Design, Science, Science and Society, etc.

DeSForM - The most inspiring thing I’ve seen in years

I am a very lucky girl.  Last week, I managed to drag myself from my Lair of Sickness to attend the now-annual 2012 DeSForM (Design Semantics of Form and Meaning) conference.

Phillip Beesley Holozoic Series: Vesica (premiering worldwide at the City Gallery)
Phillip Beesley Holozoic Series: Vesica (premiering worldwide at the City Gallery)

And what a treat it was, if nothing else remining me of how much I’d like to retrain in this space some day(a dream of mine since attending the R.C.A. Design Interactions graduate show in a London park in 2009).

The conference, held in Wellington this year*, took place over three days.  Days one and two were the academic portion, in which academics and artists presented their papers.

Day 3, to which I got to go (thanks to Mohawk Media!) was the ‘professional programme and panel discussions’ part of the conference, in which a number of speakers gave 20 minute talks, as well as discussions and panel chats, about their experience in industry. The day was split into six parts: Interaction Design, Transmedia, Technology and Entertainment, Immersive Environments, Culture Jamming, Fabricating Futures and a number of panel discussions which included not only the ‘professionals’ in industry, but also the artists and academics, including Beesley himself**!

There was far too much for me to adequately share in a blog post, so I’ll o this instead:

I made a Storify story of Day 3.  You can also see Storify stories for Day 1 and Day 2, courtesy of the wonderful @vickytnz (behind whom I was sitting, and who made me realise how badly I need a much faster computer for this sort of thing).  And yep, she also made Storify stories for Neil Leach, Day 3 and the Day 3 panels, too!

Keep your ears peeled for an upcoming g33kshow broadcast about DeSForM, and there will also be videos of the panel discussions posted in the near future, too.  So watch this space!

Things to go and see

The City Gallery is hosting a related exhibition for the next 3 weeks, showcasing the work (amongst others) of experimental architect Phillip Beesley.  In fact, Beesley is exhibiting the premier of his Holozoic Series: Vesica. You NEED to see/experience/touch/interact with/be entranced by this

The foyer of VUW Design School on Vivian Street is bursting with a number of exhibits exploring the themes talked about at DeSForM. From interactive computer programs like Threaded, to 3d, lit printouts of brain waves, from steampunk tamagotchies to explorations of the space between nature and artificial construction, this is also something to go and have a look at over the next 6 weeks.


* And Wuxi, China in 2013!

** Who is wonderful to hear speak.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he is synaesthetic, given the way he clearly tastes and savours his words as he uses them :)