Archive for ‘event’

13 May 2009

Evaluation published

Emily Dawson has written a report on Material Beliefs, which you can download here (PDF). This report was commissioned for the EPSRC (the project funder) and the project participants, and will be useful if you want to have a closer look at what the project aimed to do, and what it actually did.

Thanks to those who contributed, to the report and to the project. For those of us with short attention spans, some of the report features are summarised on the EPSRC grant page.

04 November 2008

Crossing over: fusing science and art

This was an evening event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain providing a conversation between participants of the Crossing Over exhibition and members of the public.

Initiated by facilitator Mark Lythgoe, a start point was the separation of science and humanities, as argued by C. P. Snow in his Two Cultures lecture of 1959. A discussion of collaborations that tried to cross Snow’s fences, moved on to some thoughtful attendee comments about the requirements and expectations of role and institution, rather than essentialist differences between practitioner types.

In this light I was reminded that the potential value of sci-art is not to do with the inspiring effect of art’s lens upon science methods, nor the nourishment of art practice by science outcomes, but rather the value of collaborative practice as it provides the resources and the time for people to do things that they might not ordinarily do, with people they might not usually meet.

Additionally, if these collaborations are transparent, and performed amongst the public, they start to work upon divisions between specialists and non-specialists, which is perhaps a more relevant division within contemporary society than Snow’s two cultures.

Bonsai Cells
Above: the Bansai Cells project lets researchers discuss their work with different audiences

04 November 2008


Designs from the Material Beliefs collaborations are featured in Nowhere/Now/Here, an international exhibition at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijon Spain. The show features more than 60 works ranging from everyday products, fashion, jewellery to installations and live performances.

Roberta Bosco wrote a full page article on Material Beliefs for the national paper El Pais, read the article online or download a PDF version.

The exhibition runs until 24th April 2009.

nowhere now here
above: the foyer at LABoral

above: Jimmy with the Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots

above: Pink version of the Vital Signs monitors

01 October 2008

Crossing Over

Crossing Over opens tonight at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. The exhibition takes place throughout the newly refurbished building, located at the north end Albemarle Street near Green Park, London (directions here).

Material Beliefs joins Anne Brodie, Alex Bunn, Eggebert-and-Gould, Kathleen Rogers, Carl Stevenson and Phoebe von Held as exhibitors. Curated by Artakt the show explores exchanges in art & biotechnology, here’s a flyer with more information.

Come along and see the work, and join us also for an evening of discussion about our experiences of collaboration between biotechnology and design on the 22nd October, more details here.

09 September 2008

Natural History at Selfridges

Natural History is showing at Selfridges Wonder Wall exhibition space. It features the work of Kelly McCallum, Melanie Georgacopoulos, Eric Klarenbeek and also Biojewellery.

As a speculative project, rather than a realised product, it’s great that Biojewellery has been invited into a retail environment like Selfridges, and I accompanied Steve Jackman to film conversations with shoppers.

We spoke with anyone who was brave enough to chat to camera, about the work on show in the exhibition, and more generally about collaborations between designers and engineers, impressions of biotechnology, and the relationship between science and the public.

We’ll shortly be posting a short film with excerpts of these conversations, thanks for those who stopped and gave their consent! Thanks also to Dominique and her colleagues at Selfridges, and Jane and Lucinda who organised the exhibition.

Natural History: Wonder Wall
Natural History: Wonder Wall
Thanks to Dezeen who went to see the show at Selfridges and took these images…

09 September 2008

ThinkTank: the Future Object

This Friday, the Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting “ThinkTank: the Future Object”, at the Hochhauser Auditorium, part of the new Sackler Centre for Arts Education. Zoe Whitley from the V&A writes:

Debate. Discuss. Disagree. Decide? With no ‘right answers’ only great ideas, weigh in on the future of museum objects with leading designers and critics.

This event will be the culmination of a year-long programme of ‘design futures’ ThinkTanks to engage critically and proactively with contemporary design issues – from design’s role in relation to climate change and global citizenship to technological innovation and the changing nature of design practice.

Material Beliefs will join Future of Sound, innovationRCA and the Helen Storey Foundation from 19:30 on the 12th September, it’s a free event, with advanced booking available by telephone on +44 (0)20 7942 2211, or online here.

This event is part of an ongoing series of discussions about future directions for the museum, you can also find out about previous sessions.

Material Beliefs will be discussing two collaborative projects, Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robots and Vital Signs, with a session where you can find out more about the biotechnologies behind these prototype systems, and design your own! Come and meet James Auger, Amir Eftekhar, Tobie Kerridge, Jimmy Loizeau, Olive Murphy, Nick Oliver and Alex Zivanovic…

Think Tank

18 August 2008

Interview with Anders Sandberg

Dr. Anders Sandberg is a Swedish neuroscientist, science debater, futurist, transhumanist, and author. He is currently postdoctoral research assistant for the Oxford group of the EU ENHANCE Project at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute (Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University).

Find out more about Anders’ research, through his conversation with Susana Soares, filmed by Steve Jackman.

Anders Sandberg
above: Anders Sandberg with Susana Soares, filmed by Steve Jackman

07 August 2008

This Happened

Material Beliefs will be appearing at “This Happened“, on Friday 19th September at the Design Museum. This is part of the Design Overtime festival. Here’s how Chris, Joel and Andreas describe This Happened:

This happened is a series of events focusing on the stories behind interaction design. Having ideas is easier than making them happen. We delve into projects that exist today, how their concepts and production process can help inform future work.

Material Beliefs will be taking about design and engineering collaborations, alongside Yuri Suzuki, Daniel Brown and Dominic Harris.

Attendance is free but places are limited. Registration will open on Friday 5th September, with tickets allocated on a first come basis. More details soon, see Design Week for coverage of the event.

this happened

above: a previous This Happened, image from futureshape

24 July 2008

Science on Film

Steve Jackman has been filming events and interviews for Material Beliefs, and editing short films along the way – some are online already here. In addition, Steve has taken part in “Science on Film“, a joint initiative from the Documentary Filmmakers Group and the Wellcome Trust.

Science on Film is a unique opportunity for filmmakers and biomedical scientists to collaborate on an intensive film production and training scheme taught by leading broadcast professionals and scientists

ilms will premiere at a special gala event in London with leading TV and science figures in attendance. They will also be entered for the Wellcome Broadcast Development Awards and showcased on Channel 4’s FourDocs.

Steve worked with Bala Sirigireddy on their short film Blood Sample, here’s an online version (flash required) of their film, and here’s a list of all the films from the initiative.

There are a series of events to launch films, so you can hear form the participants, as well as watch the outcomes on the big screen:

Thurs 24 Jul – 12 noon – at the Crown & Two Chairmen
Fri 25 Jul – 11am – at the Curzon Soho Mini Cine
Tues 29 Jul – 5pm – at the Curzon Soho Mini Cine

Also, Steve mentions:

‘Science on Film… Where Next?’, looking in broader terms at the future of science on film. David Dugan (dir/producer, made lots of episodes of ‘Horizon’, etc) will be speaking, along with two Science on Film participants and Rachel Hillman (Wellcome Trust). Mon 28th Jul, 1pm at Foyles Bookstore, lasts about 90 mins.

The Future of Docs event, taking place (same day I think) at 5pm at the Apple Store. someone from DFG will be speaking, as may someone from Wellcome. Guessing that some SOF films might be shown…

Stand by also for more short documentaries from Steve for Material Beliefs!

Blood Sample

24 July 2008

The Secret Garden Party

The Secret Garden Party starts today (July 24th) and runs for 3 days. The theme of the festival this year is revolutions, and the marketing leads with a quote from Bertland Russell:

Thought is subversive and revolutionary…Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief Glory of man

As well as a packed roster of bands and acts, The Secret Garden Party follows on this years cerebral theme with a range of “Action Camps” including a Guerrilla Science Camp. Here’s a pdf with the line-up of hands on science taking place in this corner of the festival grounds over the 3 days.

Susana and Tobie will be there representing Material Beliefs, come along from 4-5pm on Friday 25th and invent your own biological-silicon hybrid in a range of colourful plasticines!

Secret Garden Party


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