“Design meets Synthetic Biology” has been selected to be part of the session“Futures” during the BLACK BOX Pop-up Cinema event @ Bio-Medicine West Wing Foyer, Newcastle upon Tyne, from 4 Feb – 1 Mar 2019.
Thank you to Louise Mackenzie for giving me the opportunity to show this Video clip I made while I was a Research associate @ Design Informatics in 2016.
It was the first time this video was publicly shown, and even thought I could not attend the screening, I am very proud and happy that this creation finally made it out from my computer 🙂
On 12th July 2016, in Edinburgh, during ‘Design meets Synthetic Biology workshop‘, biologists, engineers, designers, artists and social scientists were invited to discuss issues of representation, access and perception of synthetic biology. We asked them to share their vision of the future synthetic biology, their hope and fears… This video aims to represent the voices of a range of practitioners gravitating around the discipline but disconnected from each other. Far from a single united vision, it depicts the complexities of working with living material (working and understanding living materials, prediction of long term effects, ethic concern…) and paradoxical opinion surrounding the discipline (complex boundaries between positive outcomes of the research and dangerous usage…).
It as a scene in Shanghai metro I have captured during my first trip back in 2016.
I have painted it with water-colours pencils, water-colours paint and water-soluble wax oil pastels.
It is signed and is strictly limited to a unique edition so once it is gone it is gone.
Frame size: 300mm x 400mm.
I am just back from Shanghai, where I had the pleasure and honor to teach Interior Design for 5 weeks at Donghua University representing Edinburgh University. The students have a lot to teach us all over here about passion, hard work and positivity.
It was 5 amazing weeks with my great colleagues and mon amoureux. In our free time we visited lots of galleries (list bellow of some of the best exhibitions I have seen), spend a day walking and riding in Hangzhou around the west Lake and we went for a week end in the mountains. We stayed in xia yan bei village (下岩贝村), hiked 19 peaks (穿岩十九峰), the Hanfei river ( 韩妃江) and dao tuo xue (倒脱靴). And of course had some amazing food: hot pot, dumplings, wonton soups, noodles, Chinese crepes, vegan dishes…
I am starting to learn basic Chinese to prepare our next trip in March, looking forward to it.
chi K11 –.com/.cn
The work exhibited is digital / conceptual art. What we found most interesting for your practice is the building in itself.
MOCA Shanghai – Apple+
The exhibition highlights Japanese designer Ken Miki’s four decades of practice as well as his unique approach to design thinking and education, summarized in what he promotes as “Learning to Design, Designing to Learn”.
Rockbund Art Museum – Hugo Boss Asia Art 2017
High-profile award that honors emerging contemporary artists in the early stages of their artistic creation and exhibition practices.
Long Museum West Bund– Antony Gormley
The first major presentation of Antony Gormley’s work in China. At its core is Critical Mass II (1995) an installation of 60 life-size cast iron body forms.
Power station of Art – Balkrishna Doshi, Shigeru Ban & Li Shan
Shigeru Ban : What is the architectural content to be presented possibly only by exhibitions? The first half of the Exhibition will introduce the disaster relief projects across the world, & the second half of the Exhibition will introduce the projects in progress and the projects in China.
Li Shan : he gave up his decades-long familiarity with painting, and turned his artistic thinking to topics that are related with bio-science. He claimed to be creating on a canvas once reserved only for the God, and created a new artistic discipline: BioArt.
Balkrishna Doshi: Celebrating Habitat-The Real, the Virtual & the Imaginary. The exhibition showcases more than thirty pieces of the Indian architect’s notable works, including personal and public housing, community projects, educational institution, urban planning and furniture design.
Modern Art Museum – Hello, My Name is Paul Smith
Touring exhibition showcasing the fashion designer’s journey in building his company, as well as his stylistic tastes and eye for design.
Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum – Sonsara by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
“It is a project of imagination and contemplation, containing the reflection of the symbiosis and a control system for human and nature. The two issues that the exhibition wants to discuss, “how humans co-exist with the artificial nature” and “building an ecology, imaging the world after human”, constitute the two sides of the non-zero-sum game between human and non-human beings.”
Dialogue In The Dark
Very exciting life-changing experiences where visitors are guided by blind guides in absolute darkness. You get a chance to experience space and daily environments of life without your sight. Daily routines become exciting and a reversal of role is created where sighted become blind and Blind become sighted. It was a life changing experience.
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.
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.
The paper presented the process I went though and the issues I had to face when designing and exhibiting living organisms.
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.
The knife piece has been chosen as Provocation #1 during the Museum Panel session to discuss how do museums go about selecting which of today’s objects need to be preserved and why? How do they use these to map the lineage of our material culture, and how important are museum collections in giving rise to the new? What are the curatorial processes in place to achieve this? More precisely the role of the museum to ‘kill’ artefacts in order to collect or to keep artefacts alive.
The first one called Gender in Artconfronting significant civilisational themes with artist’s interpretation.
Presentation by the museum
Gender is socially constructed sex. Gender studies examine the way history and culture determine sex. Who a man or a woman is in a given world largely depends on the one who manipulates these images. For centuries the conception of gender has remained in the hands of religions, which have imposed ʻproperʼ social roles on the representatives of different sexes. This has been going for so long that it has come to be seen by many as the law of nature. A vast majority of religions have reduced woman to the role of the weaker, more stupid and subordinate sex. To many people this still seems to be ʻnaturalʼ. Currently we are trying to understand the mechanisms behind this manipulation and lead to a situation in which full dignity and equal rights of all genders would be secured. We endeavour to arrive at a point where gender would cease to be an ideological construct and become man’s individual decision that is closest to their sense of identity. The exhibition at MOCAK fits in with the field of these reflections, studies and claims.
The second one Poland – Israel – Germany: The Experience of Auschwitz It was very moving, and maybe for me more powerful to foster the historical atrocity than visiting Auschwitz. Some of the pieces were actually about questioning the fact that it is becoming a touristic destination, where companies are making money and tourists take holidays pictures. They are questioning if it is appropriate in such place.
Presentation by the museum
The exhibition at MOCAK highlights the significant presence of the theme of Auschwitzin the historical, social and cultural discourse. It demonstrates how contemporary artists from Poland, Israel and Germany interpret events from the past. This is not about presenting art broadly thematically related to the Holocaust, rather – about works that deal with the ‘anus mundi’– Auschwitz as a place of genocide, the most tragic man-made symbol there is. The exhibition poses a number of questions. After the last witnesses have died, will Auschwitz become a dark and vacant pop-cultural motif, a pure provocation, a horror Disneyland? Or are such worries exaggerated? Will the second and third post- Auschwitz generations feel a responsibility to carry the memory of these events?