Our provocateurs for 2017 were the fabulous duo- Japanese Architect Azusa Murakami and British Artist Alexander Groves from Studio Swine and Elisa Giaccardi, TUDelft.

Opening Provocation: Elisa Giaccardi

Elisa Giaccardi opened the conference on the 22nd of March.

Elisa is Professor and Chair of Interactive Media Design at Delft University of Technology, where she leads the Connected Everyday Lab. From her pioneering work in meta-design and participatory technology to the role of the non-human in a more-than-human world, her research reflects an ongoing concern with design as a shared process of invention of reality and a fascination for the role that technology can play. Currently, she is establishing thing-centred design as a novel design framework and methodology that helps designers move past the blind spots of human-centered design in a “more-than-human” world. Thing-centred design looks at artifacts as co-performers of practice next to humans, and thus as potential co-researchers and co-designers in the design process. In addition to academic research, Elisa works with companies and consulting firms to explore how thing-centred design can offer additional resources to human imagination and capabilities in the context of design practice.

Closing Provocation: Studio Swine

Our closing provocateurs, SWINE (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers) is a collaboration between Japanese Architect Azusa Murakami and British Artist Alexander Groves.

Creating works that span across disciplines of art, design and film, SWINE explores themes of regional identity and the future of resources in the context of globalisation. SWINE’s work manifests a deep research into materials and industrialisation. Operating across a wide range of disciplines, SWINE’s work has gained an international audience, their films have been awarded at Cannes and other film festivals around the world. SWINE has been widely exhibited at institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Museum of Art and Design New York, and the Venice Art Biennale.

Studio Swine will be presenting their work and their research into vernacular design and the part history, travel and materials plays in their design. They will be discussing how they made their projects and the research which took them to far flung corners from the worlds biggest human hair market in China, to the middle of the North Atlantic Gyre to collect sea plastic and to the streets of Sao Paulo to learn from informal economies and recycling. Using design to address and connect seemingly incongruous themes of regional identity and globalisation, sustainability and industrialisation. Studio Swine will also be presenting their most recent project Fordlandia which took them to Brazil to explore Henry Ford’s forgotten Jungle City in the depths of the Amazon Rainforest.