I was invited by Liam Young to talk to his students at the Architectural Association, London, for their studio: “End of the World and other Bedtime Stories”. Here’s a little insight into the studio’s focus for that term:
“Our projects may be militant solutions or last gasp redemptions; a call to arms or a head in the sand; swan songs, manifestos or glorious celebrations in the shadow of an imminent end. We will be both visionaries and reporters, part documentary and part science fiction, we will critically engage with the conditions of today through speculation about the coming of tomorrow. Standing at the brink we will contemplate an end that is laden with fears and inconsistencies yet at the same time proves to be ripe with unknown escapes and wondrous possibilities.”
I presented ideas around critical design and the various methods and positions that the students might adopt, with specific reference to the Ark.Inc work. I also sat through the student presentations, and the discussions continued at the pub. Overall a fun afternoon, thanks Liam, for the invite!
Couple of months ago, I was contacted by Emilie Oursel who was putting together a very interesting show in Haarlem, just 20 mins outside of Amsterdam, titled ‘Green Revolution‘. The show is now on, and features the Ark-Inc project alongside other experimental works such as Akos Maroy’s project bio.display, and ofcourse Critical Art Ensemble’s Immolation, a must -see project.
The exhibition is currently featured on We Make Money Not Art:
“Green revolution, which invaded the walls of the Nieuwe Vide art space until June 13th, offers a broader, contemporary and decidedly darker take on the idea of a green revolution. The show brings together artists whose work investigates and comments on the current, complex and often hard to fully grasp mutations in our environment, whether it’s the environment in its green and eco sense or more generally the new political climate. Some of the artists selected use or comment on man-made disasters, others bring about distressing scenarios of a future life, others investigate the field of biotechnology, opening up new perspectives and questioning the world we live in…”
For some time now, Benedict Singleton and myself are collaborating on taking the Ark-Inc project to the next level. As part of this process we wrote a paper titled “Ark-Inc: An Alternative View of What Designing for Sustainability Might Mean” which was successfully presented at the Changing the Change conference in Turin, July 2008.
There is great review of the ten best papers of the conference on Core77 and we were pleased to see our paper there.
From the conference site: “Changing the Change seeks to make a significant contribution to a necessary transformation that involves changing the direction of current changes toward a sustainable future. It specifically intends to outline the state-of-the-art of design research in terms of visions, proposals and tools with which design can actively and positively take part in the wider social learning process that will have to take place.”
Yesterday Dougald Hine gave a very engaging talk titled “The Long Doom?” at the London Long Now Meetup, which I had helped put together.
“The economic crisis has made even the immediate future far more uncertain than it seemed a year ago – so what about the longer term? How would we adapt to a world in which economic contraction replaced economic growth as the norm, good years taken with bad? What directions could the product and service design take in that kind of scenario? More generally, how do we get better at preparing for a wider range of futures – particularly those that don’t look like an upgraded version of the present?”
I urge you to have a look at the video of his talk here.
And the last slide featured the Ark Radio.
I’ve just pulled my MA Dissertation from the dark corners of my hard-drive and posted it in the Project Archive section. Since I handed it in over 3 years I hadn’t read it once until a few days ago, so thought it was about time to let it see the light of day once again.
From the first paragraph:
“In this essay, I aim to explore the phenomenon of ‘emergence’ within the larger context of human consciousness and behaviour in contemporary society.
1. How can the theory of emergence enable us to understand a different worldview?
2. How can certain technologies help uncover certain emergent phenomena which were previously difficult to conceive or imagine?
3. And consequently, the other way round, how can the theory of emergence enable us to create technological tools and devices, which help us to discover unexplored processes. How might these tools then influence the emergent processes themselves?”
In spite of, or perhaps, because of the pain of writing it, I received a Distinction and a hard copy can now be found in the Royal College of Art Library.
Direct download link.
Welcome to the new web 2.0 style redesign. This is my first post. May there be many more.
p.s. there may still be bugs and broken links here and there.. if you find one please let me know. muchas gracias.