Category: Installation

Design Informatics Pavilion Facelift

Pavilion part of the Edinburgh Art Festival and the Fringe with the Future Play Festival.
Freelance for Design Informatics
Edinburgh, Scotland 2017
In 2016, The Design Informatics Pavilion was designed by Biomorphis, an Edinburgh-based architecture practice led by Pierre Forissier. Interested in how digital technology can be efficiently used to design an affordable modular structure, Biomorphis developed an algorithm to test and generate different cellular divisions to form a self supporting lightweight building envelope. For this 2017 edition I have been employed to give it a facelift, inspired by the 70 years anniversary of the Edinburgh Festivals starting from the launch of the first festivals in 1947 to 2017,  by the Design Informatics research topics and data from Edinburgh.

Pictures of the Pavilion by YUXI LIU

The graphs painted on the pavilion give the local context in which the festivals and Design informatics are taking place: the top line graph represents rainfall in Edinburgh in August in 5 year periods between 1947-2017. The bottom of the pavilion represents the elevations of Edinburgh during a walk through the cities most popular venues so starting on George Street and going to the Castle, the Meadows, The pleasance etc.

Then, the idea was to situate the history of the festivals in an international context, represented by technological breakthrough: each panel of the pavilion represents 5 years, creating a time line where icons (vinyls on acrylic) representing carefully chosen innovations, as well as some of Edinburgh festivals. Moreover, it established a link to Design Informatics, where students are trained and researcher worked on developing tomorrow innovations.

The pavilion become a time travel vessel: the outside is displaying the past of innovations, leading to the inside with the exhibition where you can imagine what the future might look like.

To realise this project, I worked in collaboration with Sigrid Schmeisser, to designed the icons. She realised the exhibition graphics, panels and brochure.

Research Through Design 2017 Conference

I will be presenting the project ‘Design with Living Things’ (previously ‘Living with Living Things’) at the Research Through Design 2017 Conference hosted at the National Museum of Scotland (NMS) in Edinburgh between the 22nd and 24th of March 2017.

The paper especially written for the conference with Larissa Pschetz, will be available soon.


Recent advances in biology and intersecting areas of research have brought a renewed interest in engaging with living materials. BioDesign is becoming increasingly popular, and has included diverse proposals, ranging from products that incorporate microorganisms as new, often considered more sustainable materials, to speculations on future impact of synthetic biology. In this paper we present three objects that incorporate living organisms as a way to reflect on the design process. We discuss how engaging with living materials could be considered a shift in traditional design practices, and the challenges of integrating design in current biotechnology development.

Master Degree Show

I contributed to install and design the Design Informatics Master degree show this year. I designed the posters (pictures by BinBin), the label of the different works and put together all the video clips to be projected on the big screen.
The results was great, quite different from the other show as it was set up as an exhibition and not as personal stands. It gave unity and reflected the way the department works.


I created this project, in collaboration with PhD Hadi Mehrpouya, as the final piece of my master thesis.

Please have a look at our WEBSITE to have more informations about the project.
Everyday we get bombarded with data and information from all over the world. Often we feel helpless about our abilities to do things while being trapped in the dilemma of knowing the consequences of our consumptions and choices. Playing on these feelings, SAAD, from Afrikaans meaning Seed, is visualising human deaths as a direct and indirect result of the mining industry and conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), used to build smart-phones and computers. The project is constructed on different layers which all recall the idea of being on the edge, the border between life and death, and emphasise the complexity of nothing being either totally positive or negative. SAAD is composed of two complementary installations: a seed dispenser and a plant, visualising deaths due to the mining industry in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It aims to push the reflexion of the responsibility Western consumer users of smartphones and computers have towards these workers. It plays on the feeling of being helpless towards the different issues our societies are facing. The project is constructed on different layers which all recall the idea of being on the edge, the border between life and death, and emphasise the complexity of nothing being either totally positive or negative. It aims to symbolise the complexity of today’s world and the difficulty to position the self and the ethic in it. We choose to focus on the partial perspective we have of our electronic devices nowadays, as it is something most Europeans possessed and use everyday without questioning the impact it can have on other human beings and the natural environment.

Berlin Transmediale 2015

We spend with my master class of design informatics a week in Berlin attending the Transmediale festival. What do the futures of work, play and life look like through the black mirror of data? How will our quantified lives unfold? transmediale 2015 looks at how we make sense of a culture dependent on measurement and automation procedures, and how to act with autonomy within such a culture.

It has been a very inspiring week. I will share the notes I took during the festival as well as some projects which were the most inspiring for me or innovative.

This was our plan with Clément for the 3 days:

  • 1 opening ceremony
  • 1 concert @ Berghain
  • 1 screening
  • 5 conferences
  • 4 performances
  • 3 exhibitions



Notes and reflections


Keynote capture all_work
Judy Wacjcman
Puting life to work
Work is done in time
Capitalism: work in a periode of time = certain amout of money
Comercilisation of emotion
How we manage our time in today work with digital technilogy
Boudaries between work, personal life, sleep…
New technology promise to free our time ( do things simultaneously)
Technology changed the character of time
Synchronised activity  in unsynchronised society
Emails symbolic of work stress
Quality of life
Labour Technology and time


Play as a commons practical utopias and p2p futures
Ruth Catlow
Play Your Place – Creation of good life is the buisness of us all
Further field – Public space for exhibition
Platforn game good to think at Action and consequence
Make your game with your drawings
Make the world together – Play the web we want
Oposit to gamification
Back to the collective, is this really?
Ludic turn (used by neoliberal)
Open Source is a meritocracy, hacker is a benevolent dictator
Benefit still : fast non hierarchical production
PlayYourPlace : Game platform on Github
Gamification is a thin / dry layer over the world. Marketing tool
Stuck within templates stopped asking the right question
Higher potential, higher risk and reward to be be awarded by real world utopian games
When you play you leave/ are freed from pattern of behaviour
Free to act as you wish

Fascination for utopia – Utopian thinking
Alternative way of interaction – Game to make topic accessible
Art design and education – Novel senario even absurde
i am what i am
ykon game
Play act as aproach the world as if…. Reamigine
Have freedom to imagine how it could be different
It is not only possibility it is also danger when you propose alternative
Look for solutiom or provocation
Looking at solution can close debate
You can change your atitude
Ludification of culture: never before have people played as much as they do today
Partial utopia: realistic alternative possibility
DIWO do it with others


Keynote Capture All_Life
Byung-Chul Han
What is transparency – Transparency positive meaning before
New parendim
Fredom freewill autonomy
Power of the rule of like “smart power” is that it doesn’t impose, force itself on the user
It pleases, creating dependence
It’s hard to identify because it “just happens”

Discovery of AdNauseam
As online advertising is becoming more automatic, universal and unsanctioned, AdNauseam works to complete the cycle by automating all ad-clicks universally and blindly on behalf of the target audience. Working in coordination with Ad Block Plus, AdNauseam quietly clicks every blocked ad, registering a visit on the ad networks databases. As the data gathered shows an omnivorous click-stream, user profiling, targeting and surveillance becomes futile.

Appropriate and Accelerate – Art Under Algorithmic Pressure

Jennifer Lyn Morone
Jennifer Lyn Morone is an American born natural person who incorporated her identity by founding Jennifer Lyn Morone™Inc in 2014 during her time as an MA student at the Royal College of Art. Since then Jennifer Lyn Morone’s mission is to establish the value of an individual in a data-driven economy and Late Capitalist society, while investigating and exposing issues of privacy, transparency, intellectual property, corporate governance, and the enabling political and legal systems.



Jonas Lund (1984, Sweden) creates paintings, sculpture, photography and websites that incorporate data from his studies of art world trends and behaviour.
Very interesting talk when he question the way the art is valued.
For Curate This he use his curatorial rank algorithm to determine what works from the collection of multiples and editions of Galerie van Gelder would generate the biggest positive impact on his curatorial rank. Lund supplied Willers with detailed analysis on all the works in the collections and what influence they would have on his curatorial rank. Willers then consulted the list and made his final selection of works for the exhibition.




Another work he presented was Studio Practice. On his web site it is presented like that : he transformed the gallery into an art production line by hiring four assistants who will work full time during the gallery’s open hours throughout the run of his exhibition. Their task is to produce work inspired by the guidelines set out in a 300 page book that Lund created expressly for them. Once a work has been completed, it will be reviewed online by an advisory board consisting of artists, art advisors, gallerists and collectors. The board will assess the work so that Lund can better decide whether the work should be signed or destroyed. The entire process will be publicly accessible in the gallery space and on a dedicated website ( The website will include live footage of the gallery, assessments of the advisory board as well as Lund’s final decision and comments regarding specific works.



Clément appeared every two lines on the Stakhanov installation… quite weird and scary.

Presentation Stakhanov is the BigData Oracle of the new era. In the era of Data, Information and Knowledge, Stakhanov is the expression of our new global data-religion. Stakhanov continuously harvests social networks for information and data, making connections, assumptions, correlations, using them to predict the future. Line-by-line, it emits its verdicts about what will be and that which won’t. This is the Word, coming from the Data-Above, in The Cloud. A playful neo-religious data-invasion of privacy, an exploration in false-hopes and in the ingenuity of contemporary determinism.


Erica Scourti – Body Scan
First I have been very impressed by her performance during the opening ceremony, then by her work in the exhibition space. I can’t really explained why I really like her work… I just found quite fascinating and very well executed. It must ask a lot of patience and hard work to perform like that.
Presentation A snapshot of mediated intimacy, Body Scan records through screenshots a process of photographing different parts of the artist’s body with an iphone similar image app that identifies visual information and links it to online data. At times assuming the instructive voice of a body scan meditation, the accompanying voiceover draws on the search results to convey relational uncertainties and sexual energies entangled with commodity descriptions. A game alone and between lovers turns skins into readable interfaces full of the potential for miscommunication, and signals connections between embodied, private experience and public, commercial data.


Silvio Lorusso & Sebastian Schmieg – Networked Optimization
Helping to realise how little we are actually reading, or in general what percent of information we memorise or assimilate. Simple great idea of data visualisation.


Presentation Networked Optimization is a series of three crowdsourced versions of popular self-help books. Each book contains the full text, which is however invisible, because it is set in white on a white background. The only text that remains readable consists of the so-called “popular highlights” – the passages that were underlined by many Kindle users – together with the amount of highlighters. Each time a passage is underlined, it is automatically stored in Amazon’s data centers.





Time and Motion: Redefining Working Life 

Oliver Walker – One Euro
Stunning idea to represent inequality, labour, value…

Presentation One Euro is a six channel video installation, with each channel depicting one person working. Each video lasts as long as it takes the person depicted to earn one Euro. The films vary in length from well over an hour for low paid agricultural workers; to their slightly higher paid counterparts in industry; via those on middle income wages; down to one minute, and with one film little over a second long. The films do not offer a narrative, but rather quite detached observations of people at work. It is not intended as a didactic essay on wage inequality, though it invites reflection on these staggering inequalities, and this political position is ultimately not left ambiguous. Whilst we often encounter information about inequality presented through text or graphics, here time is employed, making direct comparison more difficult. Ultimately the people on the screens are simply taking part in their everyday lives, and we see six people on six screens, side by side.


Ellie Harrison – Timelines
Beautifull visual of our daily routine. Very inspiring.

Presentation For almost five years Ellie Harrison documented and recorded information about nearly every aspect of her daily routine as part of her artistic practice. These laborious, demanding and introverted processes grew ever more extreme until she devised the ultimate challenge in 2006 for Timelines – to attempt to document everything she did, 24 hours a day, for four weeks. The Timelines project was motivated by Ellie’s overwhelming feeling that she was ‘always at work’, it was to be an empirical study – monitoring exactly where all her time was going – to find out whether this was indeed true. What had seemed like a simple proposition quickly became an all-consuming ritual in which she was forced to take on the dual role of ‘observer’ and ‘observed’. On the first day she confessed that ‘It was horrible feeling so trapped – I couldn’t do anything without generating and accumulating data’, and so she rationalised the experiment by categorising her time into 17 possible activities such as ‘art practice’, ‘domestic work’ or ‘leisure’. Each day the data was transferred onto an expansive spreadsheet. By the end of the four weeks it contained 2,297 entries, which were then transposed into a series of 28 colour-coded timelines.


Tuur Van Balen & Revital Cohen – 75 Watt
Intriguing at first, then beautiful and after reading the explanation it all made sense.


Presentation A product is designed especially to be made in China. The object’s only function is to choreograph a dance performed by the labourers manufacturing it. The work seeks to explore the nature of mass-manufacturing products on various scales; from the geo-political context of hyper-fragmented labour to the bio-political condition of the human body on the assembly line. Engineering logic has reduced the factory labourer to a man-machine, through scientific management of every single movement. By shifting the purpose of the labourer’s actions from the efficient production of objects to the performance of choreographed acts, mechanical movement is reinterpreted into dance. What is the value of this artefact that only exists to support the performance of its own creation? And as the product dictates the movement, does it become the subject, rendering the worker the object? The assembly/dance took place in Zhongshan, China between 10-19 March 2013 and resulted in 40 objects and a film documenting the choreography of their assembly.




The Pirate Cinema
It was great. A bit overwhelming in term of chaotic sounds but the idea is brilliant and well executed.

Presentation The hidden activity and geography of real-time peer-to-peer file sharing via BitTorrent is revealed in The Pirate Cinema, a live performance by Nicolas Maigret and Brendan Howell. In their monitoring room, omnipresent telecommunications surveillance gains a global face, as the artists plunder the core of restless activity online, revealing how visual media is consumed and disseminated across the globe. Each act of this live work produces an arbitrary mash-up of the BitTorrent files being exchanged, in real time, in a specific media category, including music, audio books, movies, porn, documentaries, video games and more. These fragmentary contents in transit are browsed by the artist, transforming BitTorrent network users (unknown to them) into contributors to the audio-visual composition that is The Pirate Cinema.

Citation City
It was AMAZING. An incredible work of very clever references. The sound track mixing live was perfect and same full of references. I would watch it again , because I am sure that there is some great moment you miss when you look at it once. I recommended ++++.

Presentation: A world premiere of the new audovisual performance of renowned collage artist People Like Us (Vicki Bennett). The project is a further development of the artist’s database approach to cinema, deconstructing cinematic clichés and representations into unique associative and playful narratives. Citation City sources, collage and edits 300 major feature films where content is either filmed or set in London – creating a story within a story, of the film world, living its life, through extraordinary times of change, to see what happens when these multiple narratives are combined… what will the story tell us that one story alone could never tell? Inspired by The Arcades Project by Walter Benjamin, this audiovisual performance is created from 1000s of clippings of text and visual media, collaged using a system of “convolutes”, collated around subjects of key motifs, historical figures, social types, cultural objects from the time. By gathering and assembling such groups of similar yet unrelated, he revealed a hidden, magical encyclopaedia of affinities, a massive and labyrinthine architecture of a collective dream city. In the live performance a series of story lines (convolutes) sit side by side with a soundtrack sourced both from the movie content, as well as new sample compositions thematically related to the visual content. 

Robin Fox & Atom TM “Double Vision”
It was like seeing the sound in 3D infront of our eyes. Magical. The ceiling was transformed into a sky thanks to the laser and the smoke.

Interview of Robin Fox & Atom TM HERE

Invisible borders (project proposal)

For this idea I looked into the concepts of ‘creating your own border’ and ‘staying in your confort zone’, resulting to refuse to see in the other side of the road how people are living or even your closest neighbour ?

This observation started with the living lab project, where the two cycle paths going through Inverleith divide the neighbourhood into three different parts. This division coincides with the level of deprivation of the area, resulting in the path acting like a border within the community (see picture bellow). The journalist Anna Minton, claims that divisions in the cities are a key factor behind rising fear of crime and that the link between security and discrimination is most distinct at the extremes of ‘the social spectrum’, in very wealthy or very deprived areas. (2009, pp. 139-140 – Minton, A. (2009). Ground control. London: Penguin Group).


map copy


My feeling is that it is very easy to stay on a routine, ‘bury ours head in the sand’. It allows us to not called into question our behaviours and the impact of our actions in the society.
I believe that developing empathie, be open to others would help to create a better word. Experience, relate and understand others could help to be more open on the world surrounding us (on different scale) and try to ‘be in the shoes of someone else’. In a sense brake the borders we create.
That is why I had this idea to visualise the invisible borders within the city. Where are these streets which divide a ‘healthy’ neighbourhood to a ‘deprive’ one. How can you make people aware of these ‘invisible’ borders ? And by visualising them, could it help to awake about these disparities. Also, are people from one side of the road go to the other side or are they staying within their territory ?


borders edinburgh3
Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 18.16.41
borders edinburgh2
borders edinburgh

I fist superposed the deprived scale map of Edinburgh on a satellite screen shot of the same territory. Then I traced in top, the road which separated two area with very different colours (a healthy area to a more deprive one).

It gives a different vision of the town. When you see the maps with the colours, you see the territories. When you only have the lines, to is about seeing the borders, and make reflect on the fact to ‘cross borders’, ‘walk in the territory of someone else’, ‘being curious of what is happening in the other side of the road’.

The final step was to convert these lines into ‘cloud’ or smoke, in order to make the borders visible but also fog and mist blur boundaries.

I made an image, trying to represent how it would look like.

smoke border

My thoughts


Please give me your feedback on my ideas, and if you have any thoughts how I could develop them or in which direction I should go. Any comments are welcome. (see the pages with the mind map My thoughts)


The different themes I am looking at for the moment are:


on 2 different aspects: 
– inequality between people: because you are born in x or y country you can’t move freely (visa, border…) Why do I have some right than other people doesn’t have? How this is right ? Also, by doing that, is not increasing the desire to see what is forbiden? When you are not allow to do something you might try harder to make it possible.
– creating your own border by staying in your confort zone. It can result to refuse to see in the other side of the road how people are living or even your neighbour ? and I am not talking (yet) about situations in other country or continent, where it can be so far from the reference framework that it is difficult to identify to the situation or living condition.
My feeling is that it is very easy to stay on a routine, ‘bury ours head in the sand’. It allows us to not called into question our behaviours and the impact of our actions in the society.
Is developing empathie, be open to others would help to create a better word ? Experience, relate and understand others could help to be more open on the world surrounding us (on different scale) and try to ‘be in the shoes of someone else’. In a sense brake the borders we create.


To experience, relate, understand others, and reconnect with the self, I believe that it is important to be able to ‘disconnect’: from the technology, from the consumer society, from ‘always more’ and ‘always faster’.


I am a bit obsess with this idea that we are all human, all made of 70% of water, all the same in a way. In contrast there is this huge inequality on the planet where world’s richest 1% own 40% of the world’s wealth. it is related with the first idea developed in ‘border’.
Maybe equality between people could maybe take place in the ‘between’ places, passage, connections, non spaces.


This is the big question: How to have a good life? Is happiness living well and doing well? Should it be our goal in life and how to get there? Yet, my position on these questions is that to have a good life you should act in coherence with the values you are believing in. You should go out of the confort zone to live new experiences, and learn from it what is essential for you and bring something positive out of it. It can be as simple as coming back from work by another route, try to observe the word with open mind and a sense of detail…