen-space can be designed in full freedom, the constraints

being focused on the coherency of the visuals and the structure of the narrative or the poetic. Experience has shown that there is no need to manage the eventual glitches of video image segmentation in the diegetic visual sequence.

The information about the sequences and their possible relations and succession are kept in a "narrative graph". This narrative graph allows, on a reception view point, to have the user jumping from space to space, resulting in a kind of hyper-voyage.

This freedom in the spatio-temporal articulation allows a "mise-en-scène" through multiplicity, juxtaposition, simultaneity, contiguity, as space is seen in a bergsonian way: "Space, by definition, is outside us ... space appears to us to subsist even when we leave it undivided, we know that it can wait and that a new effort of our imagination may decompose it when we choose. As, moreover, it never ceases to be space, it always implies juxtaposition, and, consequently, possible division. Abstract space is, indeed, at bottom, nothing but the mental diagram of infinite divisibility." [1] Space as the contraction of time and time as the expansion of space allow us to build interactive scenarios. However, to expand on the decomposition process, this is not only left to imagination, but also to physical action and interaction, in front of the screen-space.

From hypermedia, we will move into Extrafiction. Transfiction is only a transient moment “Extrafiction” is a conceptual framework encapsuling research, design and development coined by this author. In a networked environment where architecture meets storytelling with or without technologies, what narratives and imaginary spaces are articulated? How functions are extrapolated, remediated into fiction? What are the emerging patterns in praxis?

Hypercinematographic Grammar The word "narrative" refers to a set of events happening during a certain period of time and providing aesthetic, dramaturgical and emotional elements, objects and attitudes. In some ways, it is comparable to the script of a film. However, film scripts offer a linear reading where each piece is closely linked to the previous one: the meaning emerges from the whole story. In digital media (computation allows dynamic combination), modules of scenarios/scripts maintain their own individual meaning. Moreover, modules can be interchanged, and the spectator/interactor will have different experiences according to the paths of exposure through the set of modules. Two levels of design are considered when extending modular narratives towards Transfiction systems: the development process (author-centric orientation) and the reception process (user-centric orientation). These ensure that there is an overall coherency and that meaning is coming out of the experience, or emotion. Similarly to movie editing, Transfiction scenes are composed of (independent) sequences assembled in a specific order: the narrative experience, along with the related meaning, takes place thanks to this sequencing, with the consequence that a cinematic grammar is shaped.

Extrafiction / Projection / Fusion The Extrafiction spatial and narrative system proposes the user to find her/his way in the narrative (the hyper-voyage forms are: linear path, labyrinthic path, game, puzzle solving). This action of finding is not only cognitive and requires both a "body language" and cognitive lingustics. The spatial relationships among places and things are the key features of the interface and the information overlays enrich the experience of the interactor. The user has to "speak with his/her hands" as well as with body gestures and movements and to explore the space-screen. As Dove suggests, the interface is the membrane allowing the interactor to touch and feel the story: "An interface has a recipe for the suspension of disbelief embedded in its operations that is similar to the recipes for the suspension of disbelief present in genre fiction. These codes are what we are willing to accept or believe to enter the world of a story. If interface design and genre fiction codes mutually support the vision of a story, an immersive world opens up. (…) The interface is the osmotic membrane - the means by which we fuse with the virtual space." [2] The membrane is the screen revealing the story and may be perceived like an haptic device. One can touch the storyspace and not only is s/he projected in the narrative but her/his gestures influence the course of the storylines. Present / Presence Touching the membrane-interface and moving into it has both spatial and temporal effects. The actual time is in balance with the suspension of disbelief, whilst the transportation into the fictional space is challenged by the presence in the actual/present time.

In his essay "The Specious Present", Francisco Varela proposed a theory of the present as an "embodied now". His research in the "depth of now" referred to Saint Augustine or even Aristotle and allowed him to go beyond the "notion of time that is ticked away by the clock, and that time is an arrow, and divided in equal seconds ..." [5]. The quest for understanding consciousness (William James, Husserl, the Buddhist tradition) pushed Varela to bring together what "belongs to experience - what you might call the first person, which is something we have direct access to - with the scientific side, what you might call the third person, the external approach". [5] This hybrid quality (lived quality and objective quality) of time (which he studied in the discipline of "neuro-phenomenology"), is of interest in a Mixed Reality setting where the actual experience of the user is in juxtaposition with a virtual space and a diegetic universe, through a screen. The real-life time of the interactor, in the duration of the interactive experience, is in contraction with the diegetic time of the actor within the storyspace. From present to presence, the distance is short and the sense of presence is here looked as the engagement in representations: "This idea of suspension of disbelief is the literary-theoretical equivalent of the VR concept of immersion. It describes the attitude by which the reader brackets out the knowledge that the fictional world is the product of language, in order to imagine it as an autonomous reality populated by solid objects and embodied individuals." [4] Exploration in the installations focuses on the subjective experience of presence within narratives and on the resulting perception. Users enter Mixed Reality worlds and realise that only customised representations allow them to act in the environment: body and space mutations, avatars or virtual ubiquity all reinforce the experience offered to the users while relying on a cinema-like grammar. The delicate moment is the triggering of the suspension of disbelief, which then allows to forget minor technical glitches and to focus on the narrative. Numerous installations using the system have confirmed the perceived transportation in the fictional worlds.


Panorama / Point of View A specific apparatus and setting allow the userreader-viewer to become an interactor in 360° panoramic images. Having the right arm and hand up results in the image turning on the vertical axis of the viewer and showing parts of the image on the right side and the same applies for the left hand and the image on the left. The interactor is represented by an iconic element having the tendency to remain at the center of the image, and moving when hands are moved. This iconic element has two states: passive, meaning that it only shows where is the interactor in the panorama - like a cursor-arrow on a screen-, and active, suggesting to the user that s/he can stop there for some time and it will lead her/him in another place. A combination of having the right and left hands up allows the image to stabilize and not to rotate anymore. The active state of the icon triggers a video sequence ending by an image which is in fact another 360° panorama wherein the interactor can travel. Another way to jump from panorama to panorama is the fade-out to black and the apparition of another panoramic image. This is similar to a quicktime VR but here the image is under the control of hands without any devices.

All these elements contribute to the development of a narrative or a game. Several approaches have been explored (cross-media, immersive, multi-screens, on-site and on-line) to see how collaboration takes place: collaboration between the interactor and the diegetic universe; collaboration between several interactors in a multi-screen setting, on-site or on-line. Different combinations have been explored in different settings with specific content. These have resulted in an emergent taxonomy of gestures and movements which can be used to further build dramaturgic elements in a mixed-reality setting. Story-telling / Playground The detailed description of the setting here above with 360° panoramas and video sequences as well as audio clues and sound ambiance proposes a base for application of "interactive cinema" with a technology conceptually stabilised.

Spatialized sound is attached to the panorama and according to the movement, a direct audio clue shows the effectiveness of the immersion and the body gesture allows to move within the diegetic universe.

However, there are some issues related to usability: some interactors have difficulties in mastering the system and research is planned at the level of usage. On a technical viewpoint, algorithms are optimised and hardware increase of performance allows a smooth experience for the interactor, in terms of reactivity of the system and display of the images. On a content aspect, the boundary between narrative and play is not yet established. The fact that someone has to move leads towards a game-type of attitude. This needs to be further searched in at least two areas.

References: 1. Bergson, Henry. Matter and Memory, trans. N.M. Paul and W.S. Palmer, Zone Books, New York, 1988, p. 206. 2. Dove, Toni. The Space Between: Telepresence, Re-animation and the Re-casting of the Invisible. in: Rieser, Martin and Zapp, Andrea (eds.). New Screen Media: Cinema, Art, Narrative. London: British Film Institute; 2002. 3. Nandi, Alok b., Mixed Reality Story-telling : Story-setting and Story-sharing, Digital Art and Culture 2003, Melbourne, Australia. 4. Ryan, Marie-Laure. Cyberspace, Virtuality, and the Text, in: Cyberspace Textuality: Computer Technology and Literary Theory (Ed., Marie-Laure Ryan), Pp. 78-107. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999. 5. Varela, Francisco. The Deep Now, interview by Arjen Mulder, in: V2_Organisation, Machine Times, NAI Publishers, Rotterdam 2000.

Alok Nandi is a writer/director and designer active with multiple media, from hi-tech to lo-tech. Regular speaker in international conferences (Japan, US, Europe, India), his interactive media art installations were shown in Paris, Salzburg, Vienna, Lille, … and he was awarded for web mise-en-scène. More on


Play in the game sense: kids using the system have shown an easyness of mastering it and a very high degree of immersion; moreover, they do not have the inhibition of many adults. Play in the theatrical sense: this allows to tackle content with more depth and themes which are more profound. In parallel, installations which are requestioning the perception of body and space have shown strong interest and are set up in different venues, such as "utHOPEia". In.tangible Extrafiction Immersion in story-spaces allowed to enlarge the narrative envelop from the paradigm of story-telling to "story-sharing in a story setting". By sharing, one means a dialogic relation between the user-readerinteractor and the diegetic material. By setting, one insists on the need to have a physical space design which ensures that the narrative or game experience in the virtual setting is optimal. The Mixed Reality paradigm and its related technological development should allow story-tellers, dramaturgists and designers to explore the potential of new genres at the intersection of the virtual and the actual. Extrafiction allows hence to explore the layers and the narrative interstices in complex systems where the emotional manifestations are tangible signs of intangible trajectories. Scapes – imagined worlds – allow to live the fiction, in suspension of disbelief.

The Intangible Real

by: Lab / Researchers Frederik De Wilde

Intangible Art Or How To Survive It. The intangible is a state, a condition, a thing which can not be directly possessed, perceived or traced. Intangible art, therefore, can not be held, seen or reproduced directly for an indefinite amount of time nor can it be bought and sold. Intangible artworks are those which are alien from any physical-material component. We could even make the assumption that the most extreme form of immaterial art is an idea that does not exist in any physical form besides the neural activity that occurs with thinking the thought itself. For artists, making intangible art with no physical evidence is a difficult task in many ways, since the act of making art becomes a non-possessable intellectual endeavor. Hence, how to make a living, as an artist, with intangible art? In the past, artists found, as creative as they are, a way to go around this problematic and to make financial profit out of their intellectual -and thus intangible- endeavors. Documents as evidence of the artwork, but not the artwork itself, became sellable. A good example is the drawings and studies of Christo. The selling of these drawings supports Christo to fund his numerous monumental installations. Conceptual artists such as Yves Klein and Joseph Beuys created intangible -immaterial- art via experiences, actions, performances and conceptual ideas which were often materially documented in proposals, notes and the recordings of the performances. These documents created traces of their intangible art – ‘evidences’ of existence, but were not the art itself. Intangible art, great! But how to survive and sustain your life and your art practice with non-possessable intellectual and creative endeavors in an exceeding neo capitalistic driven society? Of course, the act of making art and the artistic intention has nothing to do with the commercial aspects of it, but on the other hand artists cannot live from idealism alone. Yes, artists could use the former described methodologies as a way to enable themselves to sell their works. But maybe there is another way; that is to say without making any consensus towards yourself and the artmarket. Ideas, artistic concepts as

messages posted on the internet, have the potential to spread like viruses. New and unexpected encounters can emerge from it. At least, this is my personal opinion. Organizations like Add!ctlab, amongst others, support this point of view. This idea is fed -and I am not claiming that it’s a novel idea- by the dawn of the information revolution and the process of digitalization: something intangible, self-replicating, and indestructible as knowledge and ideas are suddenly one of the most valuable things on the planet. For instance; the text of the next Harry Potter novel: any of these could fit on a memory stick or be transmitted around the world by a cable modem, but they are far more valuable than gold or platinum (especially the first manuscript is of high interest). Currently, as we are entering an era of -often driven by the ancient nessacity- paradigm shifts, and reaching levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable, a tiny science exist with big possibilities as well as huge dangers. Nowadays, through the emerging field of nanotechnology, we enter in a new realm of possibilities and expressions of the intangible. Nanotechnologies deliver high-quality materials that enable the production and the manipulation of extremely small physical components. Nearly perceivable, nearly traceable. Contemporary artists, if they collaborate with scientist and the industry, can now select materials and processes that bring about a degeneration of the object. Conceptually very exciting an maybe a way to discover new possibilities, concepts and forms for creating artwork which is on the interstice of the tangible and intangible. Nanotech has surely the potential of questioning the way we make things, and ‘making’ things -whether your methodology is to break things in order to fix them- is what artist and scientist do all the time. The sixth wave? Sixth wave? Fifth wave? What’s in the name? While doing research on the potential of nanotechnology and biotechnology applied in the arts I stumbled upon an interesting article from an economic historian zI didn’t know that they mapped their own historyabout the different revolutions or waves that occurred since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

Since the industrial revolution there has been a relatively consistent pattern of 50-year waves of techno-economic change. We are currently near the end of the fifth wave, the information technology wave, while a sixth wave is emerging for us all to contemplate. Each wave consists of a new group of technologies that make it possible to solve problems once thought intractable. Let me sum them up for you: For economic historian Brad Delong there exist 5 waves and the sixth is currently emerging. The water mechanization wave (1770-1830) in England transformed productivity by replacing handcrafted production with waterpowered “machine-o-facture.” The second wave (1820-1880), powered by a massive iron railroad build-out, accelerated the distribution of goods and services to distant markets. The electrification wave (1870-1920) provided the foundation for modern cities. The development of skyscrapers, electric lifts, light bulbs, telephones and subways were all a result of the new electricity infrastructure. The fourth wave (1910-1970) ushered in mass assembly and the motorization of the industrial economy, making the inexpensive transportation of goods and services available to the masses. The most recent wave, the information technology wave (1960-2020), has made it possible to collect, analyze and disseminate data, transforming our ability to track and respond to an ever changing world. Driven by the microprocessors capacity to compute and communicate data at increasingly exponential rates, the current wave is one of the primary generators of economic and social change today. The nascent neurotechnology wave (2010-2060) is being accelerated by the development of biochips and brain imaging technologies that make neurological analysis inexpensive and pervasive. Biochips that can perform the basic bio-analysis functions (genomic, proteomic, biosimulation, and microfluidics) at a low cost will transform biological analysis and production in a very similar fashion as the microprocessor did for data.


Nano-imaging techniques will also play a vital role in making the analysis of neuro-molecular level events possible. When data from advanced biochips and brain imaging are combined they will accelerate the development of neurotechnology, the set of tools that can influence the human central nervous system, especially the brain. Neurotechnology will be used for therapeutic ends and to enhance human emotional, cognitive and sensory system performance. Going Nano: The Sixth Wave If we have to believe the nanoscientists, soon we will live in a disease free environment while eating skin-less extra nutritious fruits and vegetables. Walking on bridges that wont fall down in earthquakes and flying in airplanes which are so strong and so light that if the engines failed would just glide. Nanotech will create molecular machines that repair our bodies and ultra fast molecular computers that can be painted on the wall while storing and manipulating information in new ways. Nanotech will be impacting everything; information technology, energy, medicine. Nothing will be left “untouched”. On the other hand; If we have to believe the nano skeptics we’ll soon dine in hell. But what do we really know about nanotech? We surely know that nanotech is not a new science. Chemists have already been doing it for thousands of years. Mayan blue pigment in pottery is proved to contain nanoparticles as well as Phoenician glass. Nanoparticles where also known -unconsciouslyto medieval artisans who mixed gold and copper nanoparticles into molten glass to create composite materials that absorbed and reflected light in a way that it produced rich glowing colors, like ruby for instance. From the medieval times we jump to the twentieth century. In 1959 physicist Richard Feynman predicted a future where machines would be built atom by atom. By 1985 new molecular blocks where discovered namely the Bucky Ball, a previously unknown form of carbon and it appeared to be an incredible strong football shaped molecule. Harold Kroto, the founder of this particular molecule, researched the chemistry in stars and while doing experiments discovered the Bucky Ball. It happened totally unexpected but the discovery radically changed our understanding of sheet materials and in particular graphite.


Kroto also discovered that the spheric structure of the Bucky Ball could be elongated and he gave it the name Nanotube. These Nanotubes would -and will be used in time- to build new super structures with amazing capabilities. But unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Scientists still face massive problems. One of the fundamental problems right now is how to govern the growth of molecules which are self assembling. For those who are arachnophobic; Nobel Prize winner Sir Harold Kroto imagines a nanospider capable of weaving these structures together in a uniform way. Growth and growth management -read control- is the current generator of paradigm shifts in science. For instance; engineers have to think like biologist and anticipate on the idea that structures can grow. This helps them to understand the underlying dynamics of a structure. This is a novel way of working within science and the academic world. Science -and in particular nanotechbecomes a truly multidisciplinary and a blanket subject area that combines biology, chemistry, biochemistry, and technology among other things. Small scale (micro) science (atomic and molecular) is called nanoscience. To give you an idea about the scale we are talking about; a single nanometer is one billionth of a meter wide and 1/100,000th of the width of a single human hair and that’s about a string of five atoms! Amazingly small. Hard to imagine isn’t it? At IBM in Zurich they build a device that can tactile sense atoms and move them across a surface using quantum mechanical tunneling techniques. Basically you can move them in a perfect pattern. Yes, even write your name on a quantum level! Nanohedron, a online gallery, aims to exhibit scientific images, with a focus on images depicting nanoscale objects ( Is it art? I don’t know, but is definitely worthwhile to visit. What is key in nanoart is that it’s not only using technology, but that it’s inseparable from it in the process phase. The space in which the artworks are created is ‘’infinitely small” and thus generates new ways of thinking, methodologies, offers different ways of artistic expression and poses innumerable questions. Working with Nanotech as an artist is a statement because by definition, the infinite cannot be revealed nor consumed.

Yes, it’s provocative, it’s subtle and intelligent because it removes the direct view of the image and paradoxally offers a “non-vision.” Nanoart can be an antidote to the massive invasion of external images and bring forth a degeneration of the object and sight. Whatever the outcome is, whether you like the aesthetics or not, it’s an optical clear statement. Nanotech is very similar to information. It is selfreplicating, or could be. Sci-fi writers would like us to imagine a world where nano-bullets are fired at the moon that converts it (the entire moon) into an evolving and living nano/ecosystem in a matter of weeks. Changes in society are sensed much earlier by artists and writers than by us normans. They use their craft to amplify what they sense and by doing so make us aware of these changes. K.-Eric Drexler, a nanotech pioneer, in Engines of Creation (1990), conceives a future where all matter is reconfigurable. He brings together the dexterity of the computer and notions surrounding the programmability of atoms to create his vision of nanotechnology. Drexler -and his followers- believe in the possibility of manipulating matter atom by atom, building materials and structure from the bottom up by joining atoms together. In the Engines of Creation we feature Drexler’s account of how a rocket engine might be grown in a vat. If this technology were developed successfully, it would turn the whole world on its head; steak could be grown in meat machines not bigger than a microwave. Or how a swarm of self-organizing, self-replicating nanobots turn a planet into “Gray Goo.” Writers of science fiction love the idea of out-ofcontrol nanomachines. Machines that self-replicate and devour anything in their path. It’s cool, it’s sensational, it’s dramaturgical interesting. I can imagine it’s more fun to write about the Decepticons than the Autobots Transformers. After all, writers -and artists in general- need a story with some gravity, right?! But the bottom-line is that the author of this book is aware about the environmental effects of nanotech and poses questions about implications and impact of nanotech upon society. That is the crux or essence of this story. The artist -in this case a writeras an interpretator of his time, making predictions -here in the shape of a story- about the future. The artist as a messenger.

If this is to sci-fi for you? Well, I wonder what you think about this abstract of an -currently unpatented- existing nanotech device. A neuro sensory receptor. It has cochlea properties and it’s nano. It consists of a microphone, optical and visual components using fiber optics.

Who among us have not had at least one long, dark night where we wonder if there is really hope for humanity at all? To see the world we live and not sometimes despair? Things are bad, the problems are huge. The future, we sometimes suspect, will be unthinkable.

Now here it comes; if the device were to be implanted in our brain -located on the brain stem- where it would interact with the nervous system. Through this technology we could control the following elements in the body: swallowing, eyes, toes, knees, wrists, brow, lips, face, nose, thumb. Does this sound like horror to you or could you imagine it as a useful piece of technology for disabled people or animals? In any case, we are clearly seeing the emergence of science faction.

But despair is a trap and none of the problems we face are insurmountable. Nanotech is no doubt capable of revolutionizing everything in our world. However this technology poses a massive risk of a kind unimaginable. While the constructive powers of this technology are phenomenal, as with any technology, the destructive powers are maybe far greater.

Ok, in reality these wild ideas and inventions are -still- rather scarce. The near future nano applications are more likely to be novel light emitting materials for flatpanel television applications and intermediate steps alike. Novel ways to treat cancer and innovative ways to store date and produce or store energy. This is due to the industry and economy who demands useful and short term applications. In any way, technology like this would have to be controlled in a way unimaginable to today’s technological possibilities. The fundamental question is whether nanoscientists need a managing principle akin to the Hippocratic oath. Some sort of reinterpretation of the precautionary principle -the idea that any action whose outcomes are unknown or potentially negative should be avoided. The aforementioned principle has already been discussed in the field of biotechnology and genetics with a certain global communs sensus as a result. In my opinion this discussion, which is mainly about negotiating the ethical boundaries, laws rules and regulations should broaden up to the field of nanotechnology as well.

Scientist are doing it but artists can help us to imagine, understand, question and take advantage of nanotechnology in order to express our deepest feelings and thoughts concerning the reality and the impact of technology in particular. The current Zeitgeist is very interesting for scientist and artists. A renewed alliance is near. While scientists are shifting to a multidisciplinary approach, artists are shifting to a interdisciplinary approach. Out of this alliance new and unexpected things can emerge. But as Gandalf, the wizard in Lord of The Rings would say: ‘’With great power comes great responsibility!’’

Frederik De Wilde °1975, lives in Brussels (BE). Studied fine arts (MA), audio-visual arts (MA) & followed a pre-education in architecture, studied one year of philosophy and concluded his studies with a post-graduate degree in new media, arts & design at TRANSMEDIA Brussels (MA) where he was initiated in software programming. Frederik is currently collaborating with the University Hasselt researching material physics & biology. In 2008 he received a research grant by the VGC to explore the relationships between the arts, biotechnology and genetics.


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ToucH’ear Have you come across the same word in the book, but never know its exact meaning? Or chance upon a French expression but do not know how to pronounce it correctly? If we had to stop to jot it down or to check the dictionary, it would have broken the flow and pleasure of reading. What if I could just touch those letters and have its meaning or pronunciation whispered into my ear? ToucH’ear makes obtaining additional information while reading intrinsic. By touching a word or phrase in a particular piece of reading material, the user can listen to its related information, like its pronunciation or its meaning.

We examine the possibility of expanding the human potential through robotics, innately empowering users in their everyday activities.



“Would someone please point me in the right direction?” Dandella provides an intuitive way to navigate, giving directions by ‘pointing’ to the right way. This device is GPS-based and works with GPS enabled mobile phones to track physical locations. Robotic technology allows Dandella to bend signifying the direction of the tracker. Dandellas can be programmed to track each other, for parent and child to locate one another. Alternatively, Dandella can also be a navigation device to direct the user to a particular set of GPS coordinates determined by the user. By ‘going where it points’ users can instinctively find their way with Dandella. Dandella exemplifies our research interest in simplifying technology, replacing complicated digital interfaces with possible physical interfaces that are more direct and intuitive. These physical interfaces draw inspirations from our daily behaviors like gestures, habits and emotional reactions.





Roly Poly "Could I feel the physical presence of my close ones – a squeeze on my shoulder perhaps?" Roly Poly enables two individuals to feel constantly connected even though they may be physically apart. This is achieved by recreating the sense of physical presence through the mirrored movements in a pair of Roly Polys. A soft tap to rock one Roly Poly gently will simultaneously "rock" its partner Roly Poly to the same degree. Likewise, a sudden shake and rattle in one will result in a corresponding reaction in the other instantly. While the Internet provides text messaging and video calling interaction options, Roly Poly offers a unique, spontaneous and subtle mode of instant communication, exclusive between two individuals. Roly Poly is the starting point for our investigation into new possibilities in communication.





LED Field

We observed that children love to walk on painted lines on sidewalks, tracing them with their steps, or hop from one coloured tile to another. LED Field is an interactive playground that aims to capture this spirit of imaginative play. Children playing on it experience being ‘chased’ by glowing lights, ‘seeing’ ripple effects when they stamp their feet and “drawing” boundaries to create games.


Digital Magnifier “The text on my screen is too small.” “Why won’t the computer just do what I need it to do?” Digital Magnifier provides a direct interface between user and technology by having a single function – enlarging information (both text and graphic) shown on the screen like a traditional magnifying glass. It connects directly to the computer via USB. The software activated enlarges the portions of the screen where the Digital Magnifier scans, offering enlargements with a sharper resolution than a traditional magnifying glass. When we have computers that are so sophisticated, it may seem redundant to have a physical tool that performs just one simple function. Yet, because these new tools are shaped and behave like objects we are familiar with, we intuitively know how to use them for the digital world. The act of plugging it in to use and removing it when it is not needed emulates how we would do a task physically, by taking a tool, using it then setting it aside after. These tools strip away the complexity we associate with using technology as intention of each tool is clear. With that, the operation of the computer simplified for the user.


Experience Kaleidoscope We observed that children like to capture and share their experiences spontaneously with others.

Experience Kaleidoscope is a ‘personal experience diary’ for children. Operating just like a Kaleidoscope, the child peers through it and turns the wheel to capture what they see. In a classroom setting, each child projects their own captured images onto walls to share personal experiences. The overlapping projections throughout the room create an interactive and spontaneous learning environment. Children are inquisitive by nature. Experience Kaleidoscope enables them to store images of things new and interesting to them. Through an intrinsic exchange of knowledge by sharing images, they are encouraged to learn through playing, both individually and in groups.


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AROUND MOBILE AroundMobile is an exploration on the boundaries between mobile technologies and the world of objects, artefacts and physical products that support both communication and social processes and behaviours. AroundMobile aims at investigating the bandwidth of the mobile concept, from ultra mobile ubiquitous solutions, to static objects that exploit, from a different perspective, the potentialities of mobile technology, such as the possibility to be remotely activated and/or to wireless retrieve information etc. The workshop goal is to design autonomous artefacts (not a mobile phone) that embed mobile technology potentialities in terms of innovative formal, sensorial/expressive and interaction qualities.

SONAR SONAR is a visual music player for the home context that allows owners to share, watch and listen to the music of their friends and their friends’ extended network. SONAR also includes a personal device for accessing music at all times. The home product enables people to create play lists physically and dynamically by accessing other SONAR products that are ‘online’ and connected to its network. By plugging the portable devices in, new friends can be added to the SONAR network, and new play lists accessed. The portable interactive object is made of soft aluminium and is geared with GSM technology. The form is inspired by the form of megaphone. It is iconic and user-friendly, interacting with the simple consoles and OLED touch screen.


L+JAMES LEGO - JAMES is a tracking device for the parents to track down the position of their children and communicate with them It takes into account parents’ increasing need for security and awareness. LEGO - JAMES targets kids between 7 and 12 years old. Kids old enough to walk alone to school, play outside the house with their friends, and able to handle low profile technological devices. The idea of this project is to reassure parents about the location of their kids, but also give the kids a device, which they can accept and play with. The playful LEGO is integrated in a wristband that gives the child the facility of using it everywhere at any time. The bracelet works, like the typical LEGO products, with studs and modular applications. The children can therefore play and create its own personalized bracelet, according to the applications they decide to use. The wristband has incorporated the GPS, SIM card and 3G technology. Many different modules can be added to the band which enable the user to play with friends, watch one’s own parents on a screen, listen to music or playing games, etc.


CITIZENS APPLIANCES Established facilities, such as libraries, hospitals, museums, stations, and public spaces in general are facing a transformation. Stimulated by technological progress and by emerging social behaviours, service-places are looking for a new identity renovating their spatial/relational qualities and their eco-system made of appliances, facilities and services.Citizens Appliances is a wide-spectrum investigation embracing services and activities that are at the heart of the transformation of citizens’ life. They are interactive design artefacts made for accessing/managing citizen services to be placed in public spaces.The concepts envision new interfaces and tools for citizen services inspired by the crossing of interactive systems, scenarios, social behaviours and trends characterizing the Y generation.

LOCAL MEMORY Collecting the memories of a place. Public places being hit by terrorism have changed forever in our perception. There is a need to revive these places - so that they will resume their part in city life and future, and the desire to remember the event and the following expressions of solidarity, gathering letters, poems, flowers and supports. Local Memory is a modular system of urban furniture, designed to be placed in these locations in order to tell their story and strengthen their future by enhancing civic expression and exchange. Using Local Memory the citizens can browse through an on site audio and visual archive of the place, searching through different topics and navigating in time. Users can also add new recordings or images to the archive. Therefore the growing archive is a capsulation of the site’s evolutions, and of its surrounding community.

META.FLUSSO An integrated system to support urban mobility in a sustainable and adaptive way Optimized personal mobility and citizens’ use of public transportation would contribute to an improvement of the overall environmental conditions and allow people to better manage their waiting time thus increasing their personal well being. Through a strategically placed - where different flows are crossing - family of dynamic urban furniture, Metaflusso acts as a city barometer and a flow dispatcher. Giving awareness related to traffic, environment factors (weather, pollution) and upcoming transportation, the system also “answers” citizens’ queries related to mobility or on optimized waiting time.




‘Play’ has got a high potential for revealing underlying social patterns and for triggering mutual exchange through direct engagement. Therefore reflection on playful interactions becomes capital whenever there is necessity of captivating, maintaining and increasing the levels of attention and engagement.

Children have a wild imagination. Imaginary companions are part of a child’s daily growing-up process. Imaginative play is a way of teaching the child some simple life’s lessons. iMon is a portable toy that gives life to children’s imaginary creatures, who will stay with the child in times of fear and loneliness. Interaction between the child and the device stimulates enjoyment and help establishing connections with other children. iMon will make every childhood experience a long lasting one.

Widespread diffusion of affordable and cost effective technologies has evidently impacted also playing and gaming’s domains. Even more so, play activities are generally at the forefront of interaction design, enabling experiments and explorations of potential unusual interaction paradigms. Being an activity,

Our project aims to enhance child’s playful relationship with imaginary companions, as to support childhood experiences and create long lasting memories. Most interactive toys are intended to be friends to children. However too often they just stand as simple electronic pets rather than friends. These toys beg to be played with, fed, and talked to with simple kind of interactions. They usually end up as one of the goods the family owns. Instead, iMON is a stimulating tool with visualizing functionality, tactile feedbacks and creative encouragements as the toy has customizable features. Another purpose of iMON is to give the user a sense of companionship and security in times of fear - especially in the dark. Toys stimulate children’s imagination by bridging the gap between reality and fantasy. The toy has to be the centre of attention and lends itself to diverse purposes without limitations.

which is only marginally connected with production, playing

is often overlooked as a phenomenon. On the other

hand, while considering human activities at large, it is clear that it is through play that humans explore, learn and then, ultimately, translate newly learnt abilities into other fields.


DONGMURON Dongmuron is a soft modular robot, covered with “smart fabric” capable of changing colours and patterns, for building life-like robots. It can recognize its shape and the “food” it receives in order to assume a specific living identity. The play activity can be controlled as either a basic puzzle mode with hints for building a defined animal with constrained behaviours, or a more complex exploratory mode for building an unknown living creature. The “Dongmuron” is a modular robot that changes its behaviours, aspect, personality and identity according to the combinations of pieces connected together. It is composed of 2 modules and covered with elastic smart texture. Thanks to this texture, it can reproduce many different animals’ colours, patterns, expressions, feelings and can be transformed into a special third creature by the user. The children can feel fulfilled while creating various kind of animals, and also expressing their creatures. The “Dongmuron” can be used not only by normal children but also by disabled ones such as hearing impaired and blind children because it gives visual, graphic and audio feedbacks. Especially autistic children can improve memorial ability and

social skills by helping each other in order to put it together. Moreover the doctor could take care of the child using remote control to select the toy-robot’s identity before the patient starts to play as well as change the amount of interactions and feedbacks, lights and sounds to give specific hints to the child.


TANGIBLE FURNITURE Tangible Furniture explores the domain of domesticity and of daily gestures. It investigates how technology

can be used to fill in the gaps created by the rapid change brought in by innovations in both society and technology. It focuses especially on all those settings that seem to recoil upon sudden unannounced changes. Tangible Furniture assumes that furniture, as well as any mundane objects, can empower people way beyond its sheer material presence. This is made possible by letting people experience information and communication through different channels. The idea is that often augmenting familiar objects ease the way to innovation, allowing technology to bring its full potential also where it might otherwise be hindered. Tables, chair couches and other pieces of familiar household furniture are trusted companions of daily routine. However for the most part they’re silent witnesses of their users’ life-streams. Layering onto furniture’s advanced performances - keeping the link with modern lifestyles - enters the possibility of producing new behaviours and new meaningful rituals.

MUSIC RACK Music Rack is an interactive clothes rack. This rack has a built-in sensing system .

By changing the arrangement of the hangers the user can mix the music played into the store. The music rack system allows new forms of entertainment within the traditional shopping setting. Guests are able to keep on shopping while encountering a new level of interaction in a fun and playful way. This concept is potentially adaptable to customers’ music selections, additional rack layouts, and various product types. The sensors will be able to tell when a clothes hanger is hung upon a certain area. When a hanger is above a certain area, a loop from a song will be played on the speakers above the rack. Therefore on one rack there will be numerous loops and songs that can be played by rearranging the clothes on display. The rack will also have a set of proximity sensors. The sensors will be able to turn on or off the system as well as change the song’s loops being played. These sensors will trigger when someone walks by the rack outside. This will notify the passer-by that this is not a normal clothes rack, and bring the passer-by inside to investigate further.


WIDGETABLE Widgetable is an ‘Ambient table’ that passively displays information and

enhances useful basic interactions within the kitchen environment.

The table displays a set of widgets selected through a web-based service allowing the user to visualize and manage contents. Other devices such as mobile phones, music players and kitchen appliances can interact and be controlled by Widgetable. The visual language is based on patterns representing different information channels. Further details can be visualized through scrolling texts on the table borders.


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Marie O’Mahony

Photo: Andreas Pettersson/Science Gallery


Hussein Chalayan/ Swarovski Mechanical Dress 40’s - 60’s, One Hundred and Eleven Collection, Spring/Summer ‘07 The title is in reference to transcending the history of fashion for one hundred and eleven years as each garment from the collection literally moves through time from 1895 to the present day.

This dress moves through three decades, 40’s, 50’s then 60’s. For the 40’s look the hemline is reduced to a trombone shape. This expands – literally, to create the umbrella-like shape for the 1950’s followed by revealing pockets where the metal panels come out for the 60’s style.


To achieve the effect, precision cut plastics have been riveted together and a strong fishing wire attached and run through white plastic tubing before being stitched to a corset underneath the dress. This runs round the body to the back where it is attached to a pulley mounted on a small but powerful motor. The movement of the dress is predetermined and computer controlled. The challenge in creating the garment was to marry the technical with the aesthetic. The dress is adorned with Swarovski crystal embellishment, intricately hand embroidered using the most innovative crystal developments and uneven cuts. Exhibition: TechnoThreads, Science Gallery, Dublin

Photos: courtesy of Swarovski


Above: The wine dress is shown right and the Guinness dress shown left.


Photo: Andreas Pettersson/Science Gallery

Donna Franklin/Gary Cass Micro‘be’ Fermented Fashion investigates the practical and cultural biosynthesis of microbiology. The collaborative project between Franklin, a contemporary artist and Cass, a scientific technician, is based at The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, at The University of Western Australia. This work aims to explore how we might make fabrics and garments in the future, examining the practicalities and cultural implications of commercialisation. Instead of industrial weaving machines producing the textile, living microbes ferment a garment. The living part of Micro‘be’ is a colony of safe, non-hazardous micro organisms, Acetobacter, five microns in size. The bacterium converts the alcohol into vinegar with a cellulose by-product. It smells like red wine and feels like sludge when wet, but the cotton-like cellulose dress fits snugly as a second skin. The Guinness Dress debuted in TechnoThreads Exhibition, Science Gallery at Trinity College, Dublin. The bacteria struggled with the conversion of Guinness to cellulose probably due to the extra malt and sugars. The resulting garment is sticky when wet with a fine glossy sheen, the smell is sweeter than the wine dress.


Maharishi (UK) In 1994 maharishi was founded by Hardy Blechman who remains the Creative Director.

The company carries a strong ethos of respect for nature while utilising the latest technology. Blechman began by producing hemp and other natural fibre clothing as well as recycling workwear and military surplus. This has evolved to become the company’s signature camouflage design range for mens, womens, childrens clothing as well as accessories and products. Collaboration with artists and designers including the grafitti artist Futura are a vital element in the label’s creative process.

maharishi/Hokusai (UK) Recycled BDU Tour Jacket, Autumn/Winter 2007 Conscious of the impact of clothing consumption on the environment, the jacket is made using recycled US Army cotton. Military surplus clothing originally found its way on to the consumer market as a source of low cost clothing where they were often sold for less than it cost to manufacture them. As surplus traders and consumers began to embellish them with embroidery and badges, camouflage began to find a place the streetwear, high street and ultimately the catwalks of Paris. This is a collaboration with Guest Artist: Hokusai (1760-1849). Exhibition: TechnoThreads, Science Gallery, Dublin; Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Recycled BDU Tour Jacke Photo: Marie O’Mahony


Emmaichai (UK)

maharishi/Futura (UK)

Graduated Stripe, Spring/Summer 2008

FHI, Autumn/Winter 2004/5

The black and white graphics from the from Spring/Summer 2008 sweatshirt reference dazzle disruptive patterns on World War I and World War II ships. The dazzle paint scheme involved painting ships in disruptive patterns to confuse German torpedo operators as to the direction that the ship was travelling, its speed and distance. It proved a very effective defence against submarine attack. Emmaichai is the women’s diffusion line from maharishi.

Photos: Andreas Pettersson/Science Gallery

A collaboration with the Grafitti artist Futura, the design has been machine embroidered to add to the Escher-like optical illusion stripe. The Dutch graphic artist is most famous for his clever mathematical play with perspective that illustrates impossible constructions. His prints confuse the eye and strain the brain as the viewer struggles to make sense of the images before them.


Walter van Beirendonck Van Beirendonck studied Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, establishing his own label, Walter Van Beirendonck in 1983. He had his first breakthrough in 1987 as part of The Antwerp Six British Designer Show. Influences range from art, music and literature to ethnic culture, nature and safe sex. Humour, strong graphics and innovative cuts combined with unusual colour combinations are a constant in his work.

Sexangel, Spring/Summer 08

Photo: Andreas Pettersson/Science Gallery


From the Sexclown collection the work reflects a fascination with new types of future fetishism. Avatars, digital life forms and African Sogobo rituals combine to create an aesthetic that celebrates masculinity and body diversity. Van Beirendonck’s intention was to create a look that gave the appearance of having just stepped out of the digital world. This is a hyper-reality of accentuated shoulders, hips and waistlines.

Photo: Marie O’Mahony

Humour, strong graphics and innovative cuts combined with unusual colour combinations are a constant in his work.

Bono Jacket, 1997 (detail) Van Beirendonck designed the costumes for U2’s PopMart tour. Action Man was the inspiration behind the various outfits, evoking a larger than life meets futuristic persona. Bono’s outfits included Bonoman, Muscleman, TV Man, Walking Target and Fly 2000.

Heartman, Spring/Summer 08 From the Sexclown collection this garment combines a traditional woven fabric for the trousers with a latex top that covers the torso including the hands and head. Openings have been left for the eyes, nose and mouth. A bodice specially created by Mr Pearl accentuates the drama of the body further, drawing in the waist to accentuate the legs and torso. Exhibition: TechnoThreads, Science Gallery, Dublin

Photo: Andreas Pettersson/Science Gallery


Yoshiki Hishinuma (JP) Textile, fashion and costume designer Yoshiki Hishinuma launched his label in 1984 and was awarded the New Designer’s Prize at Tokyo’s Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix. He trained in textiles and fashion at the Miyake Design Studio, giving insight into the world of experimental textiles technology for fashion. His work pushes the boundaries of fabric and fashion through the exploration of synthetics and their thermoplastic properties, creating transparency and opacity and flat next to high relief surfaces. He is also researching and developing innovative threedimensional knitted garments. Hishinuma has designed costumes for dance including the Nederlands Dans Theater’s Arcimboldo. Left: Three Dimensional Knitted Jacket, Autumn/Winter 2005. Instead of taking flat cloth then cutting and stitching it to make a three dimensional form, Hishinuma has developed a range of 3D machine knitted garments. Hi is striving to make as much of the garment in one process as possible, reducing and in many instance eliminating the need for stitching. This process has implications for the way clothes are designed and their shapes.


Photos: Marie O’Mahony

Above: Costumes for Arcimboldo 2000, Nederlands Dans Theatre. Synthetics such as polyester are said to have thermosetting properties, that is, they can be heat treated to create three dimensional surfaces or colour. Heat-setting can create a whole range of textures not unlike the puckered effects created with dye patters achieved with traditional Japanese technique of shibori. Hishinuma was invited to design the fabric and costumes for the Arcimboldo 2000 which was a ‘pièce d’occasion’ for Jirí Kylián to celebrate his twenty years with Nederlands Dans Theatre Exhibition: TechnoThreads, Science Gallery, Dublin 47

Suzi Webster (Can) Electric Skin Suzi Webster is a Canadian multimedia artist. Much of the motivation behind her work revolves around the technologies that we use and their impact on us as human beings. This she achieves through the creation of wearable or responsive environments. . It is part of a growing number of clothes that use smart materials and systems that sense and respond to external stimulus. In Electric Skin Webster’s original intention was to create a garment that would provide a space for quiet contemplation away from the myriad of media stimulation that surrounds us on a daily basis. The garment is bioresponsive sensing and responding to the inhalation and exhalation of the wearer’s breath using electroluminescent wires to create pulses of light in response. Electric Skin has an etheral quality as it changes from static pure white to emitting a pale them more intense glow around the hood. On completing the work the artist realised that it was not in fact relaxing to wear, but instead gave the wearer a feeling of unease. She was not entirely surprised by this given that it is powered by electricity so that the wearer is in fact surrounding their body with a flow of electric current What the wearer does experience is an altered state of perception immersed in a pale blue aquatic light. The result is the creation of a space that is neither inner nor outer, but in between – a third space. Exhibition: TechnoThreads, Science Gallery, Dublin

Photo: Andreas Pettersson/Science Gallery 48



Student Samplers Students at four colleges were invited to design samplers for potential use in fashion but using industrial fabrics as a starting point. The outcome is an extraordinary array of designs and aesthetics. The techniques used include: heating: knitting; melting: cutting; stitching; layering; beading; interlacing and appliqué. Additions to the materials include: beads; threads; needles; buttons; rubber ribbon; Perspex birds, metallic foils and additional fabrics and trimmings. Exhibition: TechnoThreads, Science Gallery, Dublin; Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Student samplers with fabrics supplied by: Palmhive – Warp knitted black bobble anti-radar camouflage. The camouflage works because there are no hard edges to bounce the signal off so the radar does not know it is there. It is mainly used over military tanks. One unusual feature of this fabric is that it is sold be weight rather than length because its stretch makes it difficult to measure. Verdant Solutions - Suppliers of industrial materials including nonwovens and filtration mesh. Nonwovens are made using an ‘informal’ structure where the fibers are laid across one another then bonded by heat, water jets, stitching or a combination of these.

Participating Colleges: Textile Design Department, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London Multi-Media Textile Department, Loughborough University School of Art and Design (LUSAD), Leicestershire Textile Design, National College of Art and Design, Dublin ‘Interface, University of Ulster, Belfast’

Photos: Alex Madjitey/Science Gallery, Dublin



Centre for Research in Art Technologies & Design, University of Ulster, Belfast Girli Concrete Girli Concrete is the brainchild of Patricia Belford and Ruth Morrow working at Interface: Centre for Research in Art Technologies and Design part of the University of Ulster in Belfast. The work looks to literally incorporate fabric as acoustic insulation into the fabric of the building material, concrete. This impacts on so many levels: visual in the combination of delicate fabric with brutalist concrete to create an unconventional juxtaposition. At a tactile level it invites the viewer to touch and experience the differences, hard, soft, cold, warm. It also operates at an environmental level reducing the need for additional painting or cladding over the concrete. The duo are exploring a wide range of textile materials selected for aesthetic, cultural and acoustic properties. Cashmere, flocked fabric and even lace from their native Northern Ireland are all being explored and undergoing tests for their various acoustic properties. The work is produced in panels that are formed in moulds. The fabric is placed in a mould with cement poured over and left to dry over a period of twenty-eight days. Exhibition: Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Photos: courtesy Girli Concrete



Meystyle Digital Curtain Wallpaper Lighting is a feature we normally expect to see next to or attached to the wall but Meystyle have abandoned tradition and incorporated lights into their wallpaper designs. LED’s provide ambient lighting as they are incorporated into the material. The low level lighting adds an aesthetic quality but also provide a spatial marker at night when all other lights are off. The use of Swarovski crystals accentuates the impact of the LED’s as the two work in harmony to create a dramatic impact. The digital designs are printed onto a synthetic fabric for the wallpaper with matching designs available in flame retardant fabric for upholstery and cushions. Ekaterina Yaschuk and Maria Yaschuk are the duo behind Meystyle. Ekaterina specialises in the spatial design and styling while Maria describes her contribution as that of a surface and textile artist. The result of this combination is a bespoke product that considers not just the space itself but its relationship to the furniture and the movement of people. Much of the time they encourage clients to use a combination of designs. The Digital Curtain design will often hang alongside lengths of Night Stripe with colours complementing but the rhythm changing. Unlike conventional wallpaper, these designs do not necessarily occupy the whole wall with some areas remaining ‘blank’, usually white. In this way, and in their position somewhere between design and art, the work is more akin to traditional Gobelin tapestries than conventional wallpaper. Exhibition: Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Photos: courtesy Meystyle


Driessen + van Deijne Court ‘De Brug’ Amsterdam Driessen + van Deijne were invited by Bakers Architects in Utrecht to make an art intervention into the interior corridor walls of a building. Although funded as part of the art budget, the brief also asked that they incorporate some form of acoustic insulation into the work. Hil Driessen and Toon van Deijne are part of a new breed of creatives who have the ability to work as artists and designers but also have the substantial technical expertise to undertake work of this nature. The duo began by creating a series of moodboards considering how fabric sits, drapes and moves within a building as people move past or create airflow opening doors and windows. The ideas were refined to a series of layered fabrics in crisp hues of blue to yellow. These were photographed before being used as the basis doe digital prints on a Trevira CS fabric. The series of images have been backed by a sound absorbing and flame retardant nonwoven fabric with both elements mounted on frames to create additional depth and clean edging. Driessen stresses the importance of photography in this and their work in general. In carefully considering the image and taking the time to set it up exactly as they want they keep the computer intervention to a minimum. In an age of digital photography the medium has increasingly become ubiquitous and disposable. Driessen + van Deijne remind us of the depth the medium can reach in the right hands. Exhibition: Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Photos: courtesy Driessen + van Deijne



Exhibition: Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Photos: courtesy Rebecca Earley


Rebecca Earley/ Lorna Bircham/ Sue Ridge Hospital Gowns 100 Radiotherapy Treatment Gowns for the Queen Elizabeth Centre for the Treatment of Cancer, Public Art Commissions Agency (1999) Rebecca Earley is currently a Reader of Textiles Environment Design (TED) and Associate Lecturer on BA and MA Textile Design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London. Her signature textile is the heat photogram technique which she began exploring while studying her MA and has gone on to further refine and develop since.

She has introduced environmental and sustainability issues to her work enriching not just the finished design but the whole design and production process. Earley’s 1999 hospital gown series illustrates this process. This work was commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Centre for the Treatment of Cancer, Birmingham. Each of the 100 gowns was designed using the photogram process of printing with the plants the directly onto fabric. The imagery used shows homeopathic plants used in the care of cancer patients varying according to the type of cancer. Rebecca changed the existing gown design, reshaping it and adding new functional details. The gowns were originally sized by colour (blue for small, pink for large etc.) and recognizing this as problematic for self-conscious patients, Rebecca changed this to a discrete numbered system. The gowns were printed using Earley’s ‘exhaust print’ method which creates no waste fabric, water or chemical pollution. The overall design and aesthetic are far removed from the anonymous and aesthetically sterile garments that patients are usually required to wear.


Tara Carrigy Interactive Yoga Wear The Interactive Yoga Wear emerged as an initiative between the Crafts Council of Ireland and the Adaptive Information Cluster at Dublin City University (DCU). Tara Carrigy became first craftsperson in residence in an Irish university and went on to produce a prototype garment for yoga as well as a performance piece for Kilkenny Arts Festival 2006.

The work combines smart materials and craft techniques demonstrating that technology and tradition can be brought together successfully to enrich both disciplines. The intention of the garment is to allow practitioners to self-monitor in real time. Tiny transmitters are embedded into the fabric to take readings from the garment to show how the movement and breathing are being performed. The craft element is present through the print and surface embellishment of the garment. The intention is to produce a garment that is high tech and fully functional, but also have a strong aesthetic appeal.


The first stage in the development of this garment was shown at the 2006 Kilkenny Arts Festival in the Jacare Jungle interactive perfomance by Capoeira dancers. The highly acclaimed perfomance was a sell-out as it combined a specially commissioned short story, dance performance and gave children the opportunity to experience the science of smart materials and sensors in action. Exhibition: Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Photos: courtesy Tara Carrigy



Bill Burns Safety Gear for Small Animals Bill Burns is the Director of the Safety Gear for Small Animals.

The motivation is animal rescue, relocation and rehabilitation. Burns uses the a branch of Safety Gear for Small Animals known as the Museum Safety Gear for Small Animals to communicate this message around the world. The itinerant museum consists of nineteen scale model pieces with a total weight of just 944 grams using 2,750 machine stitches and 234 hand stitches. The exhibits include a trio of tents for Bio-Hazard to Radiation and Triage, a mosquito net, safety vest, floatation devices, respirator, visor and hardhat. These are all intricately made and manage to be both ironic yet raise serious issues. Part of the reason they are so disturbing is that their scale is so tiny, emphasising the vulnerability and lack of consent from the animals. As viewers we are familiar with these products often on a daily basis and do not think twice about them. By changing the scale and use we look afresh. Exhibition: Exhibition: Design Exhibition 2008, IFAI Photos: courtesy Bill Burns 63

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Multimodal art and media Although technological innovation in art and media has greatly advanced the ways in which artworks can stimulate our senses, this innovation predominantly concerns the same few sensory modalities, and only rarely aims at supporting the integration between them. Recent artistic Research and Development (aRt&D) has, however, made great progress in developing methods for multimodal art; enhancing the sensorial richness of art and media experiences in integrated ways. Test_Lab: Multimodal investigated these new methods and technologies to stimulate senses that are not commonly incorporated in artistic concepts, and presented innovative ways to integrate sensory experiences in art and media. In the Test_lab format ‘investigate’ equates to exploring-by-doing. For this edition the audience was invited to take part in a hands-on, tongue-on, ears-on, and nose-on exploration of the latest achievements in stimulating the senses; through odour art, a sensorysubstitution device, sensory-enhanced film, granular synthesised audio-visuals, and cuddly music interfaces. By means of this exploration, Test_Lab: Multimodal aimed to reveal the obstacles faced, and achievements made, in contemporary aRt&D that aims to enhance the sensorial richness of art and media experiences in (technologically) integrated ways.

Fooddesign by Lisa Goudzwaard ©

Arjen Mulder © Jan Sprij (

Contemporary aRt&D on multimodality There is no better way to start an event on multimodality than by handing out bags of colourful snacks and crisps in unexpected and exciting flavours, created for the occasion by food designer Lisa Goudzwaard. While nibbling away on adventurously flavoured ‘green tea pumpkin seeds’, one almost forgets that most of the art and media surrounding us today are exclusively audio and visual, and largely ignore sensation like taste. In an institute known for innovating art and media experiences, one wonders if, and how, art and media could incorporate sensations like the one being experienced right now from a green-tea flavoured pumpkin seed. Despite audio-visual’s evident dominance in art and media, the realization that stimulating, in integrated ways, other and multiple senses at the same time may result in stronger sensory experiences is not a very new thought. This is what Arjen Mulder, a widely published essayist on media theory, pointed out in his opening of Test_Lab: Multimodal. Mulder supported his statement by referring to the classic work of Marshall McLuhan, who in his time already claimed that media that addresses only one sensory channel results in sedation of other sensory channels. 65

The Emotional Chair

The emotional Chair © Jan Sprij

This sedation of senses can be observed in numerous daily events. For example, when only realizing that it is freezing cold in the office after shutting down one’s computer at the end of a long day. From McLuhan’s argument it can be derived that in art and media that address multiple senses simultaneously, the stimuli have to be integrated in such a way that the stimuli received by one modality channel do not interfere with the stimuli received by the other modality channels. In order to overcome such interference, art and media should address multiple senses in integrated or coherent ways. To experience the sedative characteristic of media, Mulder gave an inspiring homework assignment to

the Test_Lab audience: on your next holiday (preferably to a relatively isolated area) try to refrain from any contact with any media, either new or old; no TV, no phone, no books, nothing written nor recorded. From his own experience he could promise that after a few weeks one will experience an almost esoteric state of being, in which one’s senses open up like a stuffed nose over a eucalyptus steam bath. Although without a doubt eager to start the experiment right away, the Test_Lab audience was in for anything but media deprivation, as, on the other side of the presentation area, Graham Smith and Carmen Branje plugged in their Emotional Chair.

‘art and media should address multiple senses in integrated or coherent ways’


The Emotional Chair’s official name is the Alternative Sensory Information Display, but artist and inventor Graham Smith and co-developer Carmen Branje prefer the first name when referring to the work. The project, developed in collaboration with Ryerson University in Toronto and the Utrecht School of the Arts, enhances film by adding vibration, light, wind, and smell for the hearing-impaired. Smith introduced the project’s intentions by illustrating how deaf people experience film. Where a hearing person feels a certain tension building up as the intensity of the music increases in an old Hitchcock film for instance, a deaf person receives a textual ‘hint’ saying something to the effect of ‘very scary music’. The textual explanation obviously results in much less emotional impact on a deaf person than the actual sound does to a hearing viewer. According to Smith, with reference to Arjen Mulder’s introduction, the Emotional Chair turns video into what McLuhan calls a ‘hot’ medium; a medium that does not take much effort to absorb (in contrast to the textual hints for the hearing impaired). The Emotional Chair does so by adding vibration, movement, light, wind, and smell to the film experience with aid of speakers and lights in the chair’s armrests, a build-in mechanism that moves the chair up and down, and a box containing smells that are released in the air around the chair. These multimodal sensory stimuli are added in close correlation to the events occurring in the film. In the current version of the Emotional Chair, some of these stimuli are still being applied manually, but as the project develops, the aim is that all stimuli

are automatically mapped to the audio and video of the film. The most problematic stimulus to realise such an automatic mapping for is likely to be the sensation of smell. This is because there exist no lexicon or grammar for smell that could algorithmically map smells to audio and video. This also appeared to be a central issue in the work of Sissel Tolaas, who presented her artistic research on odour and fragrances further on in the Test_lab program. For the demo at Test_Lab, Graham and Carmen selected a ‘scary’, but in this context rather hilarious, scene from Steven Spielbergs’ Jurassic Park. After Arjen Mulder bravely volunteered to be the first person to try out the Emotional Chair, members of the audience also took their place in the chair to be literally shaken by dinosaurs as if they were in the film.

TouchMeDare © Jan Sprij

TouchMeDare A completely different take on multimodality is a project called TouchMeDare; a screen designed to motivate people to ‘touch’ each other by producing sounds as a reward for their physical interaction. People can position themselves on two sides of a very large screen, and sound is triggered whenever physical contact (mediated through the screen) is made with the person on the other side. In previous user tests it was noted that users ultimately began to compose ‘music' triggered through their movements, yet seemingly unaware of the fact that they were almost hugging the person on the other side of the screen. One could say it was due to its own success that the TouchMeDare prototype was so heavily damaged at a recent pop festival that it could not be physically demonstrated at Test_Lab. Sietske Klooster, Koen van Boerdonk, and Rob Tieben, who collaborated on the project at the Technical University of Eindhoven, instead showed documentation that reflected the user experience of TouchMeDare. The videos shown, partly recorded during the project’s showcase at the festival, illustrated how the project effectively, and without any prior instruction, invited strangers to create music together through physical interaction by way of the screen. In the discussion following the TouchMeDare presentation, an issue was raised concerning the experience of intimacy between the interacting users; the screen seemed rather hard and stiff, while a softer material would likely provoke more intimate social interaction. Klooster, van Boerdonk, and Tieben, indicated that a new prototype was being developed, with a strong focus on improving the intimate feeling of the TouchMeDare screen, precisely by making the textile used for the screen softer. The latter, however, imposes quite a few technical challenges regarding the sensors used. Motivated to overcome these challenges, it is clear that Sietske Klooster and her team at the Technical University of Eindhoven are heading towards even more successful exploitation of touch-sound integration to create a social bound between people.

‘a screen designed to motivate people to ‘touch’ each other by producing sounds as a reward for their physical interaction’


The FEAR of smell – the smell of FEAR While innovate technology to encourage social interaction as incorporated in TouchMeDare will definitely have an exciting future ahead, the Test_lab audience was soon to be confronted with the realization that one of the most basic mechanisms to create social bonds has largely been ignored in art and media: the sense of smell. Given that smell plays such an important role in social life, it is surprising how little use media and art make of it. One of the very few artists working exclusively with odour is Sissel Tolaas, who runs the olfactory laboratory International Flavours and Fragrances re_searchLab in Berlin. There, Tolaas works on her artistic and commercial smells, and is gradually building up a library of odours, currently containing over 2500 molecules and raw materials. Tolaas’ research started years ago from the observation that while there exist countless different smells in this world the only common labels of smell that we have are ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Inspired by this limited vocabulary for describing odour, Tolaas, who is a linguist by training, decided to develop a lexicon for smell called NASALO. She started this endeavour by simply training herself to differentiate between as many smells as she could.

After six years, she learned to differentiate between 6730 smells. Currently, Tolaas tries to include each one of those smells, and each new smell that she encounters, in dictionary-like documents, as part of a project that she works on in collaboration with several universities. In addition to these longer-term projects, Tolaas has set-up an impressive number of exhibitions on the basis of her smell research. In one exhibition, Tolaas captured the smell of money and applied it in a scratchn-sniff formula to the walls of a room within a banking building, which people could visit to touch and smell the money scented walls. As a result of this project, a credit card company is currently in the process of developing credits cards that have this concept applied to their strips; the cards smell of money.

Sissel Tolaas © Jan Sprij 68

Furthermore, she has synthesised the smell of numerous cities and neighbourhoods, and most recently, distilled 20 different smells of fear for an exhibition titled The FEAR of smell – the smell of FEAR, which had its premier exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and is currently touring the world. From the latter exhibition, Sissel Tolaas brought a number of samples for the Test_Lab audience to ‘try out’. The samples included the smell of a mysterious labelled ‘man number 5’, which, in the premier exhibition of the work at MIT List visual arts center, induced a woman to come back to the exhibition centre on a daily basis to smell and touch the gallery wall where the smell of that particular man “nr. 5” was applied to. The smells were so horrific it made you wonder how she could stand it.

Enactive Torch © Tom Froese

The Enactive Torch One very relevant development in the context of multimodality is often overlooked: sensory substitution, which is the translation of stimuli for one sensory modality to that of another. The reason why this development is often ignored in this context is, arguably, that for a very long time the last groundbreaking work on the topic was centred on very bulky and not very accessible technology, developed by Bach-y-Rita in the 1970s. The technology has, however, received a fair amount of attention over recent years; the principle of sensory substitution is now widely accepted as a fundamental proof for the theory that perception is the active, rather than the passive, receiving of stimuli. Various high-tech applications implementing sensory substitution have been developed (one of which, the Brainport Vision System, was also shown on video by Graham Smith during his presentation), but the principle of sensory substitution can also be demonstrated using a relatively simple and user friendly new device: the Enactive Torch. The Enactive Torch was developed by Tom Froese and Adam Spiers. Froese demonstrated the device to the Test_lab audience. Starting from his research at the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics at the University of Sussex and illustrating the empirical value of the Enactive Torch for the theory of active perception. Froese explained and showed in detail how the device transforms visual into haptic information by mapping an ultrasonic sensory input to vibration of the device. Scanning one’s surroundings with the Enactive Torch, handling it a bit like one uses a paintbrush, gives the somewhat awkward experience of

‘seeing’ with one’s hands; as vibrations are produced when the Enactive Torch’s ultrasonic beam hits an object or person in its surrounding. The device has recently received funding for the development of a next generation, indicating that research on and development of the Enactive Torch will continue in the context of blind aid devices and, as Froese emphasized, the arts. The popularity of the Enactive Torch during the demonstration session at Test_lab confirmed its potential for the latter. 69

MODELL 5 While many of the projects shown during this edition of Test_Lab were aiming at future technology to enhance the sensorial richness of art and media experiences - in integrated ways, the last project on the program was a look back at an influential pioneering work on the topic from the 1990s: a screening of artist duo Granular Synthesis’ audio visual performance installation MODELL 5. Granular Synthesis artist Ulf Langheinrich introduced the work himself; explaining how he and his Granular Synthesis partner Kurt Hentschläger decided to experimentally apply the granular synthesis audio manipulation principle (cutting an audio sequence up into tiny fragments and altering the fragment’s chronological order to create very typical sound effects) to video for the first time, and how they were baffled by the result. Even today, as the screening of MODELL 5 at Test_Lab showed, the multimodal installation is an intense experience. On a 10 x 3.5 meter projection screen, video of the face of Japanese performance artist Akemi Takeya is granulised together with a deep low sounding soundtrack. The result: sounds and visuals that are in constant perfect coherence; provoking a beautiful, but at times also disturbing, experience for the audience. Not without due cause the Modell 5 installation earned the Granular Synthesis duo their nickname; ‘media terrorists’. MODELL 5 is a groundbreaking work in the context of multimodal art and media because it is based on applying an audio manipulation technique (granular synthesis) to audio and video; treating the audio and visual as one medium melted together. When audio and visual stimuli are integrated like this, they are likely (and evidently, in case you have ever experienced MODELL 5) to overcome the sedative nature of art and media that Arjen Mulder spoke about at the beginning of this Test_Lab.

Obstacles and achievements The overwhelming experience of MODELL 5 at Test_ Lab: Multimodal powerfully demonstrated the potential artistic reward for contemporary aRt&D that aims to enhance the sensorial richness of art and media experiences in (technologically) integrated ways. At the same time, throughout the evening it also appeared that multimodality in art and media is not a very easy goal to pursue. For instance, one of the obstacles that came to light during Test_Lab: Multimodal is the lack of a lexicon for senses such as smell, which makes it difficult to create mappings of data to these sensations and vice versa. To create such lexicons, and to further develop methodologies for the use of such sensations in art and media experiences, the first step to take seems to be allowing such less-commonly used senses into the predominantly audio-visual paradigm of media and art. From there on, artists such as Sissel Tolaas will provide the fundamental work for artists like Graham Smith to follow-up on by incorporating such sensations in artistic experiences; scientists like Tom Froese will develop more technologies that redefine our way of thinking about perception, opening up whole new kinds of experiences for artists to use; and researchers like Sietske Klooster will continue to find innovative implementations of those experiences in our daily lives.


Laying innova tive eggs Scientists send probes into de ep space in an standing of th attempt to get e unknown. Ph a better underilips Design do own probes pr es something ojects. These 'fa similar with its r-future' resear and developm ch initiatives of ents that are no ten track trends more than tiny which may ultim blips on the cu ately evolve in ltural radar, bu to mainstream impact on Phili t issues that have ps' business. a significant "Obviously it's extremely diffi cult to accurate happen in the ly anticipate w future," says Cl hat's going to ive van Heerden innovation at , Senior Direct Philips Design. or of design-le "That's not ou emerging tren d r goal. With pr ds and behavi obes, we study our and examin nologies that, e the link with in a number of associated tech years time, may be relevant for our business." This involves tr acking develo pments in five environment, main areas - po technology an litics, economic d culture. This the impact of s, could be anythi the dwindling ng from assessing oi l su an increasingl pp lie s to st ud ying cultural m y homogenized igrations in world, e.g. how emerges in the a phenomenon Bronx in New Yo like ‘hip hop’ rk and influen Poland are dres ces the way in sing two years which kids in later. What is also im portant, accord ing to Van Hee in their historic rden, is unders al context. "If yo tanding events u relate social innovation to development the cycles and an d technical pa tterns that have years, you have occurred dow a clearer pictur n through the e of the future. As why things ha an example, th ppen and wha e developmen t to expect in by the first wor t of the aircraft ld war, while th was accelerate e same can be is a major cata d said for jet pow lyst for innova er in WWII. Crisi tion and unde is a pointer to s rs tanding contem the direction of porary tensions social and tech nological deve lopment "

Philips Des Lab Projec ign Probes t Id: 81

research initiative dicated ‘far-future’ de a is es into ob Pr n ultimately evolve Philips Desig lopments that may ve de s. d es an s sin nd bu tre to track cant impact on s that have a signifi mainstream issue five main areas; ts from research in igh ins res. te ra ne ge d technology futu The Probes , environments an re is ltu m cu ra ic, og om pr e on th ec , politics, post 2020 rstanding ‘lifestyle’ ode ec un d of an l aim cia e so th e With shifts in th probable systemic intellectual meant to identify siness and create bu r ou t ec aff to ing to ely lik s ain tional ways of think nomic dom challenges conven It from s. e ea ng ar ra w les ne ab in er property debate. Deliv te ula m sti to ts es ep otyp come up with conc of experience prot tives to the creation scenarios and narra and IP fortressing. n are part of out by Philips Desig ed rri ca cts oje pr ion hit rate. Growth The Design Probe oving the innovat pr im at ed aim y agement agendas a wider strateg on corporate man h hig is eek, ion at ov ures in Business W through inn yet, according to fig rld rn on tu wo re e r th fo s ut et ho throug eet the targ a w projects fail to m ing ne us all by of % ion 96 at to ov "up try to drive inn s nie pa m er co us y or an chnologies investment." M arch results, new te se re ich at wh th in ts el' ep 'funnel mod y, with the conc in a very linear wa rced into insights are filtered - being quickly fo le emed most feasib de ovations in e inn os th of t te ra lef s e ar ully low succes tif pi e th n ve Gi s. limitations. business case ch a model has its su at th us vio ob is general, it


Challenging conventions There are three main phases to each probes project; generating what is known as a disruptive scenario, creating a provocation based on the scenario, and then carrying out an evaluation. “One of our main aims is to challenge conventional ways of thinking and to come up with concepts that really make people sit up and take notice,” says Lucy McRae, Body Architect at Philips Design. Although some of these concepts may seem at first glance to be extremely ‘off the wall’ and far removed from everyday Philips activities, they are none the less valuable seeds for the innovation process. As Van Heerden says;

“If you can’t lay an egg once in a while, nothing will ever hatch.” Probes and the three research horizons The McKinsey book The Alchemy of Growth claims that companies have to manage three different horizons simultaneously in order to innovate effectively. Horizon 3 involves inves tigating interesting territories and creating viable options, horizon 2 is to do with building emerging business and discovering the most appropriate application, while horizon 1 is about extending and defending core business. Probes are essentially horizon 3. Three main probe projects are currently being carried out; SKIN tattoo, SMELL and Sustainable Habitat. The SKIN tattoo project follows on from the work that saw the creation of ‘emotive dresses’ (see New Value by Design issue 30). “We believe that the body is a platform for interactive technology,” says McRae, who has been heavily involved in numerous probe projects. “In this context, it is fascinating to examine the growing trend in extreme body adornment like multiple tattoos, piercings, implants or scarring and see how this could evolve 15 or 20 years down the line.”

right: "Frisson" a cat-suit covered in miniscule electronic filaments that are sensitive to touch, movement and the proximity of other bodies. Like the hair covering the human skin which sense presence, danger, temperature and a range of other conditions, Frisson lit up when whispered to and 'shivered' in response to the arousal of the person under it's 'second skin'. 72

The tattoo that changes

Generating business ideas

This led to the concept of the electronic tattoo. By using electronic, addressable ink, people could have dynamic tattoos that offer an infinite number of display options. "Fashions change quicker than ever," says McRae, "and people are getting used to more temporary ways of expressing themselves. In much the same way as a woman can put on and take off make-up in order to suit the occasion, your tattoo could alter whenever you desired as well." The tattoos could even change in response to gestures or emotions, which opens up novel ways of communicating and interacting with others.

The probes program, according to Van Heerden, has resulted in research being carried out in many different areas over the years, but is now being formalized in a way that gives a lot more structure. "And, more importantly, we want to focus on generating new business ideas," he says. "We look so far forward because we can then extrapolate backwards and positively influence our activities in the near future."

"It’s time for people to take the body seriously as a platform for expression," adds Van Heerden. "Technology is going to be invading the body in a variety of different ways. It’s necessary for us, as a company, to anticipate potential applications for these technologies but also the ever changing culture that we introduce applications into." The SMELL probe is currently being carried out together with James Auger at the Royal College of Art in London. "There is a great deal of cultural taboo about body odors," he adds. "But that doesn't mean it's not worth exploring. Tests have shown that women can identify the most genetically suitable partner for reproduction purely on the basis of smelling a T-shirt he has worn. We wanted to find out more about the power of fragrance."

Blind date with a difference In SMELL, a prototype apparatus was created which basically captures odours from the body and not only communicates them to the wearer but also to other people. "James Auger called it Blind Date," says Jack Mama, Creative Director of the programme. "It's very provocative, yet it's also relevant. Dogs are reputedly able to sniff out cancer, so our work may initiate dialogue that leads to medical practitioners being able to carry out smell-based diagnoses. Who knows? That would be an extremely interesting proposition for our Medical Systems division." But how are the topics selected for probe projects? "On the one hand there is a kind of evolutionary process going on," says Van Heerden. "Early explorations into electronic wearability, like New Nomads, made us curious about the space between apparel and the body which led to the first SKIN probe and then SKIN tattoo. SMELL is another extension of that. But, we also investigate subjects where there is a more obvious imperative, such as sustainability."

"If you look at Sustainable Habitat, some of the product and service concepts are already generating interest, because the notion of sustainability has firmly become rooted in mainstream consciousness," he continues.

"Two and a half years ago when talked about this kind of issue people thought we were being alarmist –now it makes perfect sense. That's how quickly the cultural tide can turn, and it shows the value of our probes program."

The Sustainable Habitat probe falls into the last category. It looks at scenarios in which oil prices continue to rise and environmental damage is irreversible. "One possible outcome is that the built environment becomes active; the walls, roofs and floors have much more than just a structural function," says Van Heerden. "Outer shells of buildings may be constructed to trap rainwater so it can be purified on-site for drinking. Sunlight may also be captured to provide electricity and water heating, while the wind outside could conceivably be harnessed and channelled into the building for air-conditioning."

Not just another brick in the wall This is an extraordinarily relevant issue. In China, the focus of Sustainable Habitat, there's talk of 200 new Chinese cities being created, each with a planned population in excess of one million. Shanghai may have 40 million inhabitants within a couple of decades. New apartments will be produced on a scale similar to tins of baked beans, and in some cases not a great deal larger. "A living space of 40 m² may be the norm," says Van Heerden. At the same time, the country already has massive energy issues as well as shortages of water and raw materials. "This is a tremendous opportunity for a more sustainable approach, " he continues. "And maybe a probe like this could conclude that Philips' future might not be so much about TVs and shavers but more in the direction of intelligent and dynamic materials for mass housing which incorporate electronics and offer a whole variety of functions. That 40m2 has got to behave like 80 m², so we have to rethink the performance requirements of everything from a brick to a wall or door."


SKIN DRESSES One of this year’s Probe project areas is SKIN, which examines the future integration of sensitive materials in the area of emotional sensing – the shift from ‘ intelligent’ to ‘sensitive’ products and technologies. As part of SKIN, we have developed two ‘Soft Technology’ outfits to identify the future for high tech materials and Electronic Textile Development in the area’s of skin and emotional sensing. The dresses show emotive technology and how the body and the near environment can use pattern and color change to interact and predict the emotional state.

"Bubelle" a dress constructed out of a carbon fibre frame with 18 projectors which respond to the mood of the wearer. This was part of a collection of emotional sensing garments which were designed to communicate emotion by emulating the physiological reactions of people - blushing, shivering, tingling and so on .

"Frisson" a cat-suit covered in miniscule electronic filaments that are sensitive to touch, movement and the proximity of other bodies. Like the hair covering the human skin which sense presence, danger, temperature and a range of other conditions, Frisson lit up when whispered to and 'shivered' in response to the arousal of the person under it's 'second skin' 74

Skintile_Jewellery Electronic Sensing Jewellery has been conceived alongside a European project, STELLA, ( developing stretchable, flexible electronic substrates that integrate energy supply, sensors, actuators, and display. Skintile the Electronic Sensing Jewellery further explores emotional and physiological sensing. It is a new genre of product; a generation of wireless, stick-on body sensors that re-define traditional body adornment. It explores a range of functionalities in new product forms that are playful, sensual, mood affected, bio activity stimulated, and arousal enhancing. It is a semi disposable, bio compatible, non-allergenic, breathable, mass customizable, self contained body worn accessory.


SKIN TATOO Tattoos and physical mutilation are amongst the oldest forms of personal expression and identity. Subcultures have used tattoos as a form of self representation; a visual language communicating personality and status. Philips Design examined the growing trend of extreme body adornment like tattoos, piercing, implants and scarring. The Electronics Tattoo film

expresses the visual power of sensitive technology applied to the human body.

The film subtly leads the viewer through the simultaneous emotional and aesthetic transformations between two lovers. This sequence from the "Electronic tattoo" probe shows a dynamic intra-dermal display responding to touch and arousal. Based on the technologies of bio-metric sensing, intra-body signalling and 'addressable ink' the project looked at ways in which the youth in the near future would use technology on and in the body. Philips Design worked with tattoo artist Henk Shiffmacher and musician Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) on the tattoo concept.

SMELL There is a great deal of cultural taboo about body odors, but that doesn't mean it's not worth exploring. Tests have shown that women can identify the most genetically suitable partner for reproduction purely on the basis of smelling a T-shirt he has worn. SMELL is a probe collaboration with the Design Interaction department of the Royal College of Art in London and is currently carried out by James Auger, tutor at the RCA. In SMELL, a prototype apparatus was created which basically captures odors from the body and not only communicates them to the wearer but also to other people. Dogs are reputedly able to sniff out cancer, so our work may initiate dialogue that leads to medical practitioners being able to carry out smell-based diagnoses. 76

VIBE EMOTION SENSOR Most electronic communication is limited to very direct channels where we naturally exhibit many more signals or channel indirectly. This opens up a whole new universe of emotional applications, such as physical and emotional gaming, mind and stress control applications, as well as emotional telephony. The VIBE - emotional sensing necklace combines conductive ink and textile sensors. The necklace can read multiple biometric signals of the wearer and communicates them to other devices and other wearers. Emotional sensing necklace, part of a biojewellery exploration into sensing the mood or emotional state of the person wearing it. This prototype 'reads' biometric information through small textile sensors embedded in the silicone strap, which is interpreted into emotional data which can then be communicated to other devices. Following on from the 'blushing dress' prototype these jewellery concepts are designed to augment direct communication by understanding the emotional state of a person - telling the cell phone that you are stressed and that calls from a bank manager should be filtered out.


Team: Jack Mama, (Creative Director), Clive van Heerden (Senior Director Design Innovation), Lucy McRae (architect), Carla O'Driscoll-Silva (Project manager)

Off the grid Sustain-habitat Today, our habitat is very dependent on the international grid of energy & water. Energy crisis, clean water shortage, global warming and environmental pollution are worldwide problems. Understanding cities as dynamic and ever-evolving eco-systems can help us to formulate strategies for a sustainable urban future. The whole project is based on the brief to develop sustainable housing for urban megalopolis in China in 2020. This is exploring the integration of electronics and bio chemical functionalities into the inert material of the built environment. The design of the concept fundamentally changes the current approach

to buildings and habitat.

This future habitat shifts from the current state where the building surfaces are benign inert ‘dumb’ materials only used for construction and shielding purposes to sensitive functional skins that are ‘alive’ and act as membranes to harness energy. A membrane creates a strong link between the exterior and interior of the habitat and used as a transporter collecting and channelling the elements of air water and light - from the outside feeding into the inside space. This will supply the habitat with all necessary sources to be able to live off the grid.



The active skin of a building reacts to sunlight and automatically moves into the most efficient position to channel light and generate energy. By collecting and channelling the natural light no electricity will be needed during the day for lighting. Bringing natural light into our homes will not only save energy but also provide all the advantages for health and well being.


The active skin of the building reacts to the wind. By channelling air and wind through the skin of the building energy will be generated and the air will be filtered to provide clean air inside the building. Compressed and dissipated through funnels, the air will also be cooled for natural air-conditioning. Outside air is cleaned and stripped of CO2 before being exhausted from the building.


The active skin of the building reacts to the rain and collects and channels rainwater into the habitat. By catching moisture from the air the facade collects water even in dry periods. Through purification, filtration and reuse, water will be used in a closed loop and fresh water consumption would be optimized.


Human waste and other organic waste will be transformed into biogas energy. The biogas can be used for heating and cooking as well as providing hot water for washing.


A M o M e h t d g n i n i M c c n i Experie and the Elast Design ject Id: 81 o r P b a L

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Design for Debate James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau Microbial Fuel Cell from the AfterLife project. 2001–ongoing The concept of a heaven or some sort of hereafter that most religions share may offer comfort to the faithful, but from an atheist’s perspective the grieving process can be incompatible with the thought of an afterlife. James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau have envisioned a “technologically mediated service providing an expression of life after death for those who are spiritually disconnected or demand tangible evidence.” “As our lives are increasingly mediated by technological interventions, the AfterLife project raises the issue of our increasing faith in technology and our decreasing belief in organized religion,” the designers say. “This electronic state may be interpreted as a form of regeneration,” providing the skeptic with a “proof of life after biological expiration.” The AfterLife Microbial Fuel Cell is charged with the decomposed gastric acids of the deceased. The battery can be engraved with an epitaph and be used to power a full range of electronic products, like a flashlight (“Shine on Dad”) or even a vibrator.

Elio Caccavale MyBio-reactor Cow. Prototype. 2005 “MyBio is a collection of toys exploring the emergence of biological hybrids in biotechnologies, as well as our moral, social, cultural and personal response to these ‘transhuman’ creatures,” explains Elio Caccavale, a graduate of the Royal College of Art’s Design Products Department. Each one of his twelve MyBio dolls symbolizes a possible biofuture and introduces young children to emerging technologies, inviting them to think about the ways biotechnology can affect their lives. MyBio-reactor Cow, for instance, depicts in a graphic way—with the “milk thread” attached to the cow’s udder—how cows’ milk provides proteins for pharmaceutical drugs. Similarly, MyBio Spider Goat, with a spiderweb attached to the goat’s udder, demonstrates the famous 2001 experiment in which goats’ chromosomes were manipulated to include a spider gene so that their mammary glands could produce a strand of silk three times tougher than Kevlar. The two MyBio Xenotransplant dolls, MyBio Boy and MyBio Pig, demonstrate the physical transfer of an organ from animal to human. Caccavale also pursues the topic of organ transplants in his Utility Pets project.

Christopher Woebken New Sensual Interfaces Concept. 2007

James King

Christopher Woebken’s project explores innovative ways of interacting with information. By using nanotechnology—starting with molecules and counting on their self-assembly tendencies— Woebken proposes a way to build devices from the bottom up. Mimicking organic behaviors, natural systems, and microbiological processes, these devices will behave like body cells, made of a network of micro- or nano-sized elements. Since each element of these new modular and moldable products contains the same basic information, similar to DNA in living organisms, it will be possible to break these devices apart in order to change their functions or share them with friends, redefining the very essence of a product.

Scientists at the University of Western Australia have coined the term “disembodied cuisine” to refer to a new tissue-engineering technique that makes it possible to grow edible meat in a laboratory from sample cells. The artificial production of meat, also called in vitro-cultured meat production, offers many advantages, such as avoiding the tremendous output of resources and the generation of organic waste and pollutants that come with raising livestock. It also raises complex issues about our relationship to animals, nature, and food, to name just a few of the mainstays of our existence shaken by this innovation. In addition to the philosophical issues raised, there are a number of practical ones as well. What should this meat look like? What flavor should it have? How should it be served? James

Dressing the Meat of Tomorrow. Model. 2006

King describes his approach to the first of these questions: “A mobile animal MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) unit scours the countryside looking for the most beautiful examples of livestock. The selected specimen is scanned from head to toe and accurate cross-sectional images of its inner organs are generated. The most aesthetically pleasing examples of anatomy will be used as templates to create moulds for the in-vitro meat. We wouldn’t necessarily choose to eat the same parts that we eat today. However, we might still want to recreate a familiar shape to better remind us where the ‘artificial’ meat came from.”

Michael Burton

Nanotopia from the Future Farm project. 2006–07 The promise of nanotechnology invites utopian imaginings, but there could be a darker, dystopian side as well. Many believe that nanotechnology will reach its true imaginative and creative potential when applied to organisms, where it can stimulate and control cellular self-replication. One of the possible unintended consequences of this might be a widening the gap between rich and poor, and Burton illustrates the impact of this future scenario on people at the opposite ends of the social scale. Whereas today it is possible to profit, whether legally or illegally, from your blood, sperm, or kidneys, in the future the poorest will be able to go to even further extremes. In the imaginary world of Nanotopia, Michael Burton explains, poor people will be able to “utilize the body as a farm to cultivate desirable clinical and pharmaceutical products,” including stem cells developed from adipose tissue. All the while the upper classes will make the most of the advances in bodily aesthetics, and new cosmetic rituals, such as beguilingly long eyelashes, might arise. Burton’s project Future Farm explores the future relationships between “producers” and the medical industry, foreseeing changes in body morphology and accepted notions of beauty.


Michael Burton The Race. Concept. 2006–07 “We are alarmingly near the end of the antibiotic era,” writes Michael Burton. “Bacteria and viruses are evolving faster than our scientific innovation. Trivial infections we had forgotten about will once again become fatal.” Burton’s project incites us to literally join the race to evolve with or faster than germs, bacteria, and viruses. It implicates our excessively hygienic habitats and lifestyles as having wiped out the symbiotic microflora that perform vital roles in our body, thereby weakening our immune systems. The Race, whose fundamental realization is that we are “a part of nature and not outside or above it,” aims to reconstitute some of this heritage. By reengineering the growth of our nails, for example, we can create a more rugged surface for microbes to grow and hopefully infect us. By designing new hybrid animals with the right coiffure, we can optimize our exposure to their dander, hair, and parasites. With these and other suggestions, The Race “responds to a growing societal angst and obsession with the evolution of our species, and recognizes our evolutionary past as our symbiotic future.”

Michele Gauler Digital Remains. Prototype. 2006 We are no longer simply products of our physical environment. Our world is in our computers, portable media players, wireless handheld devices; our data is stored on remote networks, creating digital archives of entire generations of people. Designer Michele Gauler raises the question of what happens to all of this information when we pass away. mydeathspace versus myspace. In a time when our data is stored in a virtual space, “physical access keys to these data would become objects of remembrance,” she postulates. By means of a beautiful, personalized data storage artifact equipped with a Bluetooth connection, Digital Remains “allows us to log on to the digital remains of a person and receive their data on our own digital devices.” Search algorithms dig through a deceased person’s data, pulling out personal traces most likely relevant to us, like a photograph from a holiday we spent together or a favorite piece of music, evoking the presence of the deceased. “New technologies bring new ways of mourning,” Gauler says.


Michiko Nitta Body Modification for Love project Concept. 2005

Oron Catts , Ionat Zurr and Guy Ben-Ary The Pig Wings Project Prototypes 2000–01

Body Modification for Love takes previous research on in vitro—cultured meat production technologies into the realm of memories and emotions. Michiko Nitta’s project envisions a technique for genetically growing selected body parts on your skin, allowing you to sport your partner’s favorite mole on your shoulder, your ex-girlfriend’s nipple close to your pelvic bone, or a patch of living hair on your arm to remind you of your mother. This is a long-term commitment, of course, as the mole and nipple will grow and demand care and the hair patch will need to be cut and groomed. By embedding our emotional background into our own bodies, we would create a “growing memory” to keep our recollections alive.

Thanks to their genetic closeness to humans and to advances in biomedical technologies, pigs could one day become precious repositories whose body parts can be easily grown and exchanged with our own. Since 1996, The Tissue Culture & Art Project has used tissue engineering as a medium for artistic expression. The artists create what they call semiliving entities, a new type of object/being artificially designed using living and nonliving biological materials–cells or tissues from a complex organism grown onto synthetic scaffolds and kept alive with technological intervention. Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr, and Guy Ben-Ary employed this technology to answer the whimsical question, “If pigs could fly, what shape would their wings take?” Using tissue engineering and stem cell technologies, the trio grew pig bone tissue in the shapes of wings. They chose to emulate the wings of the Plerosaur, the first vertebrate to evolve for flight, those of a bat, and those of an angel. As such technologies progress, these and other entities will undoubtedly raise questions about the cultural and aesthetic implications of biotechnology’s ability to manipulate living systems for human-centered purposes.

Stuart Karten / Epidermits Stuart Karten, Steve Piorek and Simon Sollberger Epidermits Interactive Pet from the Cautionary Visions project Concept. 2006 Following the popularity of Tamagotchis, digital devices endowed with biological and emotional needs that enslaved children allover the world when they were released about ten years ago, come Epidermits. Still only a provocative concept, they are, according to their designers, “fully functioning organisms resulting from advances in tissue engineering, electronics, and fuel cell research. They don’t feel pain, they don’t think, they just follow a complex set of algorithms. They require minimal maintenance and can be stored in a state of forced hibernation in a standard refrigerator.” Users can customize their Epidermits with different body, skin, and hair selections, and further personalize them through tanning, tattooing, and piercing. Epidermits are part of Stuart Karten Design’s project Cautionary Visions, which considers humorous aberrations that could stem from future technological advances. “In a world where boundaries between real and artificial are increasingly blurred, comes the toy that will truly confuse kids and rob them of any remaining sense of what is natural,” the designers say.

Susana Soares Genetic Trace: New Organs of Perception. 2006 Genetic Trace imagines a future in which people will be equipped with specially designed organs that will act as perception enhancers, allowing them to collect genetic material from those they encounter. The need for such “complementary sensors,” according to Soares, stems from the belief that “advances in genetics, biotechnology and nanotechnology are changing our very nature and that our evolution now relies on genetic technology rather than natural selection.” Cilia in the nails could scrape dead cells from others when shaking hands, while whiskers grown in eyebrows will increase the signals we pick up from the environment. These innovations could allow genetic siblings who may not have met to identify each other should they meet as adults, for example, or collect information to be used as a tool for selective mating.

Image by Susana Soares


ther patented nor copyrighted—so it is free for use by anyone. Units currently exist in New York, Mexico City, Barcelona, and Budapest.

Troika (UK, est. 2003) SMS Guerrilla Projector. Prototype. 2003

Jonathan Harris of Number 27 (USA, est. 2002) Sep Kamvar I Want You To Want Me. 2007–ongoing C++ software Images by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar

Small, portable, and battery- operated, the SMS Guerilla Projector enables users to receive text messages and project them onto surfaces in public spaces, in streets, inside cinemas, shops, and houses, and “just about anywhere,” explain the members of the collective Troika. “Its unpredictability creates a very special and disturbing experience for the people who watch the projection and invites them to reflect on the content or the implications of the message.”

Harris and Kamvar harvest the most delicate and personal human feelings and behaviors from the Internet. In this exploration of Web dating, each balloon represents a single person’s dating profile collected from the Internet and offers a video silhouette of one person looking for somebody else. As the balloons fly through the sky on the wind, you can touch any balloon to open it and see text snippets from one person’s dating profile. Many other commands and degrees of interaction with the interface are available that allow the viewer to perfect and complete each screen, and each screen is only one of the many possible ways to look at the complexity and delicacy with which people interact online.

Philip Worthington Shadow Monsters 2004–ongoing

Design for One and Many James Powderly, Evan Roth and Theo Watson L.A.S.E.R. Tag. 2007–08 The Mobile Broadcast Unit with L.A.S.E.R. Tag payload is “an open source Weapon of Mass Defacement,” Powderly says. It is designed to enable graffiti writers, artists, activists, and other citizens to communicate in the urban environment on the same scale as large advertisers, corporations, and governments. The Mobile Broadcast Unit itself provides twelve thousand watts of audio and five thousand lumens of video-projection capability, and is mounted on an industrial work tricycle. The L.A.S.E.R. Tag payload allows individuals to write with a sixty milliwatt green laser on distant, large, or hard- to- reach surfaces. The design and custom software for these devices is open source—it is nei84

Monsters materializing from shadows cast on walls may sound like something from a child’s active imagination, but Philip Worthington has made the playful concept a reality. Worthington’s Shadow Monsters project is an example of interactive design based on custom-designed vision-recognition software. With the support of a computer, a camera, a projector, and a light box, fantastic creatures emerge from shadows of the hands of participants as the software elaborates on their gestures with sound and animation. Open and close your hands like a mouth, and a wolf with razor-sharp teeth will surface and growl. Tongues, eyes, and fins appear. Birds squawk and dinosaurs speak. It’s a magical experience that inspires the audience to play with body posturing in order to create delightfully crazy stories.

Rachel Wingfield and Mathias Gmachl Loop.pH (UK, est. 2003) Sonumbra. 2006 Sonumbra is “a sonic shade of light,” as the designers call it, an exploration on the roles of new textiles and how they can respond to global ecological concerns. An architectural textile with embedded solar cells is stretched into “an umbrella-like structure fabricated from electroluminescent wires that form an animated lace-like membrane.” By day, it offers shelter from the sun; by night, it sheds light using the energy collected during the daylight hours. The temporary installation has been designed to respond to the physical presence of people orbiting around the umbrella. “An omnidirectional camera is installed in the mast captures all surrounding activity, translating each person’s exact location into sound and light,” and the visitors’ movements give shape to “an atmosphere of musical rhythms and luminous patterns in which each individual person plays a role and becomes a note in the composition.” The designers from Loop also are responsible for the biology-inspired Biowall.

Image by Susana Soares

Design for the Senses James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau Interstitial Space Helmet (ISH). Prototype. 2004 The Internet, webcams, and other forms of digital mediation of representation have created new behaviors and complex forms of social interaction. The Interstitial Space Helmet (ISH) allows a user to exist as a screen- based entity in the real world, superimposing a preferred digital form over an actual presence. On its own, the ISH offers a reflective space for meditative therapy in which someone with low self-esteem could get back in touch with his or her inner self. With two or more users it might alleviate the awkwardness of a first encounter with a stranger and other potentially embarrassing situations. Users control the face they present to the world by manipulating their live digital image “both in real and interstitial meetings, through an electronic filter offering different camera angles, lighting, and digital effects,” the designers explain.

James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau Social Tele-presence. Prototype. 2001 “Tele-presence can be defined as the experience of being fully present at a real (non-virtual) location remote from one’s own physical position by removing all visual and auditory senses from the body’s location and having them operate in real time from somewhere else,” according to designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau. Such technology is currently being used for military and exploratory purposes by making it possible to subsist in dangerous or inhospitable environments. Auger and Loizeau’s project explores the application of tele-presence in a social context—for some a very inhospitable place indeed. Social Tele-presence consists of a small camera and a binaural micro - phone attached to the remote “rented” body or moving object. The user gets the images from the camera through a wireless connection and views them on a set of TV glasses. The body becomes a host; its senses are removed and it can only hear the voice instruct ions and follow the head movements of its user, translated in real time. This remote body could allow shy individuals to visit a sex club or go on blind dates in their place, businesspeople to attend meetings remotely, and a disabled person to take a walk while remaining stationary, to name just a few examples.

Susana Soares BEE’S project. Prototypes. 2007 Face Object: Blown handmade glass, 14 1/8 x 9 7/8” (36 x 25 cm) diam. Prototype by Crisform, Portugal (2007) Fertility Cycle Object: borosilicate, 10 1/4 x 6”, (26 x 15 cm) diam. Prototype by Vilabo, Portugal (2007) “Bees have a phenomenal odor perception,” explains designer Susana Soares. “They can be trained within minutes using Pavlov’s reflex to target a specific odor. Their range of detection goes from pheromones and toxins to disease diagnosis.” Soares has conceived a series of alternative diagnosis tools that use trained bees to perform a health checkup, detect diseases, and monitor fertility cycles. The Face Object has two chambers: the larger one serves the function of a bee container and the smaller one serves as the diagnosis space. Bees trained to target a specific odor in the breath, a marker of a particular condition, will go into the smaller chamber if they sense it. The Fertility Cycle Object has three chambers of different sizes, relating to the different fertility cycles: the largest chamber corresponds to the ovulation period, the second to preovulation, and the third to postovulation. Depending on the period of the cycle, the bees fly into a specific chamber.

Sebastien Noel Troika (UK, est. 2003) Exploded Monologues wearable voiceamplifier device. 2003 This wearable machine permits its users to send their voices to one or more of the four speakers attached to the suit, controlling the audio output by manipulating buttons near the mouth.


Mapping Tagging senseable city laboratory ( est. 2003), Carlo Ratti, Kristian Kloeckl, Assaf Biderman, Margaret Ellen Haller and Francisca Rojas Visual software: Francesco Calabrese, Aaron Koblin, and Andrea Vaccari Yahoo! Design Innovation Team (USA, est. 2005) New York Talk Exchange. 2008 Java and Processing software Is New York still the center of the world? As the network of global cities is rapidly being redefined and emerging hubs are challenging New York's global preeminence, New York Talk Exchange illustrates the global exchange of information by visualizing volumes of real-time long-distance telephone and Internet protocol (IP) data flowing to and from New York. Represented in dynamic maps, this information provides a powerful visualization and analysis tool, showing which cities New York has the strongest ties with and how these relationships shift over time. New York Talk Exchange depicts an deeply analytical and very lively and poetic portrait of New York, its granularity and the differences in communication direction and patterns among the boroughs.


Image by Stamen Design

Raúl Cárdenas-Osuna Torolab LRPT (La Región de los Pantalones Transfronterizos). Prototype. 2005–06 “LRPT is a document of urban ethnography that proposes a new form of cartography for the transborder region between Mexico and the United States,” explain the members of Torolab, an architecture and art collective based in Tijuana, Mexico. The designer chose five people settled on either side of the border and developed different “transborder clothes” for each of them. A GPS tracking system was integrated into the garments, which stem from Torolab’s Toro Vestimente clothing line that addresses transborder identity and interaction. For five days, as the participants moved through the Tijuana–San Diego region, Torolab tracked their locations, velocities, and fuel consumption. The results from the collected data trace the participants’ migration on a topographic urban/natural structure where the geographic and political boundaries are left unmarked.

Scott Snibbe and Amy Balkin, Eric Rodenbeck, Michal Migurski, Shawn Allen, Tomas Apodaca, and Gabriel Dunne, Stamen Design Cabspotting 2004–ongoing Using new technologies of representing and analyzing spatial information, Cabspotting investigates the complexities of the San Francisco Bay Region in the context of the Pacific Rim. Stamen explores visualizations of global positioning system (GPS) data generated by Yellow Cab taxis in San Francisco. In these frame- by- frame maps of the locations and speed of cabs in the Bay Area, the city ebbs and pulses like a beating heart.

Visualization Ben Fry Distellamap (Pac-Man) 2004 Ben Fry’s Distellamap is a visualization of the code and data found in a Pac-Man Atari 2600 cartridge. Fry began “showing” code with his Dismap project of 2003, in which he rendered graphically both the executable code of some early computer games and the data sections that are used to store images or game scenarios, highlighting not only the mathematical instructions, but also the commands that would direct jumps to different locations in the program. In Distellamap, Fry explains, the code is listed as “columns of assembly language, most of it either math or conditional statements (if x is true, go to y). Each time there is a ‘go to’ instruction, a curve is drawn from that point to its destination. When a byte of data (as opposed to code) is found in the cartridge, it is shown as an orange row: a solid block for a ‘1’ or a dot for a ‘0.’ ” With both Dismap and Distellamap, Fry’s intent is not to analyze the software but rather to celebrate its elegance with an equally graceful portrait of it.

Ben Fry Genomic Cartography: Chromosome 18. 2001 For several years while pursuing his doctorate at the MIT Media Lab, Fry devoted his work to the visual translation of genomic findings. Several of his works are on view here, but it is apt to begin with one of his most encompassing and ambitious projects, the seventy million letters of genetic code that form chromosome 18. The darker color depicts sequences of code that are used by a cell as a set of instructions for building a protein. These instructions are interrupted by unused pieces of code, which have a medium tone in the image. The gray areas currently have no known function. At seventy-five million DNA bases (each represented by one of four letters), this is the sixth shortest human chromosome. It would take forty- five images of this size to depict the genetic code of the entire human genome, more than three billion letters.

Ben Fry Humans vs. Chimps. 2005 It is widely known that humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor, but when the first analytical comparison of human and chimpanzee genomes was released in 2005, it became official: humans are 98.77 percent chimpanzee. Fry’s Humans vs. Chimps image accompanied an article about these findings in Seed magazine in 2005. In his visualization, Fry shows how the gene FOXP2 differs in humans and chimps, a part of that 1.23 percent difference, linked to language. All of the nearly seventy- five thousand letters of the gene are depicted; nine letters—shown with red dots— indicate the only significant differences.

Aaron Koblin Flight Patterns from the Celestial Mechanics project. 2005 ( With Celestial Mechanics, a project launched in 2005, Aaron Koblin and his colleague Gabriel Dunne at UCLA have visualized the arresting patterns of the myriad flying objects—satellites, aircraft, balloons—that are at any time hovering around the earth. The work, which combined science, statistics, and art, was meant to be shown in a planetarium. Koblin’s Flight Patterns is a “flat” corollary to the project, one which also shows the informative and aesthetic potential of this type of visualization. As Koblin explains it, “Aircraft data collected by the Federal Aviation Administration was parsed and plotted to create animations of North American travel paths. Through visual traces of airplanes, one gets at any moment a sense of the changing dynamics of traffic in the skies above, as well as insight into the geographies and superstructures guiding the network.”

Laura Kurgan, Eric Cadora, David Reinfurt and Sarah Williams Architecture and Justice from the Million Dollar Blocks project. 2006. Explain the members of Architecture and Justice, a team in the Graduate School of Architecture Planning at Columbia University: “The United States currently has more than 2 million people locked up in jails and prisons. A disproportionate number of them come from a very few neighborhoods in the country’s biggest cities. In many places the concentration is so dense that states are spending in excess of a million dollars a year to incarcerate the residents of single city blocks. When these people are released and reenter their communities, roughly forty percent do not stay more than three years before they are reincarcerated. Using rarely accessible data from the criminal justice system, the Spatial Information Design Lab and the Justice Mapping Center have created maps of these “million dollar blocks” and of the city-prison-city-prison migration flow for five of the nation’s cities. The maps suggest that the criminal justice system has become the predominant government institution in these communities and that public investment in this system has resulted in significant costs to other elements of our civic infrastructure — education, housing, health, and family. Prisons and jails form the distant exostructure of many American cities today. The maps pose difficult ethical and political questions for policy makers and designers. When they are linked to other urban, social, and economic indicators of incarceration, they also suggest new strategies for approaching urban design and criminal justice reform together.”


Image by Ben Fry

Fernanda Bertini Viégas and Martin Wattenberg History Flow. 2003 ( projects/history_flow/) History Flow presents visualizations of the flow of editing that takes place on all Wikipedia entries. Taking advantage of Wikipedia’s free access to the complex layers of every entry’s contributing history, History Flow maps the entire sequence of versions of the same entry, providing a chronicle of a not always harmonious collaborative process. The examples shown here refer to the history of a highly controversial entry—abortion—on top, and of a very popular one—chocolate—below, as of 2003. Each color corresponds to a different contributor. Each vertical line, called a “revision line,” corresponds to the beginning of changed or updated text, while a line’s length indicates the length of the text. The immediate visual reading this flow can render with relative precision the level of debate and controversy surrounding a topic. A deeper reading using various parameters, such as time, can push the analysis further into surprising detail. 88

Martin Wattenberg and Marek Walczak MW2MW (USA, est. 2001) Thinking Machine 4 2003–04 For those who have dreamt of being able to see other people’sn thoughts, Martin Wattenberg and Marek Walczak’s MW2MW—a “thinking machine” against which you can play a game of chess—is a good start. During a game against MW2MW, “the machine’s evolving thought process becomes visible on the board before you: all of the computer’s possible future moves are sketched on screen as it plays,” Wattenberg and Walczak explain. “A map is created from the traces of literally thousands of potential futures as the program tries to decide its best move.” These traces reveal the “invisible lines of force”—the power of thought—that emerge when the very act of thinking is made visible.

Barrett Lyon Mapping the Internet. 2003 This open-source and free project, which has not been updated since 2005, was initiated by engineer Barrett Lyon with the goal of making visual representations of metaphysical spaces. “The data represented and collected here,” recites the Web site, “serves a multitude of purposes: Modeling the Internet, analyzing wasted IP space, IP space distribution, detecting the result of natural disasters, weather, war, and esthetics/art.”

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d in ct starte The proje Rensselaer . fe li g n at eeri es h center of engin a researc y that encourag sthetics e ), a IS d B n (C a it s s il ie ic c d th fa e tu h S arc ry the is a rese isciplina amining roject ex ology and Interd of NYC. The CBIS p t is n o upenti chn rth ral interr an interv Center for Biote y, NY 300 km no se “cultu , lectures iative is e e it ro h T th In T in . in rt s d A e c s ethic cate The Bio took pla d xhibition ersity lo tics and 007 and uce art e to as “bio-art” an f aesthe I), a univ d o P o s tr (R e in u March 2 te s to is tu d s ti d e a s n rr w In u fe l re aro nic goa a loosely Polytech linary work. scientists t the CBIS. The ip ists and a w the are c rt e ro is c a g r -d la e s p to s th g ll a cro in ge , bring to nd practices tak ch researchers – astersky a nn Mon te signed to h e le io rc d G b a s d h e a s in n it w r a t, ct e re sso te w ollabora The proje ed alongside th rt Linhard Assistant Profe he would c d ts (Robe urr n n .T ts c a a ls c is t a o ip rt s is ” ic a o s rt . p rt n a tio to use to pro h Pell s where and pa e ic ts v ie rs R is c r , n o rt s to e a a rt rt r g id po of A esti and res facility fo as to sup artment ciple inv working the Dep de, whether it w the prin f n o e e d a create a e tw ve. ma t be nd H e Initiati , artist a decision es set ou l premis nge to th ss every thy High e a ia u ll c K it a , is h in d IS c e B y to ke One of th d Directors of C va) was een as a an iela Kosto te was s scientists ead Curator Dan ange and deba H xch Arts, and mmunication, e o c r fo d e ne


Soyo Lee “Light of Reason and Dead Butterflies” Images of butterfly wing dissections. MFA student, Soyo Lee, was able to create an exchange with one of the CBIS scientists to work in his laboratory. She traded her skills dissecting insect muscle structure for microscope and materials use.

The goal to join scientists and artists in a research facility was taken from the ground-breaking model of SymbioticA in Western Australia, and inspired by the work of artist collective Critical Art Ensemble which “explores the

intersections of art, technology, radical politics and critical theory”.

The BioArt Initiative was only one of a few projects of its kind in the U.S., and it quickly brought together a vital community of artists, scientists and cultural workers interested in being a part of it, both within the RPI campus, as well as nationally and internationally. This report, written by the artists/curators of the project, will review some examples of what has happened over the past year and a half, and what we are able to take away from this experience. Our exhibitions took place in CBIS, a very large building with a lot of interesting possibilities and open public spaces. Unfortunately the building had many logistical restrictions due to building codes limiting the kind of displays possible. We were not able to hang anything from the walls, and fire codes dictated we use very specific flame-retardant materials. We therefore had to design and build the display units from scratch. In collaboration with some volunteer architects, we ultimately developed free-standing moveable display units that could “tour” the building, giving us mobility to reshape every exhibition differently. Working within a larger, established institution was difficult, as proposals for each exhibition, residency and speaker were submitted by the artists/cura90

tors to be reviewed for appropriateness by the directors of the building. This approach did not promote dialogue so much as our having to defend contemporary art practices. This led to a lot of our submitted proposals either being denied or needing to be reworked. We often had difficulty finding interested scientist “sponsors” for residency projects. The economics of the research facility and the agenda set before the science faculty working in that building mandated that whoever occupied the building paid for their space (and time). With everyone on a deadline, a tenure clock, and financial crunches, we found it hard to find scientists who could afford to engage with artists in “amateur lab aesthetics”. And then there were the safety rules in terms of biosafety. Some scientists and public safety officials were concerned with “untrained” artists working in the lab. Fortunately the head PI and the Director of CBIS, likened artists to incoming Freshmen students who were also given access to the facilities despite their expertise/training, thus defending our ability to learn the protocol and respect the guidelines. On a more positive note, we were also asked to produce two “BioArt Mixers” which were social events with food, drink and live musicians that took place in the CBIS building. These parties were a place to meet and informally discuss ideas. These mixers were hugely successful and celebratory, allowing these different social worlds of scientists and artists to easily collide, and where some vital collaborations were born.

The inquiries that the BioArt Initiative projects brought to the table raised questions about the obvious need for further exchanges. Both artists and scientists need to reflect upon the cultural and communication basis for these collaborations. The fact that the action-based works were more difficult versus the representational ones is no surprise here. To challenge what critic Brian Holmes calls the “glittering spectacles of technoscientific progress” we need new strategies and modes of collaboration. And Holmes states: “To do this requires a precise and far-ranging awareness of what’s happening at the cutting edges of social change, where the new technological environments are invented and installed in daily experience. But it also requires a capacity to confront the managerial techniques, the economic rationalities and the political discourses that keep us on a development path calibrated to the needs of the few and the powerful.”

Or rather will science and art find a way to collaborate to bring people into both these discourses to explore, experiment and intervene? Perhaps the examples of the BioArt Initiative’s successes and challenges point out the very prophecy that Brian points to in his quote. We are still trying to find a model for the BioArt Initiative that can work in the U.S. that might be somewhere between SymbioticA’s artist-in-residency labs and Steve Kurtz’s home kitchen bio lab. And we hope to continue the BioArt Initiative project as at present this project is on hold due to restrictions of further funding.

Boo Chapple “DIY wearable carbon offset scheme for sufferers of severe ‘carbon guilt’” Boo Chapple gave a talk about this project about carbon emissions and carbon trading systems where she discussed conceptual and practical details of wearable carbon offset schemes, urine recycling devices and a self-pharming system.

The people involved in the BioArt Initiative who we would like to thank for their support include: Robert Linhardt (PI, Acting Director of CBIS), Glenn Monastersky (CBIS Director of Operations), Kathy High (Co-PI, Associate Professor, Head of Arts Department), Rich Pell (Co-PI, Assistant Professor/Arts), Daniela Kostova (Head Curator), Boryana Rossa (Curator). Also, Chris Bjornsson (CBIS Director of Microscopy), Douglas Swank (CBIS scientist), Soyo Lee (MFA student), Adam Zaretsky (Arts PhD candidate), Jim Finn, Julia Reodica, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles (all artists and MFA alumni). People who were our inspirations include artists Adam Zaretsky, Steve Kurtz/CAE, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr of Tissue Art and Culture/SymbioticA.


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Mathieu Lehanneur Graduate from ENSCI- Les Ateliers in 2001, he explores the technological advances for their functional ossibilities and their capacities to produce magic. His research works emphasizes on the relations and the invisible frictions that govern our relations to the daily environment. The "Therapeutic Objects", his first emblematic project, proposed a new design for taking medicine, which integrates patient relations with his disease. He revealed himself at an international level with the series "Elements" (2006), a line of "Health Angels" composed by five domestic objects destined to readjust our physiological deficiencies (such as the lack of light in the winter) and to baffle already, the exterior aggressions to which we are constraint (sound-pollution, air-pollution). With "Bel-Air", he offers then the first version that can be manufactured in large series of a project from his most cutting-edge researches. Researches also allow him the products conception for customers as prestigious as Paco Rabanne, Yohji Yamamoto or Issey Miyake.

Le Laboratoire The founder: French and American, David Edwards splits his time between Paris and Boston, where he writes fiction and non-fiction and teaches artscience innovation at Harvard University. He is the founder or co-founder of several for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in France, America and South Africa, including the international nongovernmental organization Medicine in Need (MEND), aimed at developing new treatments for drugs and vaccines for diseases of poverty. He has received many international honors and awards, for his scientific work. His writing includes two founding books of Le Laboratoire : Artscience : Creativity in the Post-Google Generation (2007, Harvard University Press) describes the nature of the creativity catalyst at the frontier of what is conventionally viewed as art and science. The novel Niche (published by Le Laboratoire and ENSBA, 2007), on which he has collaborated with the American novelist Jay Cantor and the photographer Daniel Faust, provides a look at the conceptual bases of Le Laboratoire’s creation: a tale of invention, collaboration, and surprise, a kind of Laboratoire manifesto. artscience: « Nous appelons ArtScience le processus catalytique engendré par cette rencontre entre l’art et de la science. L’ArtScience, une confrontation porteuse d’innovation Le rapprochement des modes de pensée artistique et scientifique génère de nouvelles idées et favorise l’innovation et la création de formes inédites tant artistiques qu’industrielles. »

Forms of Innovation Experimentation at Le Laboratoire can involve four kinds of innovation. CULTURAL Through collaboration with a scientist, an artist artist can experiment new contemporary issues. INDUSTRIAL Through collaboration with a designer, a scientist invents a new scientific process. HUMANITARIAN les artistes et les scientifiques dialoguent pour apporter des solutions aux problèmes humanitaires. EDUCATIONAL Artists and scientists create with or alongside a student in the arts or sciences to produce passionate experiential learning.


When designers meet science We hereby publish some reflections of Mathieu Lehanneur that came out of a conversation with Giovanna Massoni in Milan last April 2008. My background? I’m the last child of a big family, a micro-society where the individual should never affect the group. Consequently, I developed a deep sense of perception regarding others (people and things), the interaction between them and me; the way my environment is responding to me and the learning process involved in this ‘dialogue’. My father is a scientist who didn’t spend much time with his children”. The paradox is that my brothers and I chose to become designers in order to create tangible objects and things, instead of ungraspable knowledge. Interactions between objects, materials, and atmosphere: this domain that spans an exciting invisible landscape opens up a new horizon for design. What happens with the user’s body when he or she interacts with my objects? I’m very intrigued by this ‘exchange’, the complexity of this mechanism… Another thing that fascinates me is challenging the medical approach, its way of approaching the patient as a unique individual in relation to the serial production of treatments and medication. I’m constantly challenging my individuality in relation with the others.

Science contributes to my need of understanding of the individual: it’s a tool to unveil all kinds of levels; it’s a method to approach reality not just a mere fascination. Design is a tool that allows me to change things around me. Once produced, it escapes

me and turns into many little tools that intervene in terms of behaviour, perception …

The relationship between science and design is difficult. I feel this is a domain where human relations become fundamental and this takes time. We’re talking here about two different worlds and two very different languages. What I’m trying to do is to create objects that show the performances inherent to nature. We, as humans, only intervene to optimize these performances. The shape of an object is far less important than what happens in terms of atmosphere and physiologic perception. Thus, I don’t work on it’s appearance, I work on the function of objects. Thanks to open source, information is not longer only belonging to the scientific world. But designers must be very humble: before they can design a proper tool, they need a good dose of scientific knowledge. Many scientists seem to be interested in cross-disciplinary collaborations. What mainly intrigues them is to see and experience how their research can be injected into a consumer product. How can it be perceived by the market; and above all, by the immediacy of this process. I’m often perceived as a futuristic designer. But this is not what I am! I never work in the perspective of our future. It’s today we need to do this, since we need this now. Things must be done in real time.


Photo: Bruno Cogez

When science meets design Interview: David Edwards and Mathieu Lehanneur August 2, 2007 with Basile Gueorguievsky Each manufactured object breathes—or more precisely—exhales different elements, some of which are toxic. It continues to, even several years after it was made. The experiment that brought together French designer Mathieu Lehanneur and the scientist and founder of Le Laboratoire, David Edwards, began in late 2006. Based on scientific observations conducted by NASA, and via a collaborative Artscience project, Mathieu Lehanneur and David Edwards invented a new air-filtering system using plants—to make plants “more intelligent.”

Bel-Air is a living filter that absorbs the harmful effects of air polluted by the profusion of manufactured objects.

David, Mathieu, can you briefly describe the “Bel-Air” project? Mathieu Lehanneur: This exercise is interesting because David and I don’t describe the project in the same way. In fact, the description is only valid for today; I say today because the thing is still in the construction phase, it is still fragile, and therefore it’s always somewhat difficult to characterize a work in progress. So today, I would say that it’s an object that manages and compensates for the undesirable effects of design. It manages the hidden side of the manufactured object. David Edwards: Mathieu is right; we have different visions. I would say that this object has a mission to make plants more intelligent.

* the artist Fabrice Hyber, who is also participating in one of Le Laboratoire experiments 95

Mathieu Lehanneur 96

How did this project start? How did you meet? DE: Initially, the choice of designers was very important for us. We had to find a top-notch designer with a spirit open-minded enough to pursue an experiment in a laboratory that didn’t exist. Mathieu had his experience with Objects Thérapeutiques and his Éléments; he had exactly the kind of spirit we were looking for.

So, Mathieu, was this project the logical next step in your work after Objets Thérapeutiques, Éléments or Flood? ML: The idea of therapy already existed, of course, in my work with Objets Thérapeutiques, but there was also the idea of working with and acting on everything we don’t see, everything we don’t notice. My interest in this initial phase was less about looking at the chemistry and more about understanding what happens in the mind of the person undergoing treatment. I therefore worked with the medicine not as a pharmaceutical science but as psychology. Then, there was the experience of the Éléments project, where the challenge was also based on non-visible parameters, such as temperature changes, and differences in light and sound levels in the home. We always have a rather abstract idea about these areas, but they ultimately take shape in an extremely concrete way. When David contacted me, he submitted the theme of intelligence to me, as well as to Fabrice*. I was rather flattered! I then drew on my experience from the Éléments project to define what I wanted to do with the theme of “intelligence.” With Éléments, there were various attempts to make the object alive, autonomous, even more sensitive and perceptive than a human being to certain parameters. I retained certain things and eliminated others. I didn’t at all want to work with a form of artificial intelligence or a blind and somewhat absurd fascination with technology. The question was to know how we can draw on an intelligence that already exists —in this case, plants— and how to use design as a way of increasing, as David said, the intelligence of the plant, or in any case, to make it easier for it to function, to optimize what it already knows how to do.

It’s fairly unusual to work with plants. How is the collaboration going? David, are you the one who knows about plants? DE: We started with the rough idea of intelligence, without viewing ourselves as experts in intelligence. No one today can say what intelligence is. Even if it’s an extremely important theme for science today, it remains ambiguous. It’s inspiring for dialogue. Above all, the notion of innocence is, in my opinion, the basis of all innovation.

We therefore began in total innocence. We met a professor, here in Paris, but it wasn’t very interesting. Then Mathieu suggested we focus the project on plants. I didn’t have much experience in this field. My experience is more in the biomedical field and in mathematics. At first, we didn’t think I would be working as the scientist. Indeed, Mathieu’s design was the initial inspiration for the project. The object had to have a technological, scientific usefulness. Mathieu had already found studies from the 1980s, conducted by NASA researchers. They revealed a certain vision of devices that could indeed filter air through the use of plants. One of my former Harvard students and I gathered up documentation on this subject. After studying it, we concluded that the research in this field had not yet been optimized. During meetings with Mathieu, we returned to these analyses and suggested combining Mathieu’s design and my mathematical experience. After these meetings and a few email exchanges, Mathieu came back with a few prototypes. ML: Even though we hadn’t planned it like this, what was interesting in this work together was that I was not the designer who consulted with the most eminent plant specialist to gather information and then create a form. The two of us —David, with his mathematical and scientific skills, and me with my ability to translate this into an object— still weren’t enough. The system couldn’t be closed.

We truly worked as if in a laboratory. Even with two of us, even though we’re very different, it wasn’t enough, we had to find other people, other skills, other studies to try to pursue this as far as possible. DE: This project was at the edge of a small frontier of scientific knowledge. This was something that didn’t exist, either technologically or in terms of design. What is surprising, and what I think the public doesn’t understand very well, is that the people who invent are innocent. They don’t know! It’s not just about simply adding together knowledge and skills. ML: In our meetings, we heard lots of “maybes.” Bring water from this side? Where will the plant filter it? Maybe this way or that way? There were no certainties, no definitive, succinct data that would have determined the form. In fact, NASA has experienced a fairly similar situation. I had a somewhat fantasized vision of NASA, the vision of a collective, abstract intelligence, where the experiments basically validated and gave form to knowledge that already existed. But when you see the series of patents that NASA registered concerning filtration via plants, you can see that it was an adventure. They worked a lot by trial and error. They removed leaves from plants, but this didn’t produce the results they wanted. They modified things again, registered a new patent, then realized they had been wrong. They were tinkering, like kids, making beautiful, naïve mistakes. That gave us the possibility of co-opting this work and continuing with it, experimenting, also like kids!

We could improve the process by remaining in a discovery phase. “Intelligere” means “creating links.” How do you view the creative process in relation to an experimental protocol. Is 1 + 1 greater than 2? ML: We were never just 1 + 1. We were not a closed group and we therefore never knew the final result. We could keep adding “pluses.” DE: This process was not a complete surprise to us. What’s fascinating is that it is exactly this type of creation that inspires us. It’s this type of exchange that is interesting. But it doesn’t always happen like this. There are often lots of techniques, along with necessary, but not fascinating, things to do. 97

Intelligence is not really a characteristic but a process, a fairly ephemeral one. In our work, we worked with intelligence, without necessarily being intelligent. Yet we didn’t become intelligent either, it was in the object.

And today, how do you stand in terms of the process? How does it work? ML: Honestly, there are mathematical calculations with Bel-Air concerning air flow in and out that I still haven’t understood!

able to make some improvement at that level. We then worked with the roots and the soil. But we could improve the system even further. We then imagined a bath under the plant that would feed into it and maintain an extremely humid environment, for a better absorption of the polluting elements. It’s a way of keeping the filter clean for a longer time.

What happens to the polluting elements in the end? Does the plant become toxic? DE: In concrete terms, the plant’s absorption surface includes the leaves, the roots, the micro-organisms, the soil and the water.

My initial designs aimed to force the ambient air in a room to come into contact with a plant. I knew that certain plants can act as natural filters, but the first drafts were fairly naïve. I primarily concentrated on getting circulated air in the home to stay in contact with the leaves of the plant.

The plant absorbs two types of elements: gasses like formaldehyde, benzene that comes from plastics, and polymers that retain these molecules after they have been manufactured. When we use objects, especially when it’s hot or humid, when the room is closed, these gasses accumulate and the situation becomes problematic.

David and I then started to understand that even though the leaves actually had a true surface intelligence that could trap these various toxic compounds, the real effective filtering took place in the roots. The design was modified as the air circulation system became more complex. Bel-Air was starting to take shape.

After Hurricane Katrina, the American government housed some of the families in mobile homes. Last year, several people complained of headaches and respiratory problems. There was even one death. Given such hot and humid conditions, the air was analyzed. The concentration of these pollutants was very high.

We went back and studied the NASA experiments. We understood that not only the roots functioned as filters, but also, and above all, the microscopic enzymatic life that existed around them did as well. David also suggested working in a humid room to improve the plant’s ability to trap toxins.

ML: NASA started looking at these problems for the same reasons. Astronauts lived in a kind of flying mobile home that consisted essentially of polymers. When they returned from the first missions, it turned out that they had extremely high levels of these chemical compounds. The quality of the air inside the shuttles then became a topic of research.

DE: There are products on the market today that incorporate the NASA research. They purify the air of toxic particles and gasses via the soil and the root system. The leaves play a lesser role. One of the problems of this system is that it is not optimized: the plant can be more intelligent. The other problem is that the soil becomes contaminated over time. This is the eternal problem of filters. What to do with filters? What to do with contaminated soil? Our goal is to use the filtering and metabolizing capacity of plants and to therefore prevent the filter from becoming clogged and gradually losing its efficiency. When Mathieu created his design that optimized the contact between the leaf and the air, we were 98

DE: Nano and microparticles are also health hazards. The leaves and soil absorb them without becoming toxic. These molecules become part of their metabolism. The water filtering also cleans the system. ML: Ultimately, there is not much difference between a space shuttle, a mobile home and a house in terms of the materials used, and therefore in terms of the problems of interior air quality. It seemed obvious for us to transpose the problem of NASA’s space shuttles to our domestic space shuttles. DE: In the filters that exist today, there are technical problems, as we said, but also aesthetic ones. When I look at the most recent designs for our project,

* the plants are contained in a transparent half-sphere on a white base, enclosed by a vent.

I become almost philosophical*. This is what we did with the Earth: before, there were plants, in the open air. Today, the plant works for us, but we have to have a barrier between the plant and us; it is there, with us, but it doesn’t seem to truly trust us. ML: Yes, it protects itself from you, and you, you protect the plant to optimize it. The formal decisions are not always the result of mathematical logic and constraints. Some things are done intuitively. And now, when I look at Bel-Air, I almost have the feeling that the plant is the brain, in a skull that has become transparent. DE: That’s magnificent, I love that idea!

According to recent studies, the quality of air inside buildings is worse than the quality of air outside, though we spend most of our time inside. Does your project deal with an awareness of this public health problem? ML: The goal is not to make it a critical or paranoid object - that’s obvious in the final result- but for it to become a domestic appliance. It’s true that the mere presence of this object is a constant visual reminder of what we are always forgetting. The polluting elements of inside air are, by their very nature, imperceptible to the body; the object makes this mysterious landscape visible. DE: The initial goal was extremely functional. The form evolved, as did the project. In the end, the message we ended up with is better translated by the form, which developed fairly naturally. That seems clear now. ML: Before getting to this stage, we went through many different phases in terms of materials, techniques, and even the design of the object. I can now see that I considered the plant as a brain in a skull, but we also had to give it a few object codes that can manage these problems. Typically, the vent that releases the purified air is similar to air conditioning units as we know them today. I wanted to give this innovative object some signs that would help people understand how it operates. I wanted them to understand that a plant, isolated from the outside world in this way, is neither an adornment nor a decoration nor a last-of-the-Mohican plants that we must save.

Instead, the plant is both the intelligence and driving force of the device. If this object has a curative environmental function, would you also say that it’s an ecodesign? Did you incorporate environmental criteria in the selection of materials, in the manufacturing process? ML: This project is now in a prototype development phase. Yet the object must not become a source of the undesirable effects that it’s designed to offset. Although we paid careful attention to the selection of materials, this object and this project must not result in the conclusion that plastics and polymers should be banned from production and consumption. Bel-Air does use a few plastic components that are essential to its operation and industrial production. The primary elements are a Pyrex bell jar and the entire lower section made of chased aluminum, which is also recyclable.

Our bodies normally filter air via our sinuses and lungs. Is this object an outgrowth, a crutch for our organisms? ML: I don’t think we’re talking about an outgrowth of the body, but more as a sort of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It’s another entity that is there, that provides you with air. DE: It’s rather like the idea of a mask, as the expression of the distance created between us and nature, because of our lack of responsibility. It’s more like a filter between the environment and our lungs, to protect them from the toxins contained in the air. ML: There are three types of breathing in our domestic space shuttles. First, that of objects: several years after they have been manufactured, they continue to breath, and are therefore a source of emissions in the atmosphere.

Ultimately, it’s all in the overall movement between how objects breath - us and plants. We each nourish the other.

or paused image of the project. The exhibition is a step in the process. The subsequent step will consist in repeating a certain number of experiments with new scientific data to validate the various hypotheses and to consider marketing possibilities.

These three types of breathing exist together. Is this object the first step toward awareness, followed by an action to reduce these polluting emissions at the source?

Does this experience of breaking down walls, of opening up, of perpetual change constitute a new way of working?

DE: The problem obviously comes from the source. The government, businesses and individuals all have to participate. Le Laboratoire is, by definition, a space of creation. The life of the object, of the created work, is not Le Laboratoire’s mission. But it’s very interested in creators. Reducing emissions at the source is the ultimate goal; it’s an enormous challenge. I would be flattered if our project could contribute to this goal.

What steps remain before you can start marketing it? ML: What was extremely motivating and exhilarating in Le Laboratoire experience is that there was never any separation between the research phase and the possibility of creating a mass-produced object for the marketplace. From the beginning, David told me the goal was not necessarily to create an object that could be mass-produced, but that there wouldn’t be any restrictions to putting it on the market. In a lot of research projects, the process is interrupted, as if a barrier has been reached. In this case, we didn’t set any limits on the development of this product. DE: In concrete terms, starting in the autumn of 2008, at the same time as the exhibition, we will see a few prototypes of the object, via the Labo Shop.

Second, we have our own breathing mechanism, which already has its own filtering system, but it’s not optimal for all particles.

We aim to sell a dozen prototypes in the upcoming months. Each purchaser will participate in the new research and development phase. Each one will test all the parameters of the system. We will certainly have to make improvements.

And then, Bel-Air, which also has its own breathing mechanism.

ML: The exhibition this autumn will not be an end in itself, as is often the case, but rather a snapshot,

ML: Each purchaser becomes a sort of scientist, a tester and therefore becomes part of the process. Thus it’s a “plus” that’s added to the project —and we don’t know the end result. On many projects, I make sure that I can’t solve the problems alone. The direction this project is taking has, in these terms, surpassed my expectations. In my work, I generally find myself at the limit of my abilities at some point. Here, I didn’t know anything about plants, nor was I an expert in medicine. In any case, my working mode was to get information from specialists. The project is not the result of my good esthetic sense, but rather of a flexible network that added to the project. Very few people give us the opportunity to do this, as has David. I have never met a client who says: “We’re going to manufacture a table, a chair or a lamp, which is not yet fully defined, but we’re putting it on the market and we’ll let it live for a while, so we can change it along the way.” It’s both an intelligent way to work and a risk, because we can lose the thing. In general, designers tend toward absolute control over the end result of the object, they have to be the only one meeting the needs, the problems of the user. DE: What you just said brings us to the idea of the “Post Google Generation.” The world today is no longer the world of the past. Everyone knows it; articles appear every day about it. We are in a much more open world; information doesn’t belong to anyone. If it did, it would be absurd. There is a widespread reorientation in society, in the cultural, industrial, educational, humanitarian sectors - the four that we deal with at Le Laboratoire.


Everyone is once again starting to think about how to function, how to create. Thanks to this information explosion, projects - like Wikipedia for example - demonstrate how these transformations can be viewed as an enormous opportunity for innovation and, I hope, for humanity. But there’s also a risk. We can’t say if the opening up of this process will always be beneficial. It’s a humanistic gamble!

How does this project reflect the Artscience concept? DE: Artscience is not necessarily the sum of a scientist and an artist or a designer by which we obtain “more than two.” Great creators have two processes of intellectual creation that occur practically simultaneously. There is the process of the dream, the imagination, tinged with risk and uncertainty. And there is an analytical, deductive process that formulates a problem. Mathieu Lehanneur

Great creators use both, by definition. Whether they are artists, scientists or businessmen, great creators get along well, they understand each other easily. They work in different environments, of course. But everyone now knows that innovation often, and perhaps always, comes when you step out one world and enter another. When you enter into a new reality, you see things differently. The Artscience concept is the fusion of these two processes; it’s more than the result. The process, particularly at Le Laboratoire, consists in bringing together a scientist and a designer, as in this case with Mathieu, who brings his world, which I don’t know; and I bring mine, which he doesn’t know. We get along well; we both practice “Artscience” and we believe that the meeting of these two worlds is the basis of innovation.

Basile Gueorguievsky is a sustainable development consultant, who contributed to the book "Il y aura l'âge des choses légères" by Thierry Kazazian [ Victoires Editions, 2003], and has been associated curator of the exhibition "Changer d'Ere", 2006/2007.



Mathieu Lehanneur with Anthony van den Bossche*, spin doctor. Home storage unit for fish and greens. The Locavores appeared in San Francisco in 2005 and define themselves as ‘a group of culinary adventurers who eat foods produced in a radius of 100 miles (160 km) around their city’. By doing so they aim to reduce impact on the environment inherent to the transport of foodstuffs, while ensuring their traceability. Local River anticipates the growing influence of this group (the word ‘locavore’ made its first appearance in an American dictionary in 2007) by proposing a home storage unit for live freshwater fish combined with a mini vegetable patch. This DIY fish-farm-cum-kitchen-garden is based on the principle of aquaponics coupled with the exchange and interdependence of two living organisms - plants and fish. The plants extract nutrients from the nitrate-rich dejecta of the fish. In doing so they act as a natural filter that purifies the water and maintains a vital balance for the eco-system in which the fish live. The same technique is used on large-scale pioneer aquaponics/fish-farms, which raise tilapia (a food fish from the Far East) and lettuce planted in trays floating on the surface of ponds. Local River responds to everyday needs for fresh food that is 100% traceable. It bets on a return to favour of farm-raised freshwater fish (trout, eel, perch, carp, etc...), given the dwindling supplies of many saltwater species due to over-fishing. It also demonstrates the capacity of fish-farmers to deliver their stock live to a private consumer as a guarantee of optimum freshness - impossible in the case of saltwater fish that has been netted. Local River aims to replace the decorative ‘TV aquarium’ by an equally decorative but also functional ‘refrigerator-aquarium’. In this scenario, fish and greens cohabit for a short time in a home storage unit before being eaten by their keepers, the end-players in an exchange cycle within a controlled ecosystem. Materials: glass: blown & thermoformed, water pump, joints. Dimensions : Large : 163,7 x 76,7 x101cm, Small : 76,7 x 46,2 x 92,4 cm

photo: Mathieu Lehanneur

*Anthony van den Bossche, age 36, independent ideas man and curator. Set up Duende Studio in 2007, for events design and press relations. Moved full-time into design in 2001 after working as a journalist, ideas man and producer in television. Has mounted exhibitions such as “’, ‘Norway says’ and ‘Eden ADN, genetic design’ (Biennale de Saint-Etienne 2006) that highlight functional and decorative improvement of living organisms. Member of the purchasing jury of the National Fund for Contemporary Art, decorative arts department, and creator of the world gazette website (2002-07).


e r t n e C t s Hol 1 8 : d I t c e Lab Proj

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Imagine a future with: Origami light- Foldable light sheets Imagine light from flexible sheets which can be turned into any form, able to bend a light source like a piece of paper and create your personal light object. Origami light adds a new dimension to lighting. Besides providing functional light and being a design object, this flexible light-emitting sheet gives the owner the possibility to personalise his own light shapes and light configurations. Origami light consists of a light-emitting sheet which is able to emit light on both sides and can be bent into any kind of shape. The sheet can be placed flat on a table, it can be bent and placed in an upright position, even hang on the wall or ceiling in any shape or simply be used as a plain light source.

The only limit is the imagination of the user. The light sheet is powered using mains electricity via a clip that can be connected to all edges of the sheet. This clip also serves as battery which is able to store electricity and power the sheet for several hours without having to be connected to the mains. Besides providing power, the clip serves also as switch; attaching the clip to the sheet will turn on the light. The light can be switched off simply by removing the clip from the sheet. The sheet consist of two layers of polymer LED foil between which polymer electronic circuitry is added to provide advanced control of light output; both colour and luminance can be adjusted. These circuits are created by polymer printing and lithography. The light-emitting polymer structures on flexible foil are also produced by printing, which enables large light emitting areas to be produced. Low-cost production processes will be developed to produce polymer LED and other polymer electronics on roll. In the long term this application will even be suitable for wireless power transmission, with the reloading of an internal polymer foil based battery made possible by non-irradiative energy transfer from a power transmitter centrally located in a room.

Imagine a future with: Wireless Body Area Networks

A new generation of miniaturized sensor systems for personal body area networks Highly miniaturized and autonomous sensor systems will enable people to carry their personal body area network (BAN) with them, providing them with medical, lifestyle, assisted living, sports or entertainment functions.

It is anticipated that micro system technology will increase the functionality of lifestyle and healthcare devices to gradually match the needs of society. In the years to come, technology will enable people to carry their personal body area network (BAN) with them, providing them with medical, lifestyle, assisted living, sports or entertainment functions This network comprises a series of miniature sensor/actuator nodes, each of which has its own energy supply, consisting of storage and energy scavenging devices. Each node has enough intelligence to carry out its task. A node is able to communicate with other sensor nodes or with a central node worn on the body. The central node communicates with the outside world using a standard telecommunication infrastructure such as a wireless local area or cellular phone networks. The network can deliver services to the person using the BAN, for example the management of chronic disease, medical diagnostic services, home monitoring, biometrics, and sports and fitness tracking. The successful realization of this vision requires innovative solutions to remove any critical technological obstacles. First, the overall size has to be compatible with the required form factor. This requires new integration and packaging technologies. Second, the energy autonomy of current battery-powered

devices is limited and has to be extended. Further, interaction between sensors and actuators should be enlarged to enable new applications such as multi-parameter biometrics or closed loop disease management systems. Intelligence should be added to the device so that it can store, process and transfer data. The energy consumption of all building blocks needs to be drastically reduced to allow energy autonomy.

Imagine a future with: Smart Bandage Smart Bandage incorporates in a single device no thicker than an ordinary bandage monitoring of the healing process and stimulating light therapy for serious wounds.

Recovering from injuries has never been that fast and uncomplicated. Smart Bandage propels wound monitoring and wound healing into a new era. An ultra-thin lightemitting layer stimulates and modulates reparative and regenerating processes thus accelerating the healing. The effect of wound treatment with light has been proved by several studies and knowledge in this field is still developing. The polymer sensing technology registers the healing process of wounds by measuring the blood saturation in the wound tissue over the whole surface area of the wound. Temperature, humidity and the presence of bacteria are also measured in order to establish a proper diagnosis. This obviates the need for the often painful removal of the bandage to inspect the wound healing process. Besides monitoring the wound, Smart Bandage can provide light therapy which automatically adjusts to the healing process of the wound. The near-infrared light emitted by polymer LEDs seems to be perfect for boosting energy inside cells and accelerating the healing process. The intelligent Smart Bandage can be hooked up to a system via a wireless link and used for remote patient monitoring, with information on the healing process sent via internet to a hospital where an expert can advise on medical treatment in the event that recovery problems are observed. The patient can then be consulted by a nurse for specific wound treatment. All the incorporated technologies are based on 103

from the sensors real-time and on the spot inside the tiny nodes will create enormous advantages. The sensors rapidly identify and report hazardous contamination levels and provide accurate weather and climate information. The sensors can be tracked down and recovered when desired. The floating, power-efficient sensors will provide continuous reading of the oceans and can be used for measuring temperature, salinity and chemical composition of the water. Currents will take the sensors all over the ocean. All data are transferred by means of radio signal.

polymer electronics on very thin layers, or ‘systemin-foil technology’. Every functionality, such as emitting light, temperature sensing and skin colour sensing, is incorporated in a specific layer of polymer foil substrate. The separate layers with their specific functions are stacked one on top of the other and form the core of the Smart Bandage. The outer layer of the bandage is a soft and skin-friendly material. The whole wound dressing is breathable. Smart Bandage is perfect for treating the wounds of diabetics who generally suffer from skin sores caused by nerve damage. Other applications for Smart Bandage are pressure sores, trauma injuries, chronic skin ulcers and burns.

Imagine a future with: Nomadic sensors A mobile autonomous long distance sensor system. Worldwide monitoring of pollution, weather and migration patterns could become possible by using large numbers of autonomous miniaturised sensors that float, are attached to organisms or placed at fixed locations. The tiny mobile autonomous sensor is able to travel around the world, floating in the ocean or attached to animals. It combines miniaturised radio transmitters with advanced sensor technology. Miniaturised sensor and power technology will be combined


with satellite based geo-tracking, linking sensor data to a specific location and enabling monitoring of long distance and intercontinental movement. In the future, these kinds of sensors can be easily deployed for various environmental monitoring purposes. The sensors can be used, for example, to study sea and ocean currents. The process is similar to following drift bottles that collect environmental information such as temperature, composition of sea water, barometric pressure and solar radiation. These autonomous sensors can play a major role in research on climate change, global warming, biodiversity and ocean circulation. When attached to animals, they can also be used for following migration patterns of animals, animal life monitoring and research on ecosystems or pollution patterns. The sensors can also be used for event monitoring; distributed over an area they could wait until an event occurs, only being activated to sense and report, for example, seismic activity or pollution. The sensors contain processing power for real-time decision making. The local ultra-low power digital signal processing ensures the required data transfer to a central point. Processing power is distributed over the large number of sensors and smart networking technology is used to share and interpret sensor data among the neighbouring nodes. The ability to combine and to analyse the information

Only a few microwatts are required for generating enough sensing and transmitting power. A small antenna emits electromagnetic pulses with a very short duration that can be picked up by satellite. The micro-power system remains active over the entire operational lifetime of the product. The sensors use everlasting power sources by scavenging energy from the environment. Energy can, for example, be generated from solar power, the temperature difference between water and air (a so-called thermoelectric generator) as well as from new developments that use microbial fuel cells from plankton in the sea and oxygen dissolved in water, making these devices fully autonomous.

Imagine a future with: Personal Air Freshness Indicator - Wearable pollutant warning Air pollution is increasingly affecting many of us, especially in large cities and industrial areas. The wearable fresh air indicator is a very small device that is able to warn individuals when precautions have to be taken. Air is essential for life, so the air we breathe should be fresh and clean. But all kinds of activities pollute the air, whether natural or man-made. Polluted air can be very harmful to humans, animals and plants. However, certain groups of people are much more susceptible to polluted air; their health depends on fresh clean air. The human warning system only starts to signal that there is a problem when it’s already too late. The personal air freshness indicator is a small device that looks like a piece of jewellery that provides an early warning of polluted air. The indicator is suitable for everybody, not only active children and adults but especially those at higher risk to air pollutants such as the elderly and people with respiratory diseases like asthma. Polluted air can cause long-term harm such as chronic

respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and damage to the brain, nerves, liver and kidney. Besides the detection of pollutants the indicator also detects pollen and moulds, which is important because many people suffer from allergies, many of them is caused by pollen and mould. The fresh air indicator alerts people to the hazards, prompting them in this way to take a specific medication or limit exposure to the air in that particular place.

The fresh air indicator monitors the surrounding air continuously; every minute it analyses the air several times and is able to give a warning signal immediately.

For example, the sensor is able to detect ultra fine airborne particles and thus give a smog alert when concentrations are high. The indicator has two detection settings: for pollutants and for pollen and moulds. There is a colour interface that changes from green to red as the level of pollution increases. In the long term the sensor can be combined with positioning systems and linked to a system that shares information on polluted locations, creating a sort of pollution map. Mobile wireless sensor networks will even be able to generate a real-time pollution map, gather information that can be used for policy-making and enable direct measures pollution removal measures.

The detector is based on the principle of an sensor array with reactive polymers. Changes in gas concentration cause the electronic properties of reactive polymers to change. These changes are detected and translated into a signal. Different polymers are calibrated to detect a specific pollutant. Using sensor arrays it is possible to allow the sensor to react to all kind of pollutants and particles in the air. The device is contained in a piece of jewellery that is worn outside the clothing, such as a necklace, bracelet, brooch or even as an integrated component of a device like a mobile phone. The energy needed to power the indicator is generated by power scavengers that create energy from movement.


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(re)shaping everyday life shows installations and works by Paul Casaer (B), Louis de Cordier (B), Christoph Fink (B), GRRRR (Ingo Giezendanner) (CH), Ryoji Ikeda (J), (UK), Limite Azero (I), Alice Miceli (BR), Haruki Nishijima (J), Egle Rakauskaite (LT), Reconfigurable House Team (HU), Traces of Autism (NL), Arturas Valiauga (LT), Peter Westenberg (B), Jeremy Wood (UK). Z33 invites the visitor to experience and influence the spatial impact of technology. People creatively ‘customise’, personalise and reorganise spaces on a daily basis to transform them into personal, intelligible places. They make their own blogs, decorate their living rooms and devise their own routes through the city. This must also be possible in the more complex space that seems to be growing faster than we can keep up with it. In the exhibition project 'PLACE@SPACE - (re)shaping everyday life', Z33 examines the relationships between people and the spatial environment, technology and art. This relationship is under pressure. Technology is becoming smaller and even invisible; just consider the introduction of nanotechnology, the increasing use of RFID and wireless technologies. Technology is disappearing under the skin of spaces and objects. It is even disappearing under our own skins. Technology is also becoming more ‘ubiquitous’; it is everywhere, including the objects that surround us. In other words, while technological networks are everywhere, their presence in our environment has become less visible. This has led to people, objects and spaces becoming hybrid. The objects surrounding us are becoming ever more entangled with the traces that people have left behind (distributed objects) and we bear traces of the technological networks that are interwoven with us (distributed subjects) (Joselit, 2007). Hybrid objects interacting with hybrid people produces hybrid spaces. There is an increased need to ‘map out’ complex spaces and visualise the invisible (wireless spaces, mental or historical spaces) in order to reach a better understanding of them. We can always personalise spaces to make them a place, if we can find a way to ‘grasp’ them. Now that we are continuously part of these spaces, the ‘different’ perspective of the artist plays an irrefutably important role in drawing attention to this fact. The works of art do not just enable us to experience spaces - they also make it possible for us to manipulate them. They make us aware of our ability to understand and change our everyday environment. This

12. © Kristof Vrancken, nowHere, Place@Space, Z33, 2008

4. © Kristof Vrancken, Routes + Routines, Peter Westenberg, Place@Space, Z33, 2008.

provides a sense of 'agency' or the felling that one is able to act in a space. Making the invisible visible (actually, experienceable may be a better term, as sound, smell and taste may also play a role), places the issue of how we deal with spaces firmly in the public discourse. We may not be able to fully understand or reconfigure our hybrid spaces, but efforts to increase citizens’ participation in the public discourse means that citizens must also be able to join in with discussing and creating to a certain extent. People must also be given the opportunity to enjoy the richness that this hybridisation of spaces has brought. Complexity makes our environment richer. In our global society, it is easier for us to cross borders and we can even be ‘virtually’ present in several places at once. Networked and digital environments interact with physical, mental, social, cultural and historical spaces. These multi-layered, kaleidoscopic or hybrid spaces can give us a wealth of new impressions. In PLACE@SPACE - (re)shaping everyday life, artists, scientists, architects, engineers and designers reveal the impact of new technologies and show how we can use them to (re)claim and personalise our space. One possible route through the space. When one enters the exhibition space, the feeling of place in space, a twin concept coined by Michel de Certeau, must be immediately apparent. Christian Kieckens, scenographer and architect, designed a large ‘shaft’ in the space’s entrance hall. This removes part of the space, giving it a feeling of intimacy. At the same time, Kieckens left the construction of this place very open. It conceals nothing, thereby allowing insight into how the space 'works'. This 'place' in the space – filled in by the artists collective bolwerK – contains work by Christoph Fink

9. © Kristof Vrancken, I dropped in on Stepas. We talked about life, Arturas Valiauga, Place@Space, Z33, 2008

(a mapping of the exhibition space 11 years ago), Louis De Cordier and Sarah Pillen (mobile architecture in felt), Steven De Vleminck (an anthropology of World Mapping), Free Soil (the journey of an orange), and much more. The shaft – partly inspired by a curiosity cabinet – adds historical, contextual and personal dimensions to the larger exhibition space and the works exhibited there. An overview of all the works, remainders, interventions, books,... in nowHere can be found at BolwerK also inhabits the space literally, filling it gradually with statements, images, books, works of art and interventions. They built a kitchen, a bedroom, a living room and an office. They use this ‘home’ feeling not only as a metaphor, but they literally live, sleep, eat, drink and work in the space for a period of two months. They fill the space with personal, historical, artistic stories and turn it into a place. They turned this environment (nowhere) to an inhabited place (Now Here). To make the space literally manipulatable, there is a multitouchinterface which can be used to move and distort the exhibition spaces. The manipulatable table also enables visitors to look up additional information, 107

Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby Technological Dream Series: No. 1, Robots 2007 Robots are destined to play a more significant part in our daily lives over the coming years. But how will we interact with them? What kind of new interdependencies and relationships might emerge? These objects are meant to spark a discussion about how we’d like our robots to relate to us: subservient, intimate, dependent, coexist? Microbial fuel cells that use bacteria to break down ‘food’ like slugs, meat, rotten apples and flies are currently being developed for robots. In the future, some robots will have stomachs. How will the way we interact with them be affected when we have to feed them rather than recharge them? Commissioned by z33 Video: Noam Toran Robot Sound Design: Scanner Thanks to: Per Tingleff, Graeme Findley, Ben Legg, James Auger, Simon Denzel, Bahbak Hashemi-Nehzad, Wakana and Mo. Courtesy Design and the Elastic Mind, MoMA, Image by Per Tingleff


such as text and visual material, information about the artistic working progress and video interviews. When we move outside the place of nowHere, we arrive at different wings that roughly divide 'making spaces to places' into four areas of tension. They must not be seen as dichotomies, but as axes upon which the works move.


The phenomenon of ‘ubiquitous computing’ refers to the fact that technology is being integrated into our environment ever more ‘seamlessly’. In many cases, we no longer know where technology is concealed, let alone how we can manipulate it ourselves. Our air is full of (polluting) radiation. Artists can make these invisible networks visible, or rather tangible, in interesting ways, using maps, visualisation or photographs. In data.tron (2007) Rioji Ikeda portrays the ethereal world between 0 and 1 in an abstract, but extremely immersive installation. Visitors to Haruki Nishijima’s work catch invisible radiation waves in the air with a net, bring them back to the exhibition space and let them loose on a screen, where they swarm around like fireflies. They vary in size, sound and colour, depending on the type and intensity of the radiation. In the project routes and routines (2008), Peter Westenberg made internet walks through the city of Hasselt with visitors using technological shoes. He asked inhabitants to share their private internet connection with them during the walk. This enabled participants to register images, sounds and rays when walking along the route via their 'smart' shoes and send this data live to the exhibition space. Westenberg posed the question of how public our technological space is today.


Media brings the ‘global world’ a great deal closer to us. This makes artists’ strategies to reveal the rich diversity present in global society extremely valuable. Their work in this space can show us that there are still possibilities to claim our place in a world that often seems beyond our control. Traces of Autism (2005-2007) is a research project developed by Wim Cuyvers (B), Maartje Dros (NL), Jayme Yen (US), Jozua Zaagman (NL) and Jacqueline Schoemaker (NL) in the Jan Van Eyck Academy. They explore the Euregion as a city, a semi-public space. The group walked, cycled and drove through the Euregion with a number of criteria for semipublic spaces in mind, such as, for example, the

presence of gay meeting places. This resulted in a multi-dimensional map that presents a rather exotic view of what looks like a rather dull area on first sight. The fact is that a map is always subjective. Paul Casaer questions the view that the media and advertising offer of our global space. The places depicted on consumer goods present us with an utopian image of distant, beautiful locations. The installation Joyvalley (2008) plays with the brand Joyvalle, a dairy product that depicts a sunny, fertile place. He installed the word like a sculpture, stripping it of colour and pictures. It is in front of a window so that it can be seen by the city of Hasselt. Joyvalley is an installation in the public space and therefore connects the city with the inner space of the exhibition. In his photo series, (I Dropped in on Stepas, We Talked about Life, 2002-2003) Arturas Valiauga depicts a couple who collected their own global vision and living environment on the walls of their house over the years by using cuttings from newspapers and magazines. The result is a colourful collage spread throughout the entire house, like tiny windows into historical, personal, mental or ideological spaces. In his BorderXings, Heath Bunting once more questions the concept of borders. Although media images often present us with a world without borders, borders are still all too real for some people. To make these borders ‘tangible’, he physically crosses borders in different countries and with different groups. With Z33 he crossed the Dutch-Belgian and Flemish – Wallonian borders. In this way he embodies the meaning of spatial borders and brings their political connotations into the public discourse. Jeremy Wood, a gps artist, used gps to draw the flight routes that he made in the form of a pentagram in the air (Pentagram Flights, 2008). Our personal routes through the world are 'monitored' and registered in databanks increasingly often. We notice this whenever we travel by plane. Airports are places where the checks on our identity are very visible. Making our own maps of our personal routes is a way to regain control over our own lives.


Immersive environments, interactive story-telling and maps tell us stories about our place in the space. Artists often use low-tech technologies in their work as a reaction against the glorification of technological intelligence. How these works ‘work’, is usually transparent and it is often easy to use them yourself. They offer the opportunity to shape your space yourself, thereby stimulating a ‘Do-ItYourself’ (DIY) culture. 109

These spaces and areas of tension are questioned by diverse artists. In an intervention for Z33, Ingo Giezendanner draws the space as he sees it. He takes his time to look around and picks objects that we may overlook. He recombines his drawn impressions of different places in the world within a hybrid space of black and white drawings, videos, t-shirts.... In doing so, he tells a personal story about the space around him. The team of the Reconfigurable House (2007) (a collaboration between Usman Haque (UK), Ai Hasegawa (JP), Barbara Jasinowicz (PL), Gabor Papp (HU), Bengt Sjolen (SE), Adam SomlaiFischer (HU), Tamas Szakal (HU)) constructed a house full of low-tech elements in a seven day workshop. As a criticism of the intelligent house that anticipates everything we do (turning on the light, regulating the heating,...), they created a house that we continuously have to arrange, or rather reconfigure ourselves. They also tell a story about spaces, but most of all, they encourage us to create our own story.

Private-Public © Kristof Vrancken, Reconfigurable House 2, Usman Haque, Gábor Papp, Bengt Sjölén, Adam Somlai-Fischer, Tamás Szakál, Place@Space, Z33, 2008

Technology enables us to be in continuous contact with distant places. This gives us an enormous freedom. The downside is that the same technology makes it possible to control us more closely. Artists try to draw attention to controlling networks that we often cannot see, such as databases, RFID (radiofrequency identification) and surveillance cameras. This allows us to be more aware of them and even break the connection now and again. In Order & Chaos (2003) Limiteazero snuffles around the local network with a surveillance tool and visualises a complex world of IP addresses in a tactile interface in the form of a plexiglaze table. We can feel and move the network with our own hands. These new forms and impressions of the network are projected simultaneously on a wall in front of us, making an immaterial space tangible. Egle Rakauskaite filmed how people appropriate the supermarket space for themselves on a daily basis. They do this by hiding their favourite brands in the shelves so that they will still be available on their next visit, creating their own places under umbrellas, shielding their faces from the all-seeing surveillance cameras and hiding in cupboards in the furniture department so that they can creep around after closing time. Both of these artists show us that we can still make a personal space even in an increasingly controlled environment.

© Kristof Vrancken, intervention for Z33, GRRRR (Ingo Giezendanner), Place@Space, Z33

Models for the future

The question is how can an exhibition model generate new working, thinking and communication models for the future? How can the literally revelatory thinking of the participating artists contribute to a sustainable added value for our place and our possibilities to act in a hybrid space?


Most works of art in the exhibition came about by collaboration and crossing disciplines. The way in which they were created is often connected to scientific models that prioritise transparency. This makes it possible to share and accrue knowledge. This is done by visualising difficult or invisible characteristics of spaces and intensively documenting the work process. The artists also reveal tools and technological networks that we use in a hybrid space (such as RFID), which are often developed within laboratories and make them available to be used by the public or put to alternative uses so that we can also participate in constructing our spaces. 110 12. © Kristof Vrancken, nowHere, Place@Space, Z33, 2008


A number of works are shown in a way that invites visitors to participate, interact and reconfigure. They show the possible social and cultural implications of a technology or a technological space, and their interactive nature stimulates the feeling of 'agency'. This feeling is connected to the fact that we can manipulate complex technological spaces and change them so that we can use them ourselves. 'We can do it ourselves' (DIY). This idea brings a different possible world closer to us.


Workshops are intended to enable a smaller public of 'experts' to share knowledge across various disciplines. They examine the connection between new technological developments and developments in the way we behave in relation to our everyday spaces. Led by David Garcia, ArtLabs (23 April 2008), examined lab cultures. How can art, technology and other domains learn from each other and which (also spatial) conditions must be created in order to facilitate this learning? Spacecowboys (6 and 7 May 2008) wants to recall the artistic methodologies used in the ways of dealing with hybrid spaces. This is accomplished by collaboration between people whose work is based on their own discipline or approach (technological, social, academic, artistic...) on how to understand and create our own spaces. Cross-border urbanism in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine / facts, dreams and opportunities (8 May 2008) organised by the group Architectuurwijzer vzw, brings architects together around the Euregional space. The research project Traces of Autism (see above) formed the basis of the discussion.


The working, exhibition and reflection processes are documented and linked to other exhibitions or publications about our place in hybrid spaces in a blog and exhibition guide. The workshops will eventually lead to a publication in which different experts from the field (brought together in different workshops) share their thoughts on our place and possible contact with hybrid spaces with an audience.

5. © Kristof Vrancken, Chernobyl Project – the invisible stain, Alice Miceli, Place@Space, Z33, 2008

Under Your Skin

The documentation described is necessary for conceiving a trajectory that be developed further at Place@Space. Place@Space reveals how artists focus on the place of humans within a hybrid space filled with technological networks. If we zoom in on the tools that are used in our hybrid spaces, we see that technology is becoming even smaller and more invisible. The invisibility of technology and the shrinking size of appliances prompted the discussion about nanotechnology in our spaces. What if technology can ‘hide’ under the skin of things, people and spaces? What are the possibilities and dangers that are involved? Can people control these technologies or are large scientific laboratories the only agents who can control this knowledge and its application? Are there ways to break open possible undesirable, oppressive uses of these technologies and to transform their commercial use into culturally alternative or more personal uses? Evolutions in the use and development of technologies are connected to changes in our daily spaces. Artists who try to master these

technologies and use them in an alternative way can teach society a lot about other possible ways of dealing with them. In doing so, they contribute to greater digital literacy in a way that is not purely functional and is always from an open perspective. They may even help produce a space born of co-creation with the public. It is within the (free) space of art that another, unexpected or even magical gaze can be shed on the material. 'Under your Skin' is an exhibition route by Z33 that examines shrinking technology. These small appliances connect you, your fellow human beings and objects to each other. Between these junctions, we can define spaces in new constellations, over and over again.


What does PLACE@SPACE mean Peter Westenberg

'Place and space' is a dichotomy between place and space. I see a space as something abstract, such as a space that has not been filled in or a space that exists as a concept. Within this, I see the possibility to make it your own place that you fill in with your own experiences, your own world. I see a place more as a design, a specific space that is maybe very closely connected to people, in which people are related to each other. I think that this gives rise to a definition of place.

Alice Miceli

We have general spaces, but what is particular about the places? I think the tension between the two definitions, of place and space could be very significant. They should be approached in relation to a specific place, and that is precisely what I have been doing with the Chernobyl project. The way that we ask our questions about spaces, gives us different meanings of places.

Adam Somlai-Fischer

Let's say that space is a more abstract term, where place is much more tangible, it is more actual. I would say that space is this virtual idea of dimensionality, whereas place can be the actual tangible part of it, which we construct ourselves. I don't want to say that we are users of space, we are actually the makers of places.

Heath Bunting

The role of artists is to make things visible that are either not visible or partly visible or completely invisible to themselves and the general public.

Marthe van Dessel (nowHere)

place@space tried to raise a number of questions directly about the area of tension between the space and the place. If we talk about space, it is actually purely about the abstract environment that has not yet been defined as such. From the moment you perceive the third dimension, you also begin to transcend the concept of space. The role of the artist is to transcend the space in whatever manner, so that the space is given a meaning. The generated meaning can also be passed on.

Jeremy Wood

Place and space is a thing close to my work. I work outdoors, mostly. I deal with location specific technologies. I interpret places and spaces with these technologies and with my movements. It means a lot to me and my work. The role of an artist is an important role in defining places and spaces, because it allows people to explore them without functions or without any particular discipline to it, it allows for an open investigation of what is around us.

Paul Casaer

Place at space, is a rather cryptic title. If I think more about it, I always come back to 'place', the place of the artist in the immense entirety that is 'space'. This can be a physical place, but actually, it is more about the territory that the artist claims and builds throughout the years. Doing this by doing something specific in a place, but also by giving a place nuance or by giving images that he makes in relation to places an extra meaning that was not yet present.

Ingo Giezendanner

When I start my drawing, I go somewhere, take a rest, sit there for a few hours to do my drawing. Then for me this is like I am taking the space for that moment or I am going deep in the space, in the feeling of the space. I feel like I am taking the space, at the place when I'm sitting there in that space.

Paolo Rigamonti (Limiteazero)

To me place is something specific, it is a geographical concept, it's a geolocalisation. I can say where that place is. When I think of space today, space is an abstract idea, I do not know exactly what space is, space is a concept, something we cannot define in a precise way. And so the human being deals with space, just trying to make some frameworks, to have an idea of structures. Perhaps it is the main point of the western culture, the idea to explain, and to have boundaries to conceptual ideas. The interesting thing of space to me is that I cannot have a precise idea, I have to find this space. Our work as architects is to find space in many different things.

Egle Rakauskaite

First of all, place in space is physical, and second it is a context. We are depending on the context and we develop different strategies in relation to it, we change the context and at the same time context changes us. 112

8. Š Kristof Vrancken, Remain In Light, Haruki Nishijima, Place@Space, Z33, 2008

VISION LINES 20... Lab Project Id: 81

notechnologies... ophic visions on na str ta to have only ca d an ic ist nsumer market seem both optim co ith e w th SCENARIOS... ed ng fill hi e ac ar re ic ts chnologies from a produc the large publ adability of nanote .. Nanotechnology re e le. ib Th Media available to ss s. er po us be m to ea s ainstr contrary seem recognizable by m Everything and its , but nothing really on m m ... co ng di in ea so isl g m the claim of bein people is fuzz y and t of view for ‘normal’ in po m ea str n w do view? e their own point of ap sh to s er Apocaliptia? us e es of these scenarios? Wonderworld and n y? ee Can we enable th tw be s io ade of desirability ar gr d en sc an e le taking responsibilit ib nc ng rre ta cu e oc lt dialogue toward obability of cu pr ffi n Can we build som di ee e th tw t be or in pp n su and l conversatio ty, fear and hope... Can we foster socia n dreams and reali ee tw be es lin aw Can we try to dr Strategic Design Scenarios François Jégou, Sara Girardi, Paola Paleari, Giulia Durante Strategic Design Scenarios is a design consultancy based in Brussels and specialised in participative scenario building supporting individuals, companies and institutions in imagining visions, organising foresight, projecting contrasted scenarios, visualising them through images and movies to stimulate strategic conversation about opportunities and threats... SDS is involved in research, education and definition of new products and services mostly focussing sustainable development and new technologies. Main on-going projects are: Nanoplat European funded research projects aiming at the construction of a European deliberative platform on nanotechnologies; Global Survey on Sustainable Lifestyles for the United Nation Environment Programme; Sustainable Everyday Project web platform exploring social innovation to identify Creative Communities and develop sustainable Collaborative Services; a series of exhibitions on sustainable lifestyles at the Triennale Milan, Beaubourg Paris, EcoProduct Tokyo and other locations worldwide.






S R E B M E M / B A L


Leah Heiss Lab User Id: 2911 Musings on art science collaborations

“I am currently writing an abstract for the ArtsHealth conference at the University of Newcastle this October. Specifically I have been musing over the potential benefit to innovation through developing robust relations between artists and scientists. Within our context the collaboration has seen the art/science relationship expand from a reactive, representational model where the artist responds to pre-existing technologies, toward one which is focused on the simultaneous synergistic innovation. In this model the artist informs the development of the technologies from the outset and the scientists think more broadly about the human impact of their products prior to committing to particular directions. Well - that’s what we are moving towards. Much of the project work I have been doing is working with existing technologies and developing ways to humanise their interfaces. Now, towards the end of this development we are starting to open up ways of creating new therapeutic technologies with a human-sensitive interface.” (Leah Heiss) The following projects are being developed by Leah Heiss as part of an AIR residency with Nanotechnology Victoria, supported by ANAT - Australian Network for Art and Technology and Arts Victoria.


Subtle Technologies

A range of wearable therapeutic technologies developed by artist/designer Leah Heiss in collaboration with Nanotechnology Victoria. These projects are part of an AIR artist residency supported by ANAT - the Australian Network for Art and Technology and Arts Victoria. The residency set out to examine the ‘emotional’ in therapeutic design. It addressed the question: Is it possible to augment our personal artefacts with extra functionalities – the power to heal, correct, and treat our physical ailments?

Water vessels

This project is focused on developing a portable mobile vessel with built-in filtration device. This device should be easy to carry, store, clean + reload. The water vessels are designed as multi part systems. They have a central body which carries water; a lid/cup for drinking; a membrane system that filters out the Fe2O3 particles; and an electronic sleeve which houses electroluminescent cable. The cable illuminates when the lid is removed to assist the user. The vessels are modelled in 3D software and 3D printed through a stereolithography process.


Diabetes Jewellery

This project has involved the creation of jewellery-based wearables which administer NanoVic’s NanoMAPs - which replace syringes. NanoMAPs enable pain-free and continuous delivery of therapeutic drugs - for example insulin - in a convenient format. The diabetes Applicator Necklace is designed to allow users to discretely apply NanoMAPs to the skin. Aesthetically, it has been developed to look like contemporary jewellery rather than a medical device. The diabetes Applicator + Reloader Neckpieces are designed to allow users to discretely apply NanoMAPs to the skin. The applicator and reloader are depicted here as discreet elements. The exteriors of the applicator and reloader are made from cast silver while the interior components are machined aluminium. The applicator + reloader were developed in collaboration with Catapult Innovations and Nanotechnology Victoria. The diabetes rings are designed to keep the NanoMAPs against the skin once they have been applied. They are designed as discreet housings for theraeutics. Philsophically, they question how we might ‘enable’ our favourite jewellery/artefacts with functionality above and beyond the aesthetic. The diabetes split rings are a new generation medical jewellery that works in connection with the applicator neckpiece. The ring is designed to keep the NanoMAPs against the skin once they have been applied.


Arsenic purification

This project has involved the creation of a range of arsenic purification jewellery and vessels. The neckpieces act as receptacles for mesoporous iron oxide (Fe2O3) which removes arsenic from water. The water vessels incorporate fine membrane filters for removing the Fe2O3 particles and other bacteria before drinking. The vessel and neckpiece are designed for people in transit in areas where arsenic is prevalent in well water (India, Bangladesh, United States).

Fe2O3 vessels

While not highly publicised there are estimates that arsenic poisoning affects up to 137 million people in over 70 countries. Arsenic is a known carcinogenic and impacts upon the health of many people in developing nations. The small vessels pictured carry mesoporous iron oxide (Fe2O3) for purifying arsenic from drinking water. They are used in connection with the drinking vessels pictured below. The arsenic neckpiece carries mesoporous iron oxide (Fe2O3) and is designed so that the lid and body of the piece are at either end of a long chain. The lid has built in tweezers to allow the user to administer the Fe2O3 into their water vessel without touching the chemical.


Marijn Dionys Lab User Id: 7960

These pictures represent a phase in time where technology and biology get more and more mixed up. Something that's happening today. Modern technology surrounds us and is very present and visible in our daily life. But what will happen if the technology isn't visible anymore and will infiltrate in things/places we least expect it to be? Its potential is both very interesting and very scary. 126

Giuseppe Pignataro Lab User Id: 2977



Link Leasure Lab User Id: 2963

The Grass Is Always Greener

Kris Provost Lab User Id: 7816 We have to change our clothing and accessories after every season. Why not create accessories that change with the seasons? Taking advantage of the beauty of Mother Nature, you are always in interaction with the seasons.

Michaella Van Vuuren Lab User Id: 2961 "I work with images of people who have cancer or have been severely injured. Digital CAT-scan data is used to extract a 3d representation of the patients' anatomy. This is used to make a 3d file that can be manufactured into a physical model or to design a custom implant. I never meet these patients, but I wonder about their lives, are they in pain, do they have hope. I also wonder about bones, gender, life, death, sex, AIDS, infertility and society." 128

Rene Serrano Lab User Id: 2176

Blow installation

An Electronically Dandelion Flower modified allows the interaction between the human breath and the computer. The Dandelion Flower is connected in a Computer with an own Programming Code. The public can "Blow" directly over the Dandelion flower and then, depending their own breath frequency: Watch a non-linear animation Story. It exists as 3 different stories or interfaces also the 3 Countries where I used to live: Belgium, Spain and MĂŠxico. The audience can Switch the Interface by simply moving the buttons placed on the floor.

Fiction It is a project that tries to gather the vital variables of a human body and on the basis of them create sequences of graphs and non-linear videos. These Vital functions are the sounds of the cardiac pulse and the breathing. These functions are measured by a sensor and taken from the computer. The functions will be changed by numerical variables. These Variables are changed with a video - sequence from a stock of images inside the computer. The images are projected on a screen in real time. 129

Yolanda Tasco Lab User Id: 7439


Suzanne Kollen Lab User Id: 2763 Kollen’s works are based on her fascination with the 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional space. Working mainly in textiles she finds inspiration in being able to look at a work, totally flat or in a 3d sculpture.


Lucyandbart Lab User Id: 3045



Expanded View 1

Expanded View 2

LucyandBart is a collaboration between Lucy McRae and Bart Hess described as an instinctual stalking of fashion, architecture, performance and the body. They share a fascination with genetic manipulation and beauty expression. Unconsciously their work touches upon these themes, however it is not their intention to communicate this. They work in a primitive and limitless way creating future human shapes, blindly discovering low – tech prosthetic ways for human enhancement.


Sarah Kettley Lab User Id: 3148

I am a jeweller and artist-researcher interested the relationship between craft and interaction design, and in how new technologies become a part of the cultural landscape. I collaborate with engineers and users to create interactive jewellery and garments, and jointly developed the first implemented application of Speckled Computing, a wireless sensor network technology. Through combining contemporary craft processes with design, I analyse how products come to be configured in social action, and by presenting my work across disciplines, I seek to blur their boundaries. I defended my doctoral thesis on Wearable Computing in December 2007, and plan to continue developing selected concepts towards commercialization whilst continuing my practice as a contemporary jeweller.

Ensemble (2006 – 2007)

ensemble was a research project funded by the AHRC in the UK. In collaboration with the Speckled Computing Consortium, Scotland, embedded systems engineer Frank Greig, and sound designer Vangelis Lympouridis, I created eight wirelessly networked pieces of jewellery for public installation. All pieces react to movement and many react to touch via custom textile capacitors.


Alberto Meda Lab Project Id: 81 Born in Tremezzina (Como) in 1945. Master in Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico of Milan in 1969. From 1973 technical manager of Kartell, in charge of the development of projects of furniture and plastic laboratory equipments. In 1979 freelance industrial designer for various companies: Alfa Romeo Auto, Alias, Alessi, Arabia-Finland ,Cinelli, Colombo design, Brevetti Gaggia, JcDecaux, Ideal Standard, Luceplan, Legrand, Mandarina Duck, Omron Japan, Philips, Olivetti, Vitra, etc. "es-screen" (VITRA Edition, 2007) This folding screen is an object that becomes slightly warm thanks to a layer of Phase Change Material included in its structure working as energy storage. It is intended to give a sensation of comfort to people who stand next to it and in this way they reduce irradiative losses to the cold surfaces of the room (for instance cold walls and windows). It should be useful for instance in large spaces, such as offices, or to avoid a sensation of cold due to the presence of a window, especially in the evening, when the dark sky causes big losses of energy by irradiation. Phase Change Material included in this object are Glaubert salts. Once decided the temperature that we want to be reached by the panel, the kind of salt to be used will be determined, in order to assure that temperature. The amount of it can be calculated according to perform endurance. At first salts will be melted by heating them; the latent heat that they accumulate during the change of phase from solid to liquid will be given back later when they become solid again. During the change of phase salts keep constant their temperature so all the process is isothermal and this happens at a designed temperature, as ice that melts into water at a constant temperature of 0째C. Difference and crucial point consist in the phase change temperature. A salt that solidify at 32째C theoretically keeps its temperature at 32째C for hours, up to the complete transformation, maintaining the folding screen warm. This folding screen with salts that melt thanks to solar irradiation should be put very close to a window oriented to south in order to profit of irradiation.


Sarah van Marcke for Diesel Lab Project Id: 81



Installation design: (c) noumenon Picture (c) J. Berghmans

Noumenon Lab User Id: 2287

noumenon was founded in 2003 by Carl De Smet as a medium to advance collaborative efforts in art, science, design and architecture. Next to its institutional partners and supporters (the Department of Metallurgy, Materials & Engineering of the Catholic University of Leuven, the St. Lucas Department of Architecture and the De Naeyer Institute of Engineering), noumenon also works closely with individuals like Dolores Hulan, a choreographer/dancer, and Pierre de Gelder, a writer and 3D video maker. noumenon's main body of work is the application of nascent materials: SMPs - Shape Memory Polymers - and SMAs - Shape Memory Alloys. Under the influence of light or heat, these materials can reshape to forms that have been pre-programmed into them. These materials are both sensors and reactors, both muscle and nerve: a mechanism and a structure at once. noumenon is developing prototypes destined to become mass-produced items in the near future. One example is a small cube that can be exposed to sunlight or heat. The box will then metamorphose into a seat. It can then possibly be modelled into something else or return to its programmed seat shape if it is once again exposed to a strong light or heat source. The work in collaboration with Dolores Hulan is a close interplay of dance and technology in performative installations that work like small-scale isolated systems. In these closed worlds, a new sensuality can be brought to life by the isolation and extraction of essential features of the physical universe: a procedure strongly reminiscent of laboratory experiments. Noumenon's forays in new materials and technology are inspired by scientific insights in physics and biology and rooted in social, political and artistic viewpoints, which are both part and parcel of its work. Carl De Smet and Pierre de Gelder share a lot of common ground in the sense of a "terra incognita" that they jointly explore in theoretical jam sessions and endless brainstorms. These give rise to texts, futuristic projects and videos based on individual or shared basic ideas. Currently they are developing “Oklosutra”, a series of short films illustrating the strength and inventiveness of geological and biological processes of construction and a remake of their first video production “First Star from the Sun”, the tale of a tower with a reflective surface that mirrors events four years after their occurrence. This produces spectacular juxtapositions of climatic and personal events. It is a speculative story about nanotechnology and its relevance to large-scale constructions.


Shape Memory Polymers Under the influence of light or heat, Shape Memory Polymers can reshape to forms that have been pre-programmed into them. By exposing it to certain stimuli again, this programmed shape can also be transformed to another shape temporarily and then regained again by exposing it once more to more or less precise light, heat or other influences, depending on the properties of Shape Memory Polymer being used. These materials are both sensors and reactors, both muscle and nerve: a mechanism and a structure at once. Most of the research done on SMPs and SMAs is done within medical research. The goal is to make small structures that can be used during noninvasive microsurgery. The properties and applications of SMPs at larger scales are still largely unknown and in need of extra research as their resistance to various mechanical stresses are limited. Noumenon is currently researching promising avenues that will permit design of shape memory devices at the scale of household objects or larger. This research is conducted by developing working prototypes destined to become mass-produced items in the near future. One example is the small cube that changes to its programmed shape when it is exposed to direct sunlight. The box will then metamorphose into a seat. A first Shape Memory Polymer object at a larger scale was shown in 2007 at deSingel, Antwerp and developed in collaboration with Jan Ivens of the University of Leuven. The installation demonstrates the resilience of the shape memory by cyclically distorting the object to a temporary shape and letting the cube reform to its programmed shape by heating it up again.


Bettina Schülke | Veroniki Korakidou Lab User Id: 200 Designing an interactive installation regarding the Aurora Boreali It is a scientific fact, that human beings do not have any control of this Aurora Borealis phenomenon. In our project we try to find a langue to capture a phenomenon of such huge dimensions and involve the viewer within this process. Through the interactivity between the viewer and the installation we will try to provide the visitor with a new situation where he/she can create his/her own “Aurora Borealis”. The movements of the visitors will be affecting the visual appearance of the installation and engage him/her in a multi-sensory process of mediated communication. This approach is the exact opposite of what happens in nature, where the viewer has no control of the phenomenon, either he/she is standing in still position or moving. The only motion needed in this observation process is the movement of the eyes. In nature, the lights on the sky have their own life, speed, flow and intensity and never stand still, till they appear again. Aims of the installation are to explore the relationship between objective reality and imaginary, synaesthetic perceptions; create a notation system for the interaction of sound, abstract animated light objects and graphic images, gestures and bodily movements; transform physical space into an expressive environment, engaging the visitor to become an actor; experiment via networked and wireless media in new ways of communication and producing meaning. Each viewer becomes an actor in this participatory process, by walking through, and “creating physically” the lights. People outside the installation will be able to read messages on a screen produced by this interaction and transmitted through a wireless network. The light installation will be constructed by a smart luminescent fabric, able to transmit haptic input and store it as data to a database. This database will use a score to translate haptic input into variables that change the light formations and affect randomly generated words to be transmitted on a screen outside the installation. Each visitor 140

will move around the physical space and his/her movements will be tracked by sensors and generate sound. When entering the space of the installation, the Aurora Borealis will not be directly visible to him/her, but he/she will be guided through his/ her movements in a dark corridor, constructed as a labyrinth by separating rooms via metallic mirrors. When approaching the lights, sound will increase its density and at certain viewing angles, the lights will be appearing as a reflection on these mirrors, in a “magic” way, exactly like they are appearing on the sky. The fabric will be spanned and fixed on metal cables, which could create an interesting visual shape in the entire space. What we are actually referring to, is a process of transposition of the huge dimensions that exist in nature and infinity of space into a limited space. Some issues that we have to deal with are: the use of a kind of “smart” textile material to produce a luminescent effect, however, since smart fabrics in the market are too expensive, we should think of a way to use this material in a cost-effective manner. By combining these design aspects, what we came up with is that the shape of the installation should be round, in the form of a big cylinder. Then the visitor will have to move around the fabric. In this way, some material could be saved, as we would not need to work with many layers. Through the round shape, the visitors will have to move around the cylinder form and try to catch the image. Thus, we could capture the infinity and lights’ ongoing dance and flow. If the material is translucent / semitransparent we still would have the 2nd layer of the shape from behind. This means, that we would turn around the relation of still standing position and movement between the visitor and the Aurora Borealis. The idea is to position the mirrors close together in the space. This would create a concentration of the Aurora at one corner, and allow darkness in the rest of the space. The reflections of the lights in the mirrors will only appear when the viewer is moving through certain areas within the installation.

Visual design

The abstract images are organic metaphors of a space, both natural and physical, tactile, magic and controllable in a way that it becomes the construction of personal experience of the participants, using a sort of pre-semantic visual vocabulary affected by haptic, audio and gestural input.

Sound design

In Nature, the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis has been studied and scientific data confirm that it actually emits sounds, although they are not audible by the average human ear. By using sensors, microcontrollers and actuators, small body movements will be triggering and influence impulses in the organic structure of an interactive sound system, through using different sonic heights and emitting a series of unique sound samples, making it act as an instrument.

Interaction design

When passing through the installation, the sound will respond to every little movement of the observer who now becomes an actor. Emotions of the visitors will be communicated through a wireless network projected on a screen located in a public space outside the exhibition. These messages will be created by tracking the flow and activity of the incoming visitors and translating the information into a variable light and sound scheme controlled by the actors / performers. All activities will be recorded on a database. Participants’ movements will be recorded as notation signs thus creating a score. This score will generate new messages, re-writing on previous ones, based on a max/msp software programming that tracks movements via video camera. This score will also translate movement into a form of notational library that will be corresponding to audio samples, variables for lights and graphic visuals, which can feedback into the installation and evolve the system itself by creating messages and commands to control the environment.

Narrative approach

Through a process of discovery, the visitor will be able to transform movements of his/her body into thoughts and express emotional messages via a multi-sensory installation of personal recordings of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). When touching the light, haptic input could be triggering a related letter networked to a database, as part of the installation. Haptic input will respond in both acoustic and graphic symbols creating patterns when people are passing by. In order to make haptic information visible, letters will trigger words, as thoughts appearing on a screen responding to the movements of their body, stored into the memory of the system’s database. The system should be able to specify through motion tracking of individual users input of information. The message will fade away as soon as people leave the physical space.

Installation-view from the “Image” of the Aurora Borealis)

Installation-view from the position when the viewer is entering the space.

Above: the installation in the darkness of the space.

Above: the installation in the darkness of the space.

Above: Implementations of the movement of the lights. 141

Carlo Bernardini Lab User Id: 3063 Carlo Bernardini was born in Viterbo in 1966 and obtained his diploma at the Fine Arts Academy in Rome in 1987. In 1997 he wrote the theoretical essay on "The division of visual unity", which was published by Stampa Alternativa. In 2000 and 2005 he received a grant "Overseas Grantee" from the Pollock - Krasner Foundation of New York, and in 2002 the prize Targetti Art Light Collection “White Sculpture”. He has created and installed permanent public sculptures in stainless steel and optic fibres in various Italian cities. His is a form of creativity that works on the basis of a code of modifications in space reflecting variants produced by light. So much is confirmed by the present research of Carlo Bernardini, who handles light and shade like materials and substances, using electro-luminescent surfaces and optical fibers with internal lighting in a context of total darkness. In these works with interior and exterior environmental light installations, the optical superimposition of lines traversing a space and lines running along the planes of the same space, viewed from a certain position, can produce twodimensional visual conditions.


Closing one eye, transforming it into a single lens, the image becomes twodimensional; as soon as the viewpoint shifts volumetric changes come about, generating mirror image-forms. The first impression is not of the optical fibers themselves, but rather of transparent plates of glass lit up along the sides. The optical fibers only reveal the empty space they enclose in a subsequent phase of perception. The observer can enter into a sort of illusory space, experiencing the installation from within and without. He currently teaches at the Fine Arts Academy of “Brera” in Milan. He lives and works both in Rome and Milan. PERMEABLE SPACE Design combines construction of the image with the thought that gives it origin. A perimetric design brings unity to the inner void and tends to concentrate the greatest force within it. However, this force in turn generates ambivalence, breaking into the margins of the space within the form. Thus, on the basis of this ambivalence - this transformation of one reality into another - the concept of transmutation of an environmental, traversable space poises the viewpoint between two hypothetical positions, one internal, the other external; between one form of objectivity viewed from outside and

another perceived from within. The optical superimposition of lines traversing a space and lines running along the planes of the same space, viewed from a certain position, can produce two-dimensional visual conditions; as soon as the viewpoint shifts volumetric changes come about, generating mirror-image forms. Thus such changes can generate properties able to permeate a place. A so-called “permeable” space can therefore be a virtual space tending to exert force on the limit of physical space. Alternatively, it will tend to enclose a real environment within an illusory volume. One seeks to break through the interior of the other. Here the perception of the eye may itself feel called into question, seeking the escape route from the limits of a form. Thus the idea of a permeable space becomes design on the transformation of the coordinates of physical space. If the line delimiting it apparently concentrates both volume and void, it can itself reverse those coordinates, the former giving way to the latter and vice-versa. It is as if volume were annihilated in a flat dimension while void acted as fulcrum to an illusory dimension. Thus we have a sort of space within space. There are two things alone that have in themselves a visible but immaterial property to approach this concept, namely light and shade. Shade can take shape on the surfaces of a physical space, or can fill the entire volume with darkness, but it cannot traverse it. “Division of visual unity” is a sculpture consisting of two independent visual units made up of two distinct sculptures: one in stainless steel visible by day, the other in optic fibre visible by night. The “division” project is also achieved through the perceptual mobility obtained with the possibility of entering into the sculpture itself, viewing it from inside and without. Both have a set viewpoint from which they can be observed in two-dimensional form – rhomboidal for the stainless steel sculpture, triangular for that in optic fibre, given the initial visual superimposition of the these two geometrical figures over all the other lines forming the sculptural structures. As soon as any shift is made from that viewpoint, obtained only by closing one eye like a sort of monocular lens, the resulting duplication of lines transforms the space of both forms at the level of perception. The stainless steel sculpture emerging from a rhomboidal form gives way to multiplication in four triangles as the lines split apart: contained within this is the second sculpture in optic fibre,

which begins with an initial triangular figure to double the lines and thus produce three rhomboidal forms. Different perceptions of the two visual units can be obtained by moving about the sculpture, beginning with the primary (two-dimensional) viewpoint and subsequently advancing a few meters to arrive at the two-dimensional viewpoint of the optic-fibre triangle. Moreover, by entering the internal space from the opposite side all the other four geometrical figures deriving from the multiplication can be seen together yet distinctly. By day the very faint visual structure of the unilluminated optic fibres conveys a sense of the form within the steel form, just as the latter conserves its presence by night thanks to the subtle reflections on the steel piping. The empty space within the sculptural volume makes the work virtually transparent, so that the surrounding cityscape becomes visually involved in the composition. As dusk gathers the form of light in optic fibres begins to emerge, gradually taking on more visual impact as the sculpture in steel slowly fades into the dark. This process of form fading to give birth to other forms is of course reversed at sunrise. Carlo Bernardini


Frederik De Wilde Lab User Id: 2951 EOD 04

Frederik De Wilde’s recent artwork situates itself in the interstice between art, science and technology. At the same time his artwork is an expression of its thinking about ecological, cultural, philosophical and social issues. Frederik questions the conventions of the exhibition, the artwork and its limits. In the case of EOD the emphasis is on man-technology-nature interaction.


The questions EOD raises are fundamental questions: What do we take from nature and moreover, how? What do we get back from it? In which way are technology, fear and the unknown entwined and what is the relationship between ethics, aesthetics and bio-technology? Becomes the scientific process a spectacle? Is EOD representing the growing instrumentalization and manipulation of life? Does it represent a decrease of diversity in biological habitats and an acceptance of the generic artificial habitat? A testimonial of humankind’s struggle for dominance over natural evolutionary forces and resources? Where is the position of the artist between ethic and technology? What is communication? Is communication between men and animal, mediated through technology ever possible? What is our pre -and current history to inter-species social formations such as the canary used by coal miners to give them early warning signals about dangerous conditions in the mines? How does animism and the role of other species creates meanings about the world? What is communication and how can it take shape?

The sum of all these questions is an artwork -and research project- that sparks excitement, curiosity, fear, awe in equal amounts and it’s clear that it cannot be experienced through representational media or existing discourse only. This ambiguity is inherent to hybrid art and EOD is clearly an example of this emergent kind of art. If Art is communication then the core questions is: how can this communication take shape? The most interesting form of communication is based upon playing/teasing with social conventions. Wherever there is friction there is communication. Both artist and audience benefit from this mutual interest, although artists tend to expand the scope to the ruling conventions of art. Communication is not restricted to human beings only. Some animals have developed intricate and fascinating ways to communicate. Weakly electric fish, for instance, communicate and jam each others electric signals. They ‘sing’ electric duets, electric courtship songs and sabotage each others frequencies to create an intelligent network of communication signals that can be made audible and visible (perceived) through technology.

Introducing this particular form of communication and subject enables us to question the anthropocentric viewpoint that prevails in art. As a consequence; a possible new perspective upon man/ nature/technology interaction. EOD deals with the combination of traditional ways of communication and new technological methods of communication. The EOD project is about (re-)constructing new meanings, signs, images and worlds. The applied technologies will not only influence the audiences perception but also their physical being. It constructs the viewers body anew and extends our human awareness outward into extra-terrestial environments. The applied technology serves as a tool to orient the audience and to make it possible for the artist to express himself.

EOD 04 _ Electric Organ Discharge 04

EOD 04 is an installation by Frederik De Wilde created in collaboration with the University Hasselt (BE). The project is a hybrid installation founded on extraordinary species of living fish that perceive, electro-sense, their environment and communicate with each other by emitting electric signals, either in pulses or waves. The project explores the normal communication mechanisms of electric fish, including JAR (the means by which a fish avoids attempts by other fish to jam its frequency) and thus investigates communication and non-communication between men and animal (interspecies communication). The discharges emitted by the fishes are midrange beta and alpha type. EOD makes reference to proto-information and communication technologies like morse code and the processes of coding and decoding, jamming and jamming avoidance responses displayed by the E-fishes Machiavellian communication strategies. The installation is based on one plexiglas tube presenting a specific composition of electric fish producing different electric signals. Antennas and sensors implemented in the artwork allows capturing the fishes signals which are related to two integrated speakers transforming these signals into sound, what we hear is the fish’s electric signals, their communication. A matrix of LED’s is placed above a grid of antennas pulsing according to the intensity, rhythm and position, of the emitted signals of the blind fishes. In this manner the electrical impulses of the fishes drive sound and light; an entire audiovisual space. The installation consists of living electric fish, electronics, microprocessors, compiled code, plexiglas and mixed media (170x20x20).

EOD’s: Social Communication

Electric fish emit sexually dimorphic EOD’s generated by a medullary pacemaker nucleus (PMN) composed of 2 cell types. The output neurons of the PMN synapse located on electromotor neurons on the spinal cord innervate the electric organ. The PMN only receives input from 2 sources, which are responsible for brief modulations that occur during social interactions. For these fish, EODs give information on the species, sex, and possibly the individual identity of another fish. Also, transient modulations in EOD frequency happen in social situations and convey information on aggressiveness, readiness to mate, etc.


Nonconductive objects reflect the electric fieldwhile highly conductive objects weaken the field by attracting electrons and ions from the field. The electroreceptors located in the epidermis of the head and sides of the fish perceive these changes. Voltage sensitive channels open to detect a change in the electric field-this stimulation of the cells cause the release of synaptic vesicles-release a neurotransmitter, which binds to a lateral line nerve fibre which eventually sends a signal to the brain where the information is processed. Ampularry receptors detect electric fields given off by other fish. Tuberous receptors respond to the range of the fish’s own EOD.

Jamming Avoidance Response (JAR)

The Jamming Avoidance Response (JAR) is a very important mechanism for electric fish. When two fish with nearly the same frequency meet each other, one alters his frequency to be slightly higher and the other alters to be slightly lower. The shifts are simultaneous and reflexive. This process prevents two frequencies from interfering and jamming each other’s electrical signals-allowing the fish to operate in the same area.

Weakly Electric Fish

Weakly electric fish use their electric organs primarily for the detection of the rough shape, conductivity, and location of nearby objects, recognition of members of their own species, calling their mates, finding their position in a school, and enacting other behaviours critical to their survival. These fish live in shallow streams of dark murky waters so the EOD (Electric Organ Discharge) essentially replaces their vision; they sense their surroundings by emitting an EOD, which creates an electric field around the fish. The fish can sense perturbations caused by objects in their electric field-called electro location. Weakly


electric fish have one of two patterns of electric discharge, both of which are generated from modified muscle tissue usually near the tail or from tissue near the eyes. Wave fish (hummers) produce continuous sinusoidal wave signals at frequencies of 50-1000 Hz. Pulse fish (clickers) emit electrical pulses lasting approximately one millisecond which are spaced about 23ms apart. These pulses create time gaps in their field. Hormones are now thought to play an integral role in the amplitude of the discharge and probably affects the anatomy of the EOD control system in many other ways. The EOD varies with sex.


These units are in charge of: | Monitoring that all the turbines are working. | Delivering material to regenerate broken or malfunctioning turbines. | Receiving and storing the energy produced by the turbines. The fact of using nano-bioengineering and nano-manufacturing as means of production is to achieve an efficient zero emission material which uses the right kind and amount of material where needed.

Agustin Otegui - nano vent skin Lab User Id: 3150

Agustin Otegui was born in Mexico City. He currently lives and works in London. He holds a Master Degree in Product Design and Simulation (Elisava; Barcelona). He has been working in Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the UK, for clients like BMW, Mini Cooper, Southwing, Rolls Royce, MABE, Samsung, Citroen, IZI Concept, FIAT and Faurecia. His work has been internationally awarded and exhibited in Mexico City, Milan, Paris, NY, London and Barcelona.

Nano Vent-Skin

This project was born after seeing all the gigantic projects being built around the world. Where it seems that in order to be green you have to think big and build something impressively huge. Why don't we start thinking on a smaller scale and apply it to existing buildings, houses and structures (tunnels, road barriers, etc) to generate energy. Through this approach Nano Vent-skin - a skin made out of micro wind turbines - makes existing objects greener.. NVS is a set of micro turbines (25mm x 10,8mm), which generate energy from wind and sunlight.

How does NVS work?

The outer skin of the structure absorbs sunlight through an organic photovoltaic skin and transfers it to the nano-fibers inside the nano-wires. It is then sent to the storage units located at the end of each panel. Each turbine generates energy by chemical reactions on each end where it makes contact with the nano-wires. The outer skin of the nano-wires has polarized organisms which are responsible for this process on every turbine’s turn. The inner skin of the turbine’s blades works as a filter absorbing CO2 from the environment as wind passes through them. Each panel has four round supply units (one on each corner).

These micro organisms have not been genetically altered; they work as a trained colony where each member has a specific task in this symbiotic process. For example within an ant or a bee colony, where the queen knows what has to be done and distributes the tasks between the members. Imagine NVS as the human skin. When we suffer a cut, our brain sends signals and resources to this specific region to get it restored as soon as possible. NVS works in the same way. Every panel has a sensor on each corner with a material reservoir. When one of the turbines has a failure or breaks, a signal is sent through the nano-wires to the central system and building material (micro organisms) is sent through the central tube in order to regenerate this area with a self assembly process. In order to achieve the best outcome of energy, the blades of each turbine are symmetrically designed. With this feature, even if the wind's direction changes, each turbine adapts itself by rotating clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending on the situation. NVS is not trying to reinvent or reshape nature. It’s just acting as a merger of different means and approaches into energy absorption and transformation, which will never happen in nature. For example: a palm tree can never learn from an arctic raspberry bush or a bonsai tree if they never coexist within the same surroundings. NVS takes advantage of globalized knowledge of different species and resources and turns them into a joint organism where three different ways of absorbing and transforming energy work in symbiosis. Using nano-manufacturing with bioengineered organisms as a production method, NVS merges different kinds of micro organisms that work together to absorb and transform natural energy from the environment. What comes out of this merging of living organisms is a skin that transforms two of the most abundant sources of green energy on earth: Sunlight and Wind. There is another advantage of using living organisms: the absorption of CO2 from the air. As researchers have stated, nano-manufacturing will be a common way to produce everyday products. (A.O.)


Alok Nandi Lab Project Id:81


Born in Congo. Raised in Zaïre. Based in Brussels. Active in several parallel worlds, and often in between. Design and technology, arts and sciences, media art. Alok Nandi’s web contact is on Architempo, In parallel to strategic design consulting, Alok b. Nandi is active in media art and design, with a focus on interactive miseen-scene and narrative architecture. Background combines engineering, management and film studies. He has conceived the homage book “Satyajit Ray at 70” (with exhibitions in Cannes, Paris, London, etc) and directed the performing arts evenings “Les voies de Tagore” with vocalist Sharmila Roy. Japan Foundation fellow in 1996, on Japanese cinema and urban life in Tokyo. Awarded for the web-mise-en-scene of in 1997, selected for Imagina 2000 and 2002 with Transfiction, mixed realities platform. Exhibitions in Cannes Film Festival, London , Paris, “utHOPEia” in Salzburg and Vienna, Panopticon in Ecole du Louvre, MAAD in Lille. Interventions in festivals incl. Porto 2001, lille3000. Weekly radio chronicle from nov. 2006 to june 2008 on “Books & India” broadcasted on Paris-based RadioBFM in the IndeHebdo program - see Writings in Beaux-Arts Magazine, Cahiers du Cinema, Inside Internet, Publish, etc. Invited professor and regular speaker in international conferences incl. Interactive Frictions in Los Angeles, DAC in Georgia Tech and in Bergen Norway, CODE 2001 in Cambridge UK, ArtSci 2002 in New York, ARCO03 in Madrid, transmediale06 in Berlin, Media in Transition at MIT Cambridge USA, Doors of Perception 2005 (Infra) and 2007 (Juice) in New Delhi, ISEA 2008 in Singapore. Jury member in film and media festivals. Invited expert by EU, Canada and Belgium a.o. and commission member (VAF Experimentale Media Kunst 2006-2007, CFWB Commission des Arts Numériques 2006-2008).

Fluxographies: let it flow ! Travelling in new scapes results in exploring new rituals of participation. And we as artists/ architects, are trying to establish these rituals by defining spaces of navigation, meta-spaces where emergence is allowed with meta-rituals, co-scripted with the travellers. This gives a kind of assemblage with different types of dynamics, of tempo, of sense. There is a tension in the process, with the object or the non-object, visible or invisible, in flowing things: hence comes the notion of fluxography or writing with flows, no more defining objects, but conceiving affects and percepts. This calls for defining words, new words: fluxtopia, mahanet, transfiction, extrafiction, utHOPEia, ego.geo.graphies. Like in architecture (flows of lights and flows of people), there is a constant quest to re-articulate the flows. utHOPEia and utHOPEia.2005 are mixed realities installations exhibited in Vienna and Salzburg Ego.Geo.Graphies is an installation in a cave, with stereoscopic vision, asking the user, in immersion, to explore temporal patterns in order to interact with virtual entities Transfiction is a transient phase allowing to move from Hyperfiction to Extrafiction, a conceptual framework to navigate and interact in <in.tangible.scape.s> !

Founder and organiser of {creativity * conversation} events which include Pecha Kucha Night Brussels, as well as interventions on food design and typography. Some work in progress (Orientable, India in Flux, Uzoopia, is zero no.thing ?, Pecha Kucha Night Brussels, {creativity*conversation}, ...) is mentioned on: His previous professional experiences include a.o. advertising (P&G), film production, exhibition design and publishing (Casterman, groupe Flammarion).



EGO.GEO.GRAPHIES | explore the illusion of immersion | offer the ability to deambulate in an unreal world, an alternative world | provide to that world properties of pseudo-autonomy Ego.Geo Team: Alok Nandi, artist Marc Cavazza, University of Teesside, for SW architecture and causality algorithms Sean Crooks, University of Teesside, for 3D design Jean-Luc Lugrin, University of Teesside, for SW development Marc Le Renard, Laval Mayenne Technopole, for SAS 3 integration Grzesiek Sedek, Wimbledon School of Arts, for sound Installation part of EU-R&D funded ALTERNE project


Petunia created by Dolf Veenvliet

Shapeways Do-it-yourself 3d Printing Lab Project Id: 81

Shapeways Brings 3D into Reality by Allowing Consumers to Cost-Effectively Custom Produce 3D Objects within 10 days or Less Eindhoven, The Netherlands – August 6, 2008 – Shapeways announces the launch of a private beta for their new co-creation service and community at For the first time, budding artists, architects, product designers and dabbling consumers alike can easily order their 3D designs as physically objects in an inspiring and affordable way. Whether it’s creating a new utensil, the ultimate toy or a wacky piece of art, with Shapeways users can Do-It-Yourself (DIY) online. Using 3D printing (Rapid Manufacturing), Shapeways can produce almost any design users choose to upload. helps users import and modify designs made by popular 3D modeling software; currently accepted formats include STL, Collada, X3D. With a few clicks, Shapeways checks whether the submitted objects can be produced and provides a real-time cost estimate (average cost is $50-$150). Users can easily optimize the production cost of their design before they order by selecting the desired material and size. Within ten working days the tangible product will be produced and delivered to the consumer globally. Initially, the objects can be created in White Strong & Flexible (SLS), Cream Robust (FDM), White Detail and Transparent detail (both Objet); color and additional materials will soon follow.


Beam Inc Lab Project Id: 81

Beam Inc, part of Culturama Media bvba, started in February 2005 and is located in Antwerp, Belgium. The objective of our company is to break the boundaries of traditional advertising through the application of new technologies. One of the examples is the introduction of large format outdoor projections on the Belgian, German and Polish market. In our continuous search for innovation we frequently experiment with new techniques like Holographic & Vikuiti projection. At the beginning of 2008 this resulted in the introduction of Holocube, a genuine in-house developed 3D projection platform that marks another cornerstone for Beam Inc. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For this work I was deeply inspired by the idea of creating emotion by seeing something unusual. Cell phones floating in mid-air, diamonds glittering, spaceships spinning around and all of this with absence of a background. When people see this for the first time they are surprised and insecure. This makes them certainly look different to the products shown by our medium. Another feature which you can call innovative is the transparency of the screen. You can different from any other screen literarily see through it. Or system is developed and tested to be a highly reliable system which can operate day and night for years. Many of the complex operations are pre-programmed and the only component for the user is a on/off switch and USB-port (for uploading new video).â&#x20AC;? Joris Vanbriel


Being a supplier of quality goods you will want to differentiate yourself through the unique specs of your product. Nowadays this becomes a challenge as consumers get overwhelmed by an endless series of stimuli on the shopping floor. Holocube will offer your product the extra attention that makes it stand out from the rest. It creates a context that perfectly matches the needs of fashionable generation X & Y shoppers. Holocube is a fully integrated 3D projection platform that combines the most advanced modern projection techniques with a contemporary sleek housing. This enables product focussed as well as contextual 3D projections which make your product look like never before.

Holocube is equipped with a 40 GB hard disk drive and is capable of storing up to 18 hours of compressed video at a bit rate of 4 Mb/s or 8 hours of compressed video at 9 Mb/s. Unlike a common PC, Holocube performs its specific operations without any user intervention, reboots reliably in case of power interruption and is immune to viruses. It is incredibly simple to use: only one switch operates the complete system. All of its operations are pre-programmed and function automatically and independently. New content can easily be changed and uploaded through a USB interface. Holocube comes with an optional floor stand kit which seamlessly matches its design. | Eye-catching | Clean and sober volume facilitating 3D projection | Intuitive user interface | Matching floor stand kit 153

Dreaming the New Lab Project Id: 81 Addictlab recently selected three Labmembers to be part of the Dreaming the New television show. See what Danelle, Mthunzi and Nthabiseng created together..


“(Re)cycle” Taking the point of departure from the Addictlab workshop, the three of us have collaborated on a piece of work called “(Re)cycle”. This piece is formulated from the collage of inspirational images that we arranged from branded magazines. The prerequisite of the workshop was to give our perception of “South Africa as a Brand”. Our concept started with the process of Re-cycling which is a metaphor for our country being receivers of the Western influences, such as fashion trends, music, arts etc. Here we view the “Re-cycle bin” as a container of stored information, which needs to be re-evaluated, re-used, reconstructed and re-thought. Another issue is of the current reality with the mine workers field, where there is a vast exploitation of labor within these working places. We use signifiers such as a rusted container, copper wire, wood, and more especially gears to convey our message about the realities we face in South Africa. From the storyboard we imitate the traffic circle concept, whereby a car can actually drive in and out of the circle in any direction. Here, as the gears used in the art piece, they are now inner parts of the circle. These gears represent the axis/stationary point in the wheel. They are responsible for the rotation of (what we refer to as) the recycling process. The weaved copper wire and wool represent the matrix of South African resources and also acts as a filter which is essential to our country’s control of the information influx.

Photo: Henning Botha/The Open Window School of Visual Communication


an idea for a plint with light in it, to put a nice atmosphere light in a room (to use safety lights also as atmosphere light).

Tim Guldentops Lab User Id: 8026 an attempt to combine packaging with light, so that nothing is trown away.

Wall is a light instalation with the intention to imitate the existing wall with a curve in it so that light comes out of it. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sculpture that can change the atmosphere of an intire room.


Maaike Bakker To those who belongs the earth … Lab User Id: 2422 “To those who belongs the earth…(shall belong its centre up to the heavens)”, which is derived from a rough translation of the old roman legal principle “Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad caelum et ad inferos “ deals with the ownership of air and the assigning of air rights. The body of work is directed at addressing , and simultaneously satirizing the rapid course of societies progress in terms of spatial development. The artworks engage with the idea of

a continuous search for unchartered territory and expansion within a post-colonial context. The need for space to enable further development is becoming an urgency, therefore calling for undefined, intangible landscapes. Space has become a luxury, as no land remains to be claimed. Every open space is claimed for further development of living space due to the excessive population

increase, calling for further entertainment centres and most importantly for the development of further office space in order to meet our markets demands, assuring our society’s “eternal kingdom”. Thus, in regard to inhabitable space, progress has arrived at a new climax, now demanding the claim of intangible landscapes.


Your Own Lab. Sustainable changes. We believe in implementing changes at the speed of your organisation and in balance with society.

Your own brand laboratory. Your company would like to innovate but don’t know how? Or you think you can’t afford it? The international acclaimed has its own way to have innovation at the very center of your organisation. A holistic brand approach. When looking for growth, one has to look at all the aspects of your brand. Your products, communication, employees, shareholders, even your buildings or carpark. It all builds your brand. Or destroys it. Addictlab solves branding issues and generates innovation. It turns your brand communication into a brand experience, your products into brand builders, your employees into ambassadors and your consumers into loyal believers.

Tested methodology. Addictlab has a growing database of creative resources and concepts. And if that is not enough, then Labresearchers from different fields of expertise will work togeher via a number of tools to generate ideas via brainstorming sessions. Credits. Addictlab is considered a pioneer in the creative industry, and has been doing projects with & for Diesel jeans, BMW, Sara Lee, Lancôme, Danone, Red Bull, Lexus, Lee Cooper, and many more.


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{Ongoing Research}

The following projects are active projects in Addictlab. The aim is to accelerate creative talent, come up with out of the box solutions in different fields, generate sustainable changes, and offer innovation to companies.

Help us out now.

[design ] Ideas on non-destructive placing of flatscreen on wall | (CWF) [design ] Global Inspiration Dish : Great concept, no client | project not open yet | ($) [strategy/marketing ] How can we accelerate sales | bicycle market | (CWF) [design ] What is the next generation of the household cleaning tools? | open lab | ($) [design ] What to do with left over wood in wood production company | project not open yet [branding/marketing ] Brand issue on: the Netherlands | open lab | (CWF) [strategy/marketing ] Enhance account manager relationship with 500 SME customers | telcom | $ [trend research ] What is the future of paper? | open lab | Inspiration shower [branding ] Help build a new brand in China | overall brand | $ [overall ] Looking for innovative concepts for traveling | open lab | Book [overall ] Yippie! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recession | open lab [overall ] Ideas for a better world / the Eco issue | open lab [overall ] Ideas for / on Children | open lab | Book log in & upload ideas | not registered? | email your thoughts | initiate a project

















innovation. labďŹ les. research. platform. change.


labďŹ les. research. platform. change.




bealabbie. Become a LabbieŠ. Share your talent with the rest of the world. <__d^og\])^jh dn \i dio`mi\odji\g kg\oajmh ajm oc`^m`\odq`n^`i`ndi^`,442)R`^m`\o`]md_b( `n'jaa`mdibdinkdm\odji\i_diijq\odjiajmnj^d`ot \i_di_pnomt)<it^m`\odq`hdi_^\im`bdno`m(ajm am`` ( ji \__d^og\])^jh' ^\i c\q` \ am`` jigdi`

Publisher & Creative Director Jan Van Mol Creative Lab Researchers Giovanna Massoni Carl De Smet Frederik De Wilde Alok Nandi Imke Debecker (Imec)

kjmoajgdj'^\i]`n`g`^o`_oj]`ncjriji\__d^o( g\])^jh'jia\ncdjir``f)]`jm_`ndbir``f)]`'di _daa`m`iokp]gd^\odjinjmom\q`ggdib`scd]dodjin) Hjm`: Tjp ^\i ]` n`g`^o`_ oj o\f` k\mo di ocdm_ k\motkmje`^onjidiijq\odji\i_npno\di\]g`_`(

ndbi) M`n`\m^c ajm oc` di_pnomt ( di rcd^c ^\n` tjpb`ok\d_ajmtjpmd_`\n\i_nfdggn) J]_akl]jlg\YqgfY\\a[ldYZ&[ge&

Ad!dict Creative Lab LAB.001 bvba Delaunoystraat 60 1080 Brussels Belgium Tel +32 2 289 51 01 Paper by Sappi Triple green

jan@addictlab 2008 Ad!dict and, LAB.001 bvba

In no ways is Ad!dict Creative Lab or the publisher responsible for the visions the artists have expressed. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted, either by conventional means or electronically, without written permission of the publisher. Everyone is free to register, send in ideas and get your work published. You take on responsibility for your contribution. Ad!dict will not send back any work or slides, nor are we responsible for ay losses during shipment. Only LabMembers with signed Lab Member agreement and selected for this issue ndbi) M`n`\m^c ajm oc` di_pnomt ^\n` of Addict #29. Ad!dict Creative Lab, receive( di a rcd^c free copy tjpb`ok\d_ajmtjpmd_`\n\i_nfdggn) Creative X-ray and Addictlab are registered trademarks of J]_akl]jlg\YqgfY\\a[ldYZ&[ge& Jan Van Mol.

Pre-Press & Printing Delivery address Drukkery Gillis Š Plantinstreet 17 Art Direction 1070 Brussels - Belgium Marike Hechter kjmoajgdj'^\i]`n`g`^o`_oj]`ncjriji\__d^o( <__d^og\])^jh dn \i dio`mi\odji\g kg\oajmh ajm + 32 2 g\])^jh'jia\ncdjir``f)]`jm_`ndbir``f)]`'di 533 39 69 oc`^m`\odq`n^`i`ndi^`,442)R`^m`\o`]md_b( _daa`m`iokp]gd^\odjinjmom\q`ggdib`scd]dodjin) `n'jaa`mdibdinkdm\odji\i_diijq\odjiajmnj^d`ot Hjm`: Tjp ^\i ]` n`g`^o`_ oj o\f` k\mo di ocdm_ \i_di_pnomt)<it^m`\odq`hdi_^\im`bdno`m(ajm k\motkmje`^onjidiijq\odji\i_npno\di\]g`_`( am`` ( ji \__d^og\])^jh' ^\i c\q` \ am`` jigdi` Contributing LabMembers & LabPartners see on all pages and visit > projects > in.tangible.scape.s Register as a Lab Member and upload all your ideas on Partnerships for this issue: Confidential ideas>> please contact directly

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Ad!dict Inspiration book #29: in.tangible.scape.s's 29th inspiration book, about emerging technologies, with collaboration from IMEC, BE, MOMA, NY, Design incubator centre Sing...

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