The event celebrated the relationship between the Royal College of Art and the Tangible Media Group from MIT Media Lab.
The event offered a platform for exchanging skills and a discourse of relevant topics between the Royal College of Art and MIT Media Lab, strengthening the connection for future projects. The workshop was held by students from the Tangible Media Group from MIT Media Lab and included a workshop and a talk series to think, discuss and create new interactions with future dynamic materials and to discuss the need of a tangible world with 'radical atoms'. Selected speakers from both institutions presented their work and research examining the intersection of design, technology and science from different angles, in order to bridge different disciplines.
The focus of the talks were tangible interactions and outlined different considerations each disciplines can contribute, from a historical, sensory, technical, material, biological and scientific view, followed by a series of participant workshops
Talk series with Hiroshi Ishii (Prof. Tangible Media Group, MIT), Emily Candela (RCA), Felix Heibek (MIT Media Lab), Bruna Petreca (RCA), Jifei Ou (MIT), Kostas Grigoriadis (RCA), Lining Yao (MIT), Veronica Ranner (RCA) and Helene Steiner (alumni RCA, Microsoft Research).
The full talk series can be watched on my YouTube Channel.
As part of the event, Felix Heibeck and Jifei Ou from the Tangible Media Group hosted a workshop with 22 participants invited from programmes across the RCA including Textiles, Innovation Design Engineering, Information Experience Design, Fashion, Architecture and Design Products. Participants were introduced to ways of making and controlling transformable fabric structures that harness air for shape-change, working with a new pneumatic technology brought in from the MIT Media Lab. Through experimenting with these methods and approaches, the workshop provided an opportunity for participants to consider new interactions with future dynamic materials and to discuss the needs of a tangible world with 'radical atoms'.
The examination of the intersection of design, technology and science from different angles, was a focus for the workshop. Helene Steiner, who organised, curated and moderated the event explained: ‘The hands-on workshop created a space where different disciplines met and created a culture of common understanding, enabling work across borders. The goal was to introduce technology and then create meaning, using art and design to define philosophical agendas, create artistic interpretation, design aesthetics and explore contextual designs.’ The outcomes of the workshop ranged from philosophical installations about death and life to tangible games, walking creatures, and wearable applications.