The sense of value towards life has been changing. The change is due to development such as life maintained and gene manipulation by Biotechnology. Life that continue eternally and death naturally with ease. The discussions will cover diverse aspects of life.
Fashion is beyond trend and culture. It is also deeply involved with life. We face challenges to develop fashion that is suitable for working, protects the seniors, children, the disabled, and especially during disasters.
In the near future, Technology, Fashion, and Wearable will inter-connect with one another. We wonder what kind of living city will Tokyo turn into and what we should discuss and consider now.
“In ten years, what do people wear in Tokyo?”
With this simple theme on our mind, we opened an Art and Science Cafe.
Based of value towards life, technology, societal issues, and new materials available, we will deepen the discussions.
We would like to hear voices from engineers, material developers, and YOUR inspirations.
As a citizen, or as a brief visitor, please let us hear your voices. The final ideas and proposals will be shared with Central Saint Martins and released on a website dedicated to this project.
Date & Time: May 3, 2018, 13:00～16:00 Venue: 2F Meeting Room, Kuramae Kaikan, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Free of charge
Application by May 1.
Workshop Project: “Biotechnology Fashion”, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Support Project of 2018 Arts Council Tokyo
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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
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。
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
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.
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?” Target: 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
Feedback and comments from Visa, Sony and faculties
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.
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)
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.
“Methodology of Transdisciplinary Research: Theory and Practice” (TSE.C317) is one of the courses of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering Department, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, which aims to learn about various examples of “fusion” in the creative field and find clues for new industries, businesses, and academic researches. To be more specific, this course explores urban design, fashion, AI, biotechnology and information with case studies and methodology.
Lecture Information Lecturer: Eugene Kangawa Date: November 29, 2017 (Wednesday) Time: 18:30 – 20:00 Location: Shibuya Hikarie COURT Capacity: 20 people (participation limited to the Tokyo Tech students enrolled on the course)
Lecture Summary Half century has passed since the publication of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001 – A Space Odyssey” in 1968, Blade Runner’s original work, and Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. How much things have progressed from the future image that humankind once drew? And in the next half century, how should I/you act? Eugene Kangawa from THE EUGENE Studio, “Deep Mode – expanding fragments for new paradigm” was invited to give keynote lecture of the course. Eugene’s activities span from AI Agency, to automobile research and development, Biotechnology, agriculture, and cities. This lecture aims to explore a vision of the future from integrated technology on various crossing areas.
During the beginning part of his speech, Eugene’s gave exercise using KeyNote to randomly fragment and arrange some keywords. The obtained results were interesting match-up such as “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and agencies”, “Function and Communication”, “Game Engine and the Old Testament”, “Objects and the whole”, and “Multiple Fields and Paranoia”. The purpose of this exercise was not to sympathize with the floating arguments on the surface, but rather to understand them intersection systematically.
Eugene’s remarks was as follow: instead of looking at technology in general, we should look at the contents in detail as well. Instead of causing huge innovation, it should be building the “world” from the relationships of the series of detailed technological process. Also, while crossing specific disciplines, the discussion should be gradually abstracted by itself.
Eugene then moved on the specific discussions of the previous obtained keywords. The lecture ended with vibrant Q&A during which Eugene expressed his positive exception of the future of creative AI.
(Summarized from TSUDA Hiroshi’s report in Japanese)
A kick-off joint symposium between Tokyo Institute of Technology and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, on “The Experiment” was held in Shibya Hikarie, Tokyo.
The symposium was a great success with interesting talks given by the keynote speakers included Akira Ikegami (journalist), Katsuhiko Hibino (artist) from Tokyo, and Jeremy Till (architect) from Central Saint Martins. The speakers shared their daily “experiments” and the cultures.
This five-hour event attracted more than 300 audiences and media report from The Science News. It was a scramble of communication between art and science, right emerged in Shibuya.
Full report (in Japanese) was also posted on Tokyo Tech main website.
May 27th, 2017, 13.00-18.00 at Hikarie Hall (Hall B), Shibuya Hikarie
Tokyo Tech and University of the Arts London Central Saint Martins (CSM) joint symposium “The Experiment” was held.
Session 1, “Design and Industry”, was attended by architect Keisuke Toyoda, up-and-coming fashion designer Yoshikazu Yamagata, and Prof. Carol Colette of CSM, who devises textiles using mycelium. Prof. Colette shared her own view, “A hypothesis is needed to clarify the criteria for success. When the results are published and begin to influence society, design poses a problem to society.” During Mr. Toyoda presentation, the venue was surprised and impressed by his idea of “moving and communicating with the city” for architecture that tends to be only seen as something static.
Session 2 theme is “Art and Science/Technology”. Prof. Emeritus Shigeo Hirose of Tokyo Tech–known for his snake-shaped robots, Dean Heather Barnett of CSM–artist who collaborates with quasi-intelligent slime bacteria, Prof. Katsuhiko Hibino of Tokyo University of Arts–who develops installations and art education that makes the most of regional characteristics, took the stage to discuss how to deal with experiments. “Experiments are the bases of creativity,” said Dean Burnett, while Prof. Emeritus Hirose said, “Experiments connect theory and reality. Experiments can understand things that cannot be understood by thinking, and give a new perspective.”
In the final keynote session, Prof. Ikegami appeared as moderator and lead the discussion to reexamine what “experiment” is. University President Till’s words: “Art design not only creates beautiful and sophisticated things, but also has the power to change politics and economy through our involvement with society,” was impressive. In addition several members from Tokyo Tech also took the stage: Assoc. Prof. Asa Ito of the Institute for Liberal Arts, who specializes in contemporary art; Prof. Akihiko Kohase of the Department of Computer Science, School of Computing, who specializes in molecular robots; Prof. Kayoko Nohara of the Department of Transdisciplinay Science and Engineering, School of Environment and Society, who specializes in linguistics and translation studies and serves as the leader of the symposium planning team. Many visitors sympathized with Assoc. Prof. Ito’s remarks: “Visually impaired people grasp the state of the city with the wind they feel on their cheeks. Sometimes they notice it because it is different from the standard.” Prof. Kohase stated: “Molecular robots that can be artificially controlled using microtubules in living organisms may be useful for cancer treatment in the future.”
At the conclusion, Prof. Nohara said, “In cross-disciplinary communication just like this time, there is always exist a gap of understanding the meaning due to different cultural background of each language, but that also what makes it interesting. Translation is to change the expression and adjust the content depending on the other party, and this discussion is a kind of experiment,” and suggested that new field of study may be born from that ‘gap’.
Each “experiment” has different position and perspective. There is also an approach that does not take the position of “experiment”, and this was an opportunity to get a glimpse of the way cutting through various fields that centered on “experiment” and discover the differences and commonalities between each other. Summarizing the whole discussion as “a social experiment with great potential,” Prof. Ikegami remarks concluded the symposium.
With total of more than 300 attendant and received great deal of attention by also getting introduced in the “Science Newspaper”, this event was a new communication scramble.