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Online: Material Futures Symposium 2021, exploring the impact of materials

Text by CLOT Magazine

The MA Material Futures, Central St Martins, University of the Arts London, presents a series of three evening talks at the intersection of design, biology and technology. The symposium will bring together 9 international thought-leading academics, designers and scientists who challenge the future of design to explore possible futures through the lens of materiality – in its broader sense.

Material Futures is a trans-disciplinary research program emphasising learning through making. The course aims to develop materials and systems for a more sustainable future. The first event, Regenerative Systems, takes place on the 12th of April, 17.30-19.00 BST.

During this will be explored the environmental impact of materials, and the social and political dimensions of environmental challenges, with both academic researchers and change-makers on the ground with Dr Samaneh Moafi, Senior Researcher, Environmental Violence, Forensic Architecture, Yassin Madiwa, Founding Director of Friends of Usambara Mountains, Reforestation NGO, and Caroline Till, Co-Founder of FranklinTill, Co-Author of Radical Matter: Rethinking Materials for a Sustainable Future. 

Design For Emergency, the second one that takes place on the 19th of April, 17.30-19.00 BST, will be hosting designers and artists who use materiality and craft to generate change. Their work proves design can be a powerful tool to convey political messages and directly impact communities and the environment. Professor Lucy Orta, Visual Artist, Chair of Art and the Environment, University of the Arts London, Dr Michael Pinsky, Visual Artist, Reader, University of East London, and Singgih Susilo Kartono, Product Designer, Founder of Magno are the speakers participating.

The third one, Biological Machines, takes place on the 26th of April, 17.30-19.00 BST. Professor Paul Freemont, Head of Structural and Synthetic Biology, Imperial College, Co-Director of UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology, Dr Helmut Hauser, and Dr Agi Haines, Speculative Designer, Assistant Professor at Rhode Island School of Design, will present their research at the intersection of biology and technology. They will introduce the potential engineering of humans and machines both inspired by and made of biological systems.

This event is organised by the students of the MA Material Futures to raise funds for setting up an exhibition for their research projects.

(Image courtesy of the MA Material Futures)
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