"Supra Systems Studio/Ideas for Humanity: A Cookbook for Planetary Health"
Conversation with Eva Verhoeven, Supra Systems Studio, London College of Communication, UAL
“Many-headed: Co-creating with the Collective”
Conversation with Heather Barnett, Art & Living Systems Lab, Central Saint Martins, UAL
"Interspecificities - an Introduction"
Conversation with Patricia Ribault, École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris & Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin
ACCESS TO ALL CONVERSATIONS: Zoom-Link
The Global Design Studio (GDS) is an online intensive project that introduces students and staff to transnational and transdisciplinary practices and collaboration, situated in pluralistic and global ways of designing together whilst exploring subject-driven opportunities for online learning. This year 70 students and 8 staff from three different institutions (UAL/LCC, RMIT and Elisava) worked together on Ideas for Humanity, A Cookbook for Planetary Health.
This year the Studio continued to address non-trivial issues that connect participants in different parts of the world through a concern for planetary health and more than simply survival. We looked at the documented risks to our interconnected ecologies and collectively aimed to offer more than preventative measures - instead looking to positive futures made possible through knowledge sharing and design as a means of action.
Eva Verhoeven is an artist, designer and researcher. She is the co-founder of Supra Systems Studio, a research machine in the Design School at LCC, UAL where she works as a Programme Director for Interaction Design & Visual Communication.
Eva is interested in the consequences of technological developments and its relays into society and culture and investigates computational culture through design research. A current focus is the scope of post-human centred design and a renewed interest in the materiality of the digital within the context of the Anthropocene.
Eva co-organises events and conferences, for example speculative life-coding events at the Piksel Festival (for free/libre & open audiovisual software, hardware, and art) in Bergen, Norway, London's first Maker Faire at LCC and Supra System Studio exhibitions as part of the London Design Festival. She has exhibited and presented her work and research nationally and internationally (Los Angeles, New York, Istanbul, Norway and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London).
Supra Systems Studio uses critical & creative practice to conduct urgent investigations & demonstrations at intersections of ecological, political, & technical systems.
Artist Heather Barnett works with natural phenomena and emergent systems. Employing live organisms, imaging technologies and playful pedagogies, her work explores how we observe, influence and understand multi-species ecosystems. Combining disciplinary methods from art and science, participatory art and practical philosophy, Barnett will share recent work made in ‘collaboration’ with a range of organisms including slime moulds, ants and humans. Her work aims to tease and test our definitions of agency, hierarchy and collective intelligence.
Heather Barnett is an artist, researcher and educator working with living systems. Recent work centres around nonhuman intelligence, collective behaviour and systems for co-enquiry and knowledge distribution, including The Physarum Experiments, an ongoing enquiry with an intelligent slime mould, interventions with an ant colony in Almeria, and Animal Collectives collaborative research with the SHOAL Group at Swansea University where she is an Honorary Research Fellow. Heather is Pathway Leader on the MA Art and Science and Convenor of the Art & Living Systems Lab at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London), a Visiting Associate Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology, and founding member of The Slime Mould Collective (http://slimoco.ning.com/).
What kind of dialogues are possible between humans and animals, plants and artificial beings? What is it like to see the world from the point of view of another creature? Can technical objects be compared if not associated to natural beings, and even classified into species? What can we foresee, fear and hope from future hybridizations between natural and artificial entities?
These are some of the questions I will briefly introduce together with the very idea of interspecific relations. The main objective is to question the existing or possible relations between species, whether these species are natural or artificial. In this perspective, I propose to broaden the approach on the term “specie” itself, in light of the recent research in the fields of ethology, technologies, arts and theory of culture. In other words, we envision the concept of specie from an interdisciplinary perspective, asking ourselves whether some of the relations that can be observed between natural species can be transferred to other types of relations between the world of nature and the world of culture.
Patricia Ribault is Professor for Performative Design Research at the weißensee kunsthoschule berlin since 2020 and Principal Investigator of the Cluster of Excellence Matters of Activity at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Prior to that, she was Junior Professor in History and Theory of Gestaltung at the Institute for Cultural History and Theory (HU). She is also a lecturer at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
She began her career with studies in applied arts and ceramics and an apprenticeship in glass blowing in England, Italy (Murano) and Tunisia. Her doctoral thesis is about the concept of gesture (Pour une ontologie du geste. À notre corps défaillant) and her research revolves around the notions of body, work, technique, art, craft, industry, design, and, more recently, around interspecificity and posthumanism.
Among other publications, she co-edited with art historian Thomas Golsenne a special edition of the French journal Techniques et Culture entitled Essais de bricologie. Ethnologie de l’art et du design contemporains (« Essays of Bricology. Ethnology of contemporary Art and Design », Paris, EHESS, 2015). She is currently editing a book entitled Design, Gestaltung, Formatività, to be published by Birkhaüser in 2022.