13 March 2018: Heather’s Lecture @BioClub, Shibuya

After fantastic workshop on previous day, Heather Barnett from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London also gave lecture at BioClub Tokyo. Heather talked about her work with intelligent organisms, from slime molds to humans, and about knowledge creation across transdisciplinary, and also did mini-workshop after presentation.

Introducing Heather Barnett.  Photo © Nohara Lab 2018
BioClub Weekly lecture, 13 March 2018 at FabCafe 10F Tokyo.  Photo © Nohara Lab 2018

Biotechnology Wearable Cafe 3

The final workshop is creative thinking at the aquarium with Heather Burnett!

Date: Friday, 23 March 2020
Time: 15:00
Place: AQUA PARK Shinagawa (gathering place: in front of ticket gate of O-Okayama station)

※Transportation expenses and aquarium admission ticket (2,200 yen), each to pay your own fare.

ALL welcome! If you could join, please let us know by Thursday.

Inquiry: Deep Mode Secretariat


最終回はヘザー・バーネット氏と水族館でcreative thinking!






Deep Mode事務局

12 March 2018: Art and Science Cafe by Heather Barnett “Many Headed: co-creating with the collective” @Hikarie, Shibuya

On May 12th, 2018, Art and Science Cafe “Many Headed: co-creating with the collective” was held with at the Shibuya Hikarie by the facilitation of Dr. Heather Barnett from University of the Arts London Central Sains Martins.

Heather Barnett’s presentation.  Photo © Shibuya Hikarie 8 2018

This event explored living systems from an art perspective, and used these ideas to think creatively about the possibilities of what Wearables could be, how they could function and be worn. As an exercise in thinking through making this event was spurred by a thought experiment: playing with randomly selected variables to generate ideas. From lists of ‘biological systems’, ‘communication devices’ and ‘parts of the body’, a roll of the dice decided which items were selected, provoking imaginative and creative speculations for the wearables of the near future.

Group Works and Presentation.  Photo © Nohara Lab 2018

Following the lecture by Heather, the participants were divided into groups and each group gave a presentation. As the participant, Suwa Aoi from the University of Arts accounted, Bioart was interesting for her to think about who was the subject that carried out the role of expressing and communicating. Another member also shared that there was similarity between the movement of the fungi and that of the society and finance.

Started from Heather’s practices and design, the discussions developed and encompassed a reconsideration of the larger structure of the society, animism, body, urban space, and biotechnology. This stimulating event called for further thinking of those taken for granted in our daily life.

Event Reflection

(by Aoi Suwa, Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Painting)

In this Art and Science Cafe “Many Headed: co-creating with the collective”, the participants were invited to appreciate Dr. Heather Barnett’s artistic approach to slime molds, and expands the discussion about what it means for humans and other organisms to coexist, what is “life”, and what kind of symbiosis could be realized in the mega city of “Tokyo”.

The event outline was a lecture by Dr. Heather and brief discussion with the members at venue, followed with workshop and discussion in groups divided by specialties. In the introductory lecture, Dr. Heather explained about what slime molds are and her past works. She shared the finding of how community could be observed from the structure of real organisms, and raised the possibility of how they might be greatly useful for our human society.

I also watched Dr. Heather’s video on TED, so I was very excited to listen her lecture in live. At that time, she asked one question: “How can a biological system such as slime mold can be useful for your work (life)?”. For me who was in the fine art field, I found this question surprisingly difficult. Even if there are various possibilities for applying biological systems to design field, when considering about how to express them, I feel like the slime molds are already too attractive by themselves, or rather already completed beings with no need for further value addition. Even if we were to present slime molds as themselves, do we really need an artist there? Can we call the presenter as artist?–and so on–many questions that cannot be easily answered began to emerge.

I honestly talked about them with my fellow friends from art field and they immediately sympathized with them. When I think about bio-art and about who the artist is, I feel that when the living thing or biological system is in the medium, they do not just function as medium but also serve as the expression. In such case, I feel like the one who do the expression in a true sense is not the human who set the situation but the inhuman being instead.

When being confronted in such position, I think there are various ways in which our human expressions can become more advanced without just leave them to non-human beings. However, they are more likely to be the clues to the reality that can be felt through the human body, and I believe it is a grand question that can only be answered by steady exploration. Since it leads to the phenomenon and problem representation of my graduation thesis work, I would like to continue thinking about it.

Next, one person from the same table group showed us video of similar creatures and talked about the structure of electronic money called blockchain. Certainly, the reason why the movement of slime molds feel similar to the movement of sociology and finance is probably because the predation and economic activities are related to the instinctive profits and losses of living things, and I felt the reality there. I also thought that the biological system of slime molds is indeed a community,and it has high affinity image with social community that has similar structure.

After that, each group briefly present the content of discussion and Dr. Heather summarized it. After a short break, Dr. Heather showed some practical activities through videos. The content of the video focused on how humans can think of a community system just like slime molds, and how people become “slime molds” by performing movements inside certain space (probably a maze), with holding hands together and eyes closed. I felt a very strong sociological point of view from there. Dr. Heather presentation made me to think about the “how to coexist” message and obtained many hints for overcoming what is going to happen on this earth from now on.

Also, just like when I heard about it during lecture from Prof. Betty Marenko of CSM University of the Arts London who came to Tokyo Tech, the word of “animism” was repeatedly used as a keyword. It left strong impression and started to connect together in my head. It is probably because while it is a fresh way of thinking, it also felt familiar. When I think about where the familiarity comes from, I feel they are very much like Eastern ideas. In a sense, it may feel novel that the ideas that have been taken for granted as an Eastern view are being spoken in Western languages. I felt the strength of the ideological structure, which seems to be based on logic even under such uncertainty that has never been seen before.

Furthermore, such feelings will be further enhanced in the workshops that followed. After the lecture, we were divided into groups of somewhat equal numbers of person from art field, science field, and other professionals, and we began new work. First of all, we were asked to list 6 for each “biological system”, “communication means”, and “part of body”. After listing, Dr. Heather rolled three-colored dices. We were instructed to discuss and think about ideas in groups using the words with the numbers corresponding to the dice rolls.

My group was designated as “biological system: fingerprint”, “communication means: Morse code”, and “part of body: eyes”. Various voice of confusions came from each group, but I personally think that the topics our group obtained was relatively easy to be thought about.

From the argument that Morse code does not necessarily have to be digital, it progressed to the talk that even fingerprints do not have to be so-called fingerprint authentication. With further advice from Dr. Heather about how to convey the focus of the story and to whom, we managed to deepen the basic story. I also talked about the fact that art works are exactly the same, and that theaters are a typical example of such system. 

I talked about how in theater, the performers on the stage also express and communicate with the other performers on the stage, and that there is a composition where many people see that limited situation.I tried to connect it with that even when a specific person communicates with a specific person using some kind of fingerprint, it is possible that the majority of other people can also see it. We were able to deepen the discussion on it, bur Dr. Heather rolled the dice for the second time around that, and since it also seemed to be interesting, the discussion moved to the second combination.

This time, we got “Biological system: Authentication”, “Communication means: Carrier pigeon”, and “Part of body: Claws”. This time, it was not a bad combination, but I think that a word that can’t be ignored: ‘carrier pigeon’ would be the center of theme. In a sense, the discussion spread to the opposite vector from previously, and we started to bring the discussion direction to what about attaching GPS to the claws of the carrier pigeon so that it can be tracked. I feel it’s like a dream to be able to combine modern technology with mechanism that was once commonly used. Further discussions evolved into the possibility that the pigeon trajectory data obtained by the GPS could be used for something else. At that point, I felt that the trajectory that the pigeon showed was already a message, and it was not necessary to carry some conventional documents. When I proposed it, some people in the group sympathized with it so we concluded the discussion to that direction.

The beginning lecture about slime molds by Dr. Heather was also a stimulus, and it became a talk that if slime molds draw a two-dimensional world, then the trajectory drawn by pigeon will be three-dimensional, and it was very exciting discussion. During the presentation, we presented those ideas as pigeons that do not carrying things, but instead use the location information as media art works. While talking and considering about what is required for this time theme, after thinking about it again, it might be better to put at the core of the message that the invisible shape of the city could be highlighted by flying pigeons around Tokyo.

Other groups also presented about very unique ideas, such as signal that can express emotions with color, nail pet that can visualize and keep invisible bacteria on the nails, and educational ideas that allow us to think of a city as an intestine and learn about the properties of oil and water in it.

I originally thought that these kind of group works tend to end up become things that unrealistic, or conversely, too realistic in the common case. But, Dr. Heather’s skillful gimmicks has enabled the certain amount of absurdity and the logic part that can be derived from it being mixed very well. I felt the exquisite balance that I have felt since the beginning of the lecture, and I could enjoy it like a game while also easily have the logic in the output of ideas.

I wondered if Dr. Heather’s works were also born in this kind of way. It was a very exciting group work where I was able to witness a piece of Dr. Heather’s style of design-thinking. I am really honored to be able to participate in a project that could bring a feeling of thinking like this.

I become very interested in the future projects of the professors, and was very looking forward to participate since the content is closely related to what I have been thinking for my art production. Thank you Dr. Heather, Prof. Nohara, and everyone involved for this wonderful opportunity!

Aoi Suwa, Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Painting

渋谷ヒカリエ8F COURT.  Photo © Nohara Lab 2018


ヘザー・バーネット先生によるイベント体験記録/渋谷ヒカリエ8F COURTにて

3月12日、東工大「生命体テクノロジーウェアラブルカフェ」の一環である、ヘザー・バーネット先生によるワークショップイベント「Many Headed: co-creating with the collective」が渋谷ヒカリエ8Fにて開催されました。



Photo © Nohara Lab 2018














Photo © Nohara Lab 2018





レポート: 東京芸術大学絵画科油画専攻4年 諏訪葵

Biotechnology Wearable Cafe 2

Biotechnology Wearable Cafe 1 at Shibuya Hikarie on March 12 was a great success! (25 attendees)
Next, a post science cafe discussion will be held to explore the topic further in an informal setting.

ALL welcome! No registration required!

Date: Monday, 19 March 2020
Time: 15:00 – 19:00
Place: Tokyo Institute of Technology, South 5 Building, 407A (Workshop Room)

Inquiry: Deep Mode Secretariat

ポストサイエンス&アート Cafe ディスカッション

東工大にて「ポストScience Cafe」を行うこととなりました。

場所:東京工業大学南5号館407A (ワークショップルーム)





Deep Mode事務局

27 Feb-3 March 2018: Visa x Sony Bank Design School Workshop in collaborated with Concept Designing

We held a joint workshop with Musashino Art University and credit company Visa Worldwide Japan Co., Ltd. as an industry-academia collaboration project. We have held seven joint We have held seven joint workshops with Musashino Art University, but this is the first workshop sponsored by a company.

  • To create relevancy and cultural saliency for a form factor that has not changed in decades
  • To introduce into the marketplace delightful payment experiences that engage consumers of all ages in a meaningful way
  • To discover new opportunities and key insights for clients
  • To position Visa as a forward-looking and innovative brand
Event Details:
  • Sponsor: Visa & Sony Bank
  • Partner Universities: Musashino Art University (MAU) & Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)
  • Date: February 27, 2018  – March 3, 2018 (5 days)
  • Time: 12: 30-18: 30
  • Venue: Musashino Art University Takanodai Campus
  • Number of participants: 21 from MAU, 9 from Tokyo Tech
  • Contents: Group work of members from both universities on given topic by Visa to make proposals that can make use each member’s expertise.
  • Format: Pitch scenario where 30 3rd and 4th-year students worked in 6 groups of 5 to develop concepts for contactless form factors for Visa Debit. At the end of the workshop, the students presented their concepts to a panel comprising representatives from all partners.
Workshop Output;
  • Pitch deliverables
  • Insights on how millennial transact and interact with debit products now, their needs and opportunities
  • Concepts for new debit form factors and features
  • Visualizations, including prototypes
  • Consumer experience journeys and use cases
  • Visa will own the rights to all concepts generated
  • Sony Bank will enjoy a first right of refusal to commercialize the winning concept for a Visa product on a non-exclusive basis

Event Overview & Documentation

Main theme: “PAYMENT”
How should payment services (payment methods) change in 3 to 10 years? Consider how payment devices and payment environments should evolve in order to provide stress-free payment services (payment means) in daily life.

Sub-theme: “How will your daily life become more comfortable with your Visa debit card?”
20-35 years old (male / female)


  • Visa unveiled design challenge theme: “PAYMENT”
  • Briefing by Visa: Visa’s innovations
  • Brainstorming for developing initial concepts


  • Brainstorming and developing ideas
  • Sharing initial concepts for review


Fine-tuning and turning concepts to concrete work


Preparing for group presentation


  • Group presentation
  • Feedback and comments from Visa, Sony and faculties
  • Awards presentation

(Photos © TiTech 2018)

クレジット会社 Visa・ワールドワイド・ジャパン(株)との産学連携事業として、武蔵野美術大学と合同ワークショップを開催しました。武蔵野美術大学とはこれまで7回合同ワークショップを開催していますが、企業協賛によるワークショップは今回が初めてです。


  • 内容:Visa社から出されたテーマに基づき、武蔵野美術大学生との混合編成グループにより、相互の専門性を生かした企画提案を行う。
  • 日程:2018年2月27日(火)から3月3日(土)の5日間
  • 場所:武蔵野美術大学鷹の台キャンパス
  • 参加人数:武蔵野美術大学21名 東工大9名

【メインテーマ】    決済   
✔ Visaデビットカードを使うことで、日常生活は、いかに今よりいかに快適になるのか。

1日目 講義:デザイン理論、コミュニケーション メディア思考
2日目 グループディスカッション、ブレスト
3日目 テーマからコンセプトへ 中間発表  作成開始
4日目 造形物作成完成、最終プレゼン準備
5日目 最終プレゼン 講評 授賞式

Biotechnology Wearable Cafe 1: “Many Headed: co-creating with the collective”

For the 3rd series of “Tokyo Tech Transdisciplinary Technology Theory”, Heather Barnett from Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London will be invited for casual lecture and free discussion at Shibuya Hikarie 8/Court, Tokyo.

Biotechnology Wearable Cafe 1:
“Many Headed: co-creating with the collective”

Admire the original slime fungal art with Mr. Heather Burnett of the University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins. From there, we will discuss what it means for humans and other organisms to coexist, what “life” is, and what kind of symbiosis can be considered in the mega city “Tokyo” in the form of a science cafe.

Event Information:

Date: Monday, March 12, 2018
Time:15:00 – 18:00
Opening time: 14:30
Venue: Shibuya Hikarie 8 / COURT
Facilitator: Professor Kayoko Nohara (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Guest speaker: Heather Barnett (Tokyo Institute of Technology Invited Professor & Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London Faculty Staff)

  • Simultaneous interpretation available
  • Free of charge
  • Advance registration required

More information here.

Registration & inquiry: Deep Mode Secretariat

『 東京工業大学融合技術論』シリーズ第三回 ロンドン芸術大学からHeather Barnett氏を招き、渋谷ヒカリエ8/COURTでカジュアルに、講義とフリーディスカッションを行います。

生命体テクノロジーウェアラブル カフェ 1
Many Headed: co-creating with the collective


会 期 2018年3月12日(月)
時 間 15:00–18:00
開場時間 14:30
場 所 渋谷ヒカリエ 8/COURT
ファシリテーター:野原佳代子 教授 (東京工業大学)
ゲストスピーカー : Heather Barnett 氏
(東工大特任教授・ロンドン芸術大学 セントラル・ セント・マーティンズ校)

料 金 無料
事前申込 要


Deep Mode事務局

March 2018: Heather Barnett the Artist Arrived from CSM!

Heather Barnett from CSM.  Photo © The Experiment Symposium/TiTech 2017

In 2017, we invited three faculties from University of Arts London, Central Saint Martins and started collaboration between science and

technology and art/design. The last but not least is Heather Barnett, a slime mold specialist who came to Japan at the joint symposium “The Experiment”.

Very welcome to Nohara Lab and Deep Mode, Heather!

2018年度はCSMから3名の先生を招聘し、科学技術とアート/デザインのコラボレーションを開始しました。ラスト3人目は、合同シンポジウム「科学・アート・デザインの実験  The Experiment」でも来日してくれた、粘菌スペシャリストのヘザー・バーネット。ようこそ野原研へ、DeepModeへ

24 Feb 2018: Dr Betti Marenko’s Café Philosophique @TokyoTech

Dr. Betti Marenko’s Philosophy Cafe was held!

Previously at Life Science Fashion Studio PJ (Arts Council Tokyo), we were thinking about “What are people wearing in Tokyo 10 years from now?”. But this time, at Dr. Betti’s Philosophy Cafe, we discussed about “In the first place, what is Tokyo?” 

Japanese, foreigners, those who are living in Tokyo, those who come from rural areas… the meaning of “Tokyo” is different for each person. A place where tradition and modernity coexist, a chaotic fusion of west and east, and elusive space… a bizarre deviation and discomfort seems to exist between image from the outside and reality inside. Betti analogizes it as “Kaleidoscope”: an infinitely changing composition that you cannot be fully grasped even if we reach it out.

The discussion was continued with the focus of “something” important that we should not forget, that we are trying to express as future wearable.

Betti Marenko and her café philosophique. Photo © Nohara Lab 2018

2018年2月24日 2018 @南5号館407Aワークショップルームにて


日本人、外国人、東京在住、地方出身… それぞれにとって「東京」の意味は違う。伝統と現代が共存する場所、西と東の混沌たる融合、つかみどころのない空間。芯があるようでいて、ないようでもある。外から与えられるイメージと、現実との奇妙な乖離、違和感。ベティはそれを「カレイドスコープ」にたとえます。手を伸ばしてもつかめない、無限に変わり続ける構図。

その中心には力の抜けた無 “void”があることを忘れてはならない、と津田さんが発言。混沌たる実体をつきつめてゆくと、いつしか無にたどりつく。それをどこかで意識し矛盾として抱えながら、人々は東京で生きている。私たちが未来を想定しウェアラブルで表現したい何か、忘れてはならない何かは、そのあたりに潜んではいないでしょうか。