With 38 participants hailing from 18 different countries, the City Move Interdesign Workshop attracted a wide variety of designers, architects, consultants, academics and artists from all stamps. A first introduction to the work of Gavin Baxter, Dia Batal, Tony Fry, Nikola Uzunovski, Aleksander Petrov and Lance Rake.
Gavin Baxter (Canada) was between 2006 and 2007 a student of the Institute Without Boundaries, which was founded in 2003 by George Brown College and Bruce Mau Design. There he was involved with the Institute’s World House Project which was about creating a global system of housing that focuses on sustainability and universal design, specifically by incorporating locally available materials and responding to local peoples’ needs. This led in 2007 to his involvement in the The World House Interdesign 2007, an international conference being hosted by George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries in partnership with the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid), the Harbinger Foundation and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (The full report on the outcome of this workshop can be downloaded as pdf).
Dia Batal (Jordan, originally Palestine) obtained her BA in Interior Architecture from the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon, and recently completed her MA in Design (Critical Practice) at Goldsmiths College in London. In “Dia Batal’s Design World” she gives a short introduction to her contemporary work, influences and background.
Tony Fry (Australia) is Adjunct Professor to Griffith University, Queensland College of Art where since July 2008 he runs the new Design Futures Masters Program. At the same he is the director of Team D/E/S a company created to offer strategic design for sustainments:
A sustainment is something that has been designed to advance society’s ability to sustain the conditions of interdependence upon which the future depends. A sustainment might be a product, a policy, a work practice, a building or a built environment, or even a new industry. A sustainment is an incremental action taken now towards enhancing society’s ability to sustain itself and that with which it interacts and upon which it depends — including the relations between the natural and the artificial; the material and the immaterial; the economic and the cultural. ‘Sustainment’ is a concept alert to, and directive of, change and process. It is more aware of time than the more familiar idea of ‘sustainable development’.
Nikola Uzunovski (Macedonia
nikolauzunovski.net) brought to the workshop his “My Sunshine”-project*, which will be the official Macedonian entry for the 2009 Venice Art Biennale. His work focuses on the conceptual and experiential analysis of natural and perceptive phenomena, paying great attention to the relationship established between subjects and their environment. The project is nothing less than tantalizing, inspiring and poetic:
I’m researching the possibilities of realising flying structure which will reflect the sunlight in the urban areas around the Arctic circle. (…) The results of the research can later be applied in different fields, like, sustainable architecture, alternative energy sources, aerial transport, etc. What will be visible as an end result will be a copy of the Sun itself, a copy so close it’ll be impossible to deferent it from the real sun.
*updated info: see ‘we make money not art‘ entry (2009/07)
Recently Abitare put focus on his work in an article called “How can a valley without sunshine be sunlit?” and with another participant, Aleksander Petrov (Macedonia), an architect involved with the recently established Studio Kolektiv, he is currently working on his entry for the 2009 Venice Art Biennale.
From a different aviation angle, Lance Rake, Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas, has been for a couple of decades involved in designing commercial and consumer products, transportation interiors, packaging and exhibits for companies around the world like Harley Davidson, IKEA and Polaris. Recently he helped developing the prototype of a flying car; the AirCar. Currently he is involved with leading a company called Infusion Design creatively.
Pictures by movingcities.org