The global pandemic has forever changed how we work, learn and play, making virtual communication the primary form of human interaction. Here and There is a new digital pedagogy that enables students to create networked physical interfaces with limited material resources and tools, while being away and stripped from a traditional in-person studio and workshop setting.
Initiated during a week-long workshop in Cambridge (USA) in March 2020, it brought together students in Bachelor Media & Interaction Design from ECAL and students from MIT’s Undergraduate Design Minor and Bachelor of Science in Art and Design programs. During the 2020 spring quarantine, a series of open source software and hardware tools were developed to allow students to build electronic objects from simple and readily available materials. These objects were then dynamically routed and connected to each other to physically augment video chatting and to allow students to extend their virtual reach into each other's tangible spaces.
For the first phase of this project, students had to imagine, design and implement two interfaces, whose design and behavior allowed and suggested a new form of communication between two people, in two separate places. Notions of remote presence, simultaneous actions, shared experience and telepresence were explored, fundamentally expanding the ways through which we interact and communicate.
Open to other academic institutions and the public at large, we plan to continue improving the software routing interface, the techniques for documentation and sharing prototypes, as well as the remote interfaces that we hope will help foster a more human and connected post-pandemic world.
Pauline Saglio, Head BA Media and Interaction Design, ECAL
Gael Hugo, Interaction Designer, Associate Professor, ECAL
Marcelo Coelho, Lecturer, MIT Department of Architecture & Head of Design, Formlabs
Pierry Jaquillard, Ous Abou Ras, Benjamin Hoyle, Thaddeus Lee, David Allen White
Ivan Chestopaloff, Basil Dénéréaz, Nora Fatehi, Paul Fritz, Sébastien Galera Larios, Rayane Jemaa, Dorian Jovanovic, Lisa Kishtoo, Valentine Leimgruber, Valério Meschi, Ignacio Pérez, Michael Pica, David Reitenbach, Malik Sobgoui
Violetta Jusiega, Nikodimos Sendek, Leslie Yan, Katie Bacher, Justin Christensen, Ailing Zhang, Hassaam Ali, Teis Jorgensen, Chenlu Wang
Hub prototyping and development:
Alain Bellet, Gaël Hugo
Web design & development:
Pietro Alberti, Clio Hadjigeorgiou, Pierry Jaquillard, Sébastien Matos
Skylar Tibbits, Associate Professor in Design Research and Design Program Director, MIT Department of Architecture
Cécile Vulliemin, Strategic Partnerships - R&D, ECAL
Hosted at the MIT International Design Center; supported by the General Board of Higher Education State of Vaud and its Summer University program.
Soft robotics is a specific category of robotics that aims to create robots from compliant materials like gels, fluids, elastomers, etc. matching the properties of biological tissue and organs in terms of flexibility and adaptability. These technologies are already employed for accomplishing tasks e.g. in the manufacturing industry to develop gripping tools which present the advantage to increase safety around human presence. During a week-long workshop at MIT, the 2nd year students of the Master Product Design were tasked to explore potential product applications and develop functional “robots” based on the principles of soft robotics.
Camille Blin, head of MA Product Design, ECAL;
Christophe Guberan, product designer, guest lecturer, ECAL and MIT;
Skylar Tibbits, Associate Professor in Design Research, MIT Department of Architecture
Johannes Valentin Breuer, Pablo Dorigo, Nikola Gaytandjiev, Céverine Girard, Matias Görlitz, Fritz Gräber, Xinyi Jiang, Luisa Kahlfeldt, Pavle Vanja Konakovic, Napat Pongpanatnukul, Vittorio Solleciti, Lei Tuo, William Verity, Yoon Illseop
Maxime Augay, Anthony Guex
Hosted at the MIT International Design Center; supported by the General Board of Higher Education State of Vaud through its Summer University program and swissnex Boston.
Exhibition on November 8, 2019 at ECAL in the framework of ECAL Research Day "Technology and Research in Art & Design".
Skylar Tibbits is the founder of the Self-Assembly Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which focuses on self-assembly and programmable material technologies for novel manufacturing, products and construction processes. He is also Associate Professor of Design Research in the MIT Department of Architecture.
He has designed and built large-scale installations as well as exhibited in galleries around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum in NY. His work has been published extensively, for example in Wired and Fast Company. He is the co-editor of the book Being Material (MIT Press, 2019) and Editor-In-Chief of the journal 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.
In collaboration with the MIT Department of Architecture and its Design Minor/Design Major program