At the turn of the 21st century, several interaction design programs launched around the world. Among institutes in London, New York and Ivrea, the Interaction Design department (IAD) at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) started its educational and research activities in this emerging field. Over these last 20 years, pressing social, political and ecological transformations have brought significant challenges together with fresh approaches to interaction design practice, research and education.
We start the vicennial celebrations of IAD, by reflecting on these changes in a series of online conversations titled "On Interactivity". Our team members have invited international colleagues to share, speculate and investigate the past, present and future of interaction design.
These conversations will also be condensed in a Symposium with lectures, discussions and performances at Ars Electronica Festival in Linz on 8.9.2021. At Ars, we also curated "Infinite Nows", an exhibition showcasing IAD student projects which can be seen from 8-12.9.2021. Probing the alternative presents through investigative, speculative and experimental practices, these projects and discussions reflect the values and approaches of IAD shaped over its 20 years of existence.
Conversation Series credits: Graphic design (Erika Marthins), jingle (Johannes Reck), editing (Marcial Koch and Roman Kirschner)
#1 On Interactivity with Ben Fry & Casey Reas, in conversation with Joëlle Bitton
June 21st, 2021, 6:30 pm (CET)
The conversation series kicks off with Ben Fry and Casey Reas, creators of Processing, a flexible software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts.
Host of the first edition is Joëlle Bitton, senior lecturer in the BA Interaction Design programme at ZHdK. Casey and Ben will re-use the presentation they showed about 20 years ago in a Symposium organised by Joelle, and reflect on their expectations and impact of their pioneering and influential project.
#2 On Interactivity with Chris Salter, in conversation with Karmen Franinović
The guest on the second edition of «On Interactivity» is Chris Salter, Professor of Computation Arts at Concordia University, co-Director, Hexagram Network for Research-Creation and co-founder and Associate Director, Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology, Montreal.
Karmen Franinović, head of Interaction Design at ZHDK, and Chris discuss sensorimotor experience as a way of making sense of our world, responsive environments and AI, sensing machines and debilitating technologies, problems with immersion and other exciting topics!
#3 On Interactivity with Saša Spačal, in conversation with Roman Kirschner
The guest on the third edition of «On Interactivity» is Saša Spačal, a postmedia artist working at the intersection of living systems research, contemporary and sound art.
Roman Kirschner, senior lecturer and researcher at Interaction Design at ZHDK, and Saša discuss about bioart and biodesign; co-working with microorganisms, spatial and interface strategies in bioart projects and much more.
4:43 Working Environment? Lab, studio, co-workers, organisms, longterm relationships.
6:42 Soil Tasting Workshop: soils for different experiences, death of soil, sterilization.
9:55 Difference Futurist Cook Book and Soil tasting: from sensation to deeper involvement.
12:48 From experimentation to production: function or what else...?
15:45 Earthlink (Inhale, Exhale, Synbiome): spatial and interface strategies.
21:13 Balancing biomes and environment.
22:20 Calibrating safety, closeness, representational paradigms and materials while facilitating old and new feedback loops.
25:16 Mycomythologies/Storytelling Circle: differentiate and relate through stories, attune.
28:44 Installation, participation and situated knowledges