Kärt Ojavee (PhD) is an Estonian designer, artist and lecturer who mainly focuses on active and interactive textile designs. Her research focus has been on experimental interactive interior textiles since 2008, in collaboration with the Centre for Biorobotics. In 2013 she graduated her PhD from the Estonian Academy of Arts on the topic “Active smart interior textiles: interactive soft displays”, under the supervision of Maarja Kruusmaa.She is a founder of Symbioos project together with Eszter Ozsvald. Together with Ozsvald and Susan Ngo and open-source electronics platform Heatit was developed. Recently she is designing for brands KO! and KAUN. At the moment she is a research fellow at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Interior Design Department.Her exhibitions have taken place and received recognition around the world: New York, Helsinki, Munich, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Amsterdam etc. She has been participating from SIGGRAPH and Ambience conference exhibitions, presenting the works from the Symbioos collections.She has been rewarded a young designer award Säsi, II prize at Beopen Award and runner-up at the Core77 design awards in 2012.
‘Undefined Useful Objects’
The idea of smart textiles and advanced environment with ubiquitous computing systems has been known through science-fiction books and movies for years. By now numerous examples of concept prototypes can be found throughout the short history of smart textiles – inventions like wearable computers or environment aware interior textiles that are able to behave (to sense, heat, provide light, and transmit data). Some of these ideas are becoming closer to reality, some are fading into the cloud of information as utopian ideas from past.
Unprecedented concept developments and novel technological solutions also challenge the methodological approach. Designers and artists working on such product concepts often implement speculative design as a research method. This practice thrives the imagination and opens up new perspectives, creating not only physical and cognisable artifacts, but also opening up a wider platform for discussions about possibilities and alternatives. Forecasting the future through crafting physical material might be considered as a method or an alternative tool for gathering feedback by initializing lively debates and immediate experiences of the viewers, experts and professionals. In this way the artifact as a medium is providing a common “what if?” involvement.
Developing and fabricating active and interactive installations of smart textiles throughout my practice based research has given an opportunity to test the otherwise indescribable speculations in different contexts, in order to propose possible future products through speculative design. What if the materials behave, move and change, what if the artificial environment is in direct dialogue with the viewer, what if the virtual and physical merge...
He has been an instructor and head of the studios at the University of Arts and Design at the ZKM Karlsruhe since 1997, as well as spokesman for Media Arts faculty. He is head and founder of “Expanded Cinema 3Digital Laboratory”, the “3D Alliance Karlsruhe”, the international 3D festival “BEYOND”, the international academic “3D Consortium” and the international symposium “Future Cinema-Future TV: 3D and BEYOND”.
He has also been Honorary Professor of the Karlshochschule International University for “Cultural Management” and “Media Management”.He is coordinator of the EU training project “Parallax.”. In 2015, he founded the European Program “Future Design: Artistic visions for Europe and BEYOND” and “The European Film-Winter-School” on the Canary Islands. He teaches throughout the world in the German, English and Spanish in more than 30 countries.
‘Future Design. Artistic Visions for Europe and BEYOND’
Over the coming decades new technologies will alter our lives and the way in which we perceive it beyond our imaginations. Future Design is a creative conspiracy of science, technology, the industry and art.
It is about the art of thinking and shaping the future actively and consciously based on European values, which are not only human and citizen’s rights, but also sexual emancipation, freedom and environmental thinking.
Not only will natural green energy and modern storage techniques, change massively our forms of mobility, the third industrial revolution in conjunction with the help of computer-controlled devices will radically transform economy mainly the production and distribution. With 3D printers human veins, glass objects from sand and sun or entire houses can be reproduced. Organs and meat can be created out of stem cells and printed in 3D. The consumer becomes the producer or the "maker”. The "maker" is not only a manufacturer; he is at the same time creator, designer and artist. 3D Scanning will allow to digest all spatial data of objects, buildings and landscapes to use them for redesigning, reshaping, reconstructing with almost no chance to control any copyright.
“Future Design” explores the future of digital distribution from the bits to atoms.
Supercomputers will simulate various outcomes of future crisis, but in Future Design we will not only extrapolate probabilities but also to downsample improbabilities.
Future Design gives a new and critical view of the imagination and a new insight into the reality.With all the risks and side effects that are connected to this new technologies Europe has to make a stand for its values by openly discussing the chances and risks and to formulate a vision for Europe and BEYOND.
James Thompson is Professor of Applied and Social Theatre and Associate Vice President for Social Responsibility at the University of Manchester.He is the Founder and Co-Director of In Place of War - a project researching and developing arts programs in war and disaster zones. He has developed and run theatre projects in Africa and South Asia (principally DR Congo and Sri Lanka). He has written widely on theatre applied to conflict, peacebuilding, and reconciliation and his most recent books are Performance Affects: Applied Theatre and the End of Effect (2009) and Humanitarian Performance: from Disaster Tragedies to Spectacles of War (2014).
‘Performance In Place of War’
James Thompson has directed a research and practice-based project for over ten years called ‘In Place of War’ - this initiative documents and supports theatre and other arts programmes in contemporary war and conflict zones. He will describe the history of the project but also some of its more recent programmes - focusing on why people continue to make performance in places of violence. He will ask questions about the politics and ethics of theatre dedicated to finding a space in troubled times.