Sympoieses Workshop III



Speakers Corners / Coded Biophilia

17.02. – 21.02.2020

We aren’t just single individuals walking the planet: we are walking ecosystems made of microbes. Microbes are in the soil, in the water and even in our bodies. We live and co-exist with them. Even though invisible to our eye, microbes as bacteria, fungi and viruses are part of our skin microflora, covering both the inside and the outer surface of the body. Speakers Corners / Coded Biophilia is a project that aims to incentive the symbiotic relationship that raises from the beneficial presence of microbes and bacteria in the human body and celebrate the body’s microbiome.

"I predict that the domestication of biotechnology will dominate our lives during the next 50 years at least as much as the domestication of computers has dominated our lives during the previous fifty years."
– Freeman Dyson

Aiming to blur boundaries between what is human and what is technology, we open the possibility of wearing microorganisms in the future, and to embrace them as part of our natural well being.

The workshop is part of «Coded Bodies» workshop series by Giulia Tomasello, designed to learn basics of Arduino coding, soft wearables and the exploration of biological textiles. Students will be introduced to the world of wearable technology, sustainable fashion and speculative design. While approaching traditional textile techniques combined with technology and smart materials, students will explore the potential of bacteria dye and bio-yarns for textile futures. Coded bodies will expose students to new methods for making sensory surfaces, for wearable technology that trigger sound or light, that can detect and monitor health data, to create tools that measure and connect soft electronic textiles to hard components, allowing to print sensors with the different properties of conductive ink. At the end of the workshop, students will be able to identify state-of-the-art smart textiles and wearable technology applications, understand how to make e-textile circuits and know what materials and equipment required.

Students will critically engage with the processes and methods of making/production. This includes aspects of materials, tools and models of practice. Learning the basics of electronics, Arduino coding, making and programming electronic sensors, developing speculative concepts and prototyping physical soft objects. Working in groups, students will develop a creative body of visual research, including tactile inspirations and physical samples, document and record all the experiments and processes to finally produce a working prototype and its social context.

During the final presentation, every team will exhibit their final working prototype with visual and tactile documentation that will explain the context. It is specifically requested the delivery of a physical wearable object, a video and experiments/samples.

Led by Giulia Tomasello, the workshop is a cooperation project between Masterstudio Design, the FHNW School of Life Sciences and the House of Electronic Arts Basel.
Giulia is a designer innovating in women’s healthcare combining biotechnology and interactive wearables. She is the winner of Re-FREAM and STARTS Prize both awarded from EU Horizon 2020 for her projects Alma and Future Flora. By designing alternative scenarios and acting as creative thinker, Giulia questions our notions of wellbeing to develop innovative tools in the intersection of medical and social sciences. She is currently visiting lecturer at the Politecnico di Milano.

Overview workshop weeks