November 27 - November 27 2018

Lecture Series: "The Joy of Not Knowing : With Active Materials", Karmen Franinovic

From 6.15 pm until 7.45 pm, followed by aperitif
FHNW Academy of Art and Design
Campus of the Arts, Freilager-Platz 1, CH-4002 Basel
Building D (Tower)
Studiokino / ground floor
Free entry

How can we enable flows of matter and thought that escape 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 labeled
“smart”, have been developed for purposes of efficiency and functionality. At
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 in the 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 approaches beyond
living and non-living dichotomies. We take active material processes outside
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 the 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 intertwine with them in unexpected ways.

Karmen Franinovic is a 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. Focusing on
non-verbal and spatial interaction, she has 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, a Master’s
from the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and a PhD 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 previous research proposed a novel enactive approach
to urban and sonic interaction, which she is currently extending to her work with
active materials.