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Material Futures Symposium

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A series of online evening talks about the intersection of design, biology and technology.

About this Event

Material Futures students present a series of talks inhabiting the intersection of craft, biology and technology. Over the course of three evenings we will bring together international thought-leading academics, designers and scientists who challenge the future of design, to explore possible futures through the lens of materiality - in its broader sense.

About Material Futures: This symposium is organised by the MA Material Futures students at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. Material Futures is a trans-disciplinary research program with an emphasis on learning through making. The course aims to develop materials and systems for a more sustainable future. We are organising this event with the objective to raise funds to secure a platform in which to showcase our research projects.

#1 REGENERATIVE SYSTEMS 12th of April 17.30-19.00 BST

#2 DESIGN FOR EMERGENCY 19th of April 17.30-19.00 BST

#3 BIOLOGICAL MACHINES 26th of April 17.30-19.00 BST

See speakers below


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#1 REGENERATIVE SYSTEMS 12th of April 17.30-19.00 BST

With the current state of crisis of the material world around us as a starting point, during this evening's talks we will be exploring the environmental impact of materials, and the social and political dimensions of environmental challenges, with both academic researchers and change-makers on the ground.

  • Dr Samaneh Moafi, Senior Researcher, Environmental Violence, Forensic Architecture: Forensic Architecture is a research agency investigating human rights violations including violence committed by states, police forces, militaries, and corporations. Dr Samaneh Moafi oversees the Centre for Contemporary Nature and her research is focused on developing new evidentiary techniques for environmental destruction.
  • Yassin Madiwa, Founding Director of Friends of Usambara Mountains, Reforestation NGO: Yassin Madiwa has over 20 years experience in preserving a primary forest and developing agroforestry in Tanzania, in collaboration with local communities. He will be talking about the socio-economic context leading to deforestation, and its impacts.
  • Caroline Till, Co-Founder of FranklinTill, Co-Author of Radical Matter: Rethinking Materials for a Sustainable Future: FranklinTill is a futures research agency working with global brands and organisations to implement design and material innovation for sustainable futures. Former Course Director of Material Futures, Caroline’s expertise is routed in sustainable design practices and design innovation. She is currently Editor of Viewpoint and Viewpoint Colour magazines.


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#2 DESIGN FOR EMERGENCY19th of April 17.30-19.00 BST

This evening we will be hosting designers and artists who are using materiality and craft to generate change. Their work proves design can be a powerful tool to convey political messages as well as directly impact communities and the environment.

  • Professor Lucy Orta, Visual Artist, Chair of Art and the Environment, University of the Arts London: Prof. Lucy Orta is a an artist who uses clothing and installations as tools of communication. She (and Studio Orta) work on projects relating to population displacement, water scarcity and the global food chain, and she collaborates with actors of social change.
  • Dr Michael Pinsky, Visual Artist, Reader, University of East London: Dr Michael Pinsky is an artist and activist. He has designed urban installations which challenge the status quo on climate change, air quality, cities design, or societal matters. For example his recent ‘Pollution Pods’ emulate the quality of the air in different cities around the world.
  • Singgih Susilo Kartono, Product Designer, Founder of Magno: Magno is a brand of wooden craft products recognised by multiple international awards. The concern on the current rural situation in Indonesia motivated Singgih to develop Spedagi, a village revitalization movement iconized by the bamboo bike. In 2020, Singgih proposes 'Cyral-Spiriterial' – a macro conception of how the global sustainable livelihood could possibly be attained.


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#3 BIOLOGICAL MACHINES 26th of April 17.30-19.00 BST

Scientists and designers will present their research at the intersection of biology and technology. This evening will introduce the potential engineering humans as well as machines both inspired by and made of biological systems.

  • Professor Paul Freemont, Head of Structural and Synthetic Biology, Imperial College, Co-Director of UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology: Prof. Paul Freemont leads developments in genetic engineering and bio-manufacturing at national and international levels. He has co-curated exhibitions about biodesign, and he will be talking about designing with synthetic biology.
  • Dr Helmut Hauser, Senior Lecturer in Robotics, University of Bristol, Principal Investigator of Soft Robotics UK, Director of Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Autonomous and Robotics Systems: Dr Helmut Hauser’s research focuses on using biological principles to design machines. He studies the morphological intelligence of bodies in order to ‘grow’ and improve robots.
  • Dr Agi Haines, Speculative Designer, Assistant Professor at Rhode Island School of Design: Dr Agi Haines is an internationally exhibiting practitioner, researcher and lecturer whose research looks at the propensity for design to reevaluate the nature of the material of the body in the face of nascent biomedical and healthcare technologies.

More info about the MA Material Futures:

materialfutures.com

instagram.com/materialfutures

Add-ons:


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Material Futures 2021 Catalogue - £30 - To be published in the summer

Shipping options:

  • Pick up from Central St Martins, King's Cross, London: £0
  • UK shipping: £2
  • International shipping: upon request

For shipping, please send us your postal address via the button 'Contact the organiser' in Eventbrite confirmation email.


		Material Futures Symposium image

Material Futures 2021 Tote Bag - £10 - Made in London, from reclaimed fabrics, stitched and hand printed by Material Futures students. To be produced in the summer.

Shipping options:

  • Pick up from Central St Martins, King's Cross, London: £0
  • UK shipping: £2
  • International shipping: upon request

For shipping, please send us your postal address via the button 'Contact the organiser' in Eventbrite confirmation email.

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