How can we enable flows of matter and thought that escape the solidification into fixed objects and concepts? How can we think materials actively and how can we engage with them in an active, rather than controlling manner? Active materials, often labelled as “smart”, have been developed with the purpose of efficiency and functionality. In Enactive Environments Lab, we search for new ways of thinking and creating with such materials. Enactive stands for an embodied and situated type of knowledge found both in hands-on research processes and interaction with physical worlds. Theories of enactive cognition show that the world helps guide or modulate action that, in turn, continuously results in the body realigning and remaking that world. Theoretically and practically, we aim to investigate enactive approach beyond living and non-living dichotomies. We take active material processes outside of scientific labs and into the hands of researchers. We embrace the disobedience of active matter, and work with “errors”, qualities which are undesired in engineering contexts. Through hands-on experiments, we follow what materials propose conceptually and aesthetically instead of imposing ideas on matter. By opening up alternative paths for materials, we let them flow and leak into the world, affect our imagination and thought, and interlace them in unexpected ways.
Karmen Franinović is practice-based researcher moved by the desire to explore transformative, dynamic and ephemeral processes, be it a soundscape, a building, an act of creation, a learning process, a sculpture or a material. Focused on non-verbal and spatial interaction, she worked on the design of large scale public buildings, created participatory urban environments, developed active materials and sonic sculptures, haptic floor tiles and wearables for movement rehabilitation. Karmen holds the Laurea degree in Architecture from Venice University, the MA from Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and the PhD degree in Art and Media from Plymouth University. She is Professor of Interaction Design at Zurich University of the Arts and the co-founder of Zero-Th studios. Challenging the established interaction paradigms, Karmen’s past research proposed a novel enactive approach to urban and sonic interaction, which she is currently extending to her work with active materials.
Tue 27.11.2018 || 5:15 - 6:45pm || FHNW; Hochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung, Basel, building D, Studiokino
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