First steps out of space
Every year the third bachelor and premaster students of the MAD-Faculty (Campus C-mine) work together in a cross-over research project. This year, 2010-2011, the students explore and design for public space. You can read about the project called out of space here.
We want to keep you updated on the process, so here’s where we are now:
The kick-off was on December third. Since the students come from different programs the first thing is for them to get to know their teammates. We asked them to explore our C-mine campus in a playful way. We got inspired by the work ‘Bodies in urban space’ of Willi Dorner. The results are pretty funny. You can see some of them here, here and here. This immediately set the tone for a playful and critical engagement which we believe is fruitful for design research.
We also invited two artists who critically explore people in relation to public space. Our colleague and photographer Kristof Vrancken discussed his work involving ‘Non places’ and the traces people leave behind. As he mentions himself, he researches the relationship between human and environment in the forgotten in between spaces behind the facade of society. Karl Philips‘ work concerns what we call the ‘outcasts’ of society. He puts phenomena and people that we mostly ignore on the foreground.
Then it was time for each student team to select a public space related to the C-mine site (this can be the cafeteria, the bus, etcetera). After a week of observation, the teams explored their selected space more in depth in a mapping session. Thomas Laureyssens introduced the map-it toolkit developed by our colleagues of the social spaces research group. This exploration through mapping can further feed the process of observation.
In the following weeks students continue observing their public space. At the end of January the teams will present their findings and will then be coached by artist Moritz Ebinger to develop concepts.
We will bring you more news in our next blogpost early February.
Social Design in Public Space, some experiments
In the public space module Social Design in Public Space the students of C-md (new media design) created some quite interesting concepts. Some were interesting technical experiments, while others were examples of a good contextual research into needs of semi-public environments.
How to play Pong in public environments on multiple screens:
How to fly a helicopter around with only audio input.
How to share energy via a Internet of Things Platform in a Peer-to_peer way:
How to react against a Belgian proposal to make child care environments pay for playing music? These students created a remix tool for children’s songs:
Surplus City Guide
Phara de Aguirre (for Canvas, Belgian television) visits and interviews young artist Karl Philips in Hasselt, where he explains his caravan concept and surplus city guide on how to ‘survive’ in Hasselt’s public space.
Two days on synthetic biology
Last tuesday and wednesday the two day workshop and the start of ‘Alter Nature – My biological (r)evolution’ for students of the MAD faculty took place. Under the guidance of synthetic biologist James Brown and speculative designer James King, the students got a crash course in synthetic biology, its opportunities and reflections on possible future applications and implications.
But the students went also to work and came up with ideas for possible future projects within the field of synthetic biology that they presented in short videos.
An extensive report about the two days can be found on the project blog.
Kick off workshops ‘Alter Nature – My biological (r)evolution’
Tomorrow is the first day of the two-day kick off workshop of ‘Alter Nature – My biological (r)evolution’. During this workshop, moderated by critical designer James King and synthetic biologist James Brown, the students will get an introduction in the latest developments within synthetic biology, and the implications of this for society.
The goal of this first part of the workshop is that the students gain an understanding of the underlying science (the “biological reality”) of synthetic biology and learn to distinguish it from the hype. That they - in fact – are able to tell fact from fiction.
To find out if the students succeeded and read their experiences on the project: www.mad-fac.be/alternature