Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Connectome construction of a patient with a tumor in the speech-eloquent area of the brain. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja & Image Guidance Lab, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, adapted by Matters of Activity
Connectome construction of a patient with a tumor in the speech-eloquent area of the brain. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja & Image Guidance Lab, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, adapted by Matters of Activity

Editorial Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

In this issue we want to talk about the opportunities and challenges of online teaching and promote interesting events, as usual. Today, we would also like you to take a closer look into the project »Cutting«. Towards the end of this issue, you will find some interesting job opportunities at »Matters of Activity« and beyond.

Happy reading and kind regards,
Antje Nestler, Eva Schmidt and Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund*innen von »Matters of Activity«,

in dieser Ausgabe wollen wir über die Chancen und Herausforderungen des Online-Unterrichts sprechen und natürlich, wie immer, auf spannende Veranstaltungen hinweisen. Außerdem möchten wir Sie dazu einladen, mehr über das Projekt »Cutting« zu erfahren. In der heutigen CZ# finden Sie ebenso exzellente Karriere-Chancen innerhalb und außerhalb von »Matters of Activity«.

Viel Spaß beim Lesen und herzliche Grüße
Antje Nestler, Eva Schmidt und Franziska Wegener

Open Design – Academic Encounters Online
Open Design – Academic Encounters Online. Copyright: Matters of Activity
Open Design – Academic Encounters Online. Copyright: Matters of Activity

Master Open Design Announcing the suspension of → Open Design for the summer term 2020 was a very difficult decision. We were all super excited to start the program with a fantastically diverse group of 19 international students from 15 different countries that already had arrived or were about to arrive to Argentina and 13 Argentinean students waiting in Buenos Aires for the program to start in two weeks' time. But with universities and international borders closing, travel authorizations for lectures being withdrawn, flights cancelled and people around the world confined to their homes, it became clear that we wouldn't be able to start face-to-face considering first of all the safety and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff.

But this crisis has also highlighted once more that global challenges and complex problems cannot be solved individually. Hence, we decided not only to suffer the restrictions and negative impacts of the current situation, but instead start to build the Open Design community and establish collaborative structures with the students.

On May 14th, 2020 we launched »Open Design – Academic Encounters Online«. In this first of upcoming monthly sessions and hopefully even a more intensive format towards October, we wanted to demonstrate how Open Design operates and take the current situation as an object of research. The two program directors → Prof. Wolfgang Schäffner and Prof. Arq. Rodrigo Martin Iglesias talked on the topics of masks and confinement, followed by a discussion and exchange of experiences with the participants. While Prof. Schäffner discussed different uses and types of face masks, cultural differences and the shift from an individual artifact towards a populational object, Prof. Martin Iglesias talked about different notions of confinement in the historical and present-day context of disease, social/economic inequality and social security. Furthermore, he addressed aspects of circulation and mobility and regional variations in terms of containment strategies and reactions based on spatial structures.

The current crisis has accelerated the implementation and acceptance of remote teaching and learning and many programs have moved completely online. Besides the challenges of adapting the curriculum and ensuring reliable access for all stakeholders involved, we still think that one of the central aspects of Open Design, however, is the student and staff mobility that offers invaluable exposure to different disciplinary and educational approaches that depend on physical presence and active engagement. Nevertheless, Academic Encounters Online aims to establish virtual mobility as an added collaborative space. These upcoming encounters are open for participation and voluntary engagement. If you would like to contribute to an online discussion within the context of Open Design, give a presentation, facilitate an activity or get involved in any other way, please feel invited to reach out to: info.master-open-design@hu-berlin.de.

New Project Website »Cutting«
Fiber tractography delineating the white matter of the brain. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja, adapted by NODE Berlin Oslo.
Fiber tractography delineating the white matter of the brain. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja, adapted by NODE Berlin Oslo.

Cutting Again we would like to make you aware of some new interesting material on our website. Today, we would like to invite you to take a closer look into the project »Cutting« and their brand new project website. We hope you enjoy learning more about the project.

Cutting is one of the oldest cultural practices. It is a fundamental way for human beings to enter into correspondence with materials. With these specific gestures and tools, people alter and reshape material boundaries and intertwine different entities. Those activities span across wide forms of tacit knowledge, from ancient craftsmanship to current high-tech procedures. In the domain of art, the cutting of text, music or film material produces new compositions that can provoke new insights. Similarly, in the domain of medicine, surgeons cut the body to understand and to heal it. Embedded in the way we think, write and speak, the act of cutting is ubiquitous: it means distinguishing and choosing between ›good‹ and ›bad‹ in a multitude of symbolic ways. A key component in cultural techniques, cutting is located at the interface between analog and digital technologies. Selecting this operation as a starting point opens up new perspectives, interactions and functions, whose limits and possibilities must be understood both practically and theoretically. → more

Encounter with the Digital Twin of our Brain
Article About the Experimental Setting »Adaptive Digital Twin«
Connectome construction of a patient with a tumor in the speech-eloquent area of the brain.<br />
The connection strengths of the white matter are shown as edges with a heat map (dark = weak connection, light = strong connection). The cortical areas of the brain and their size are illustrated as nodes in the form of spheres. Additionally, three orange TMS points are shown (TMS = Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). In this case, the patient
Connectome construction of a patient with a tumor in the speech-eloquent area of the brain.
The connection strengths of the white matter are shown as edges with a heat map (dark = weak connection, light = strong connection). The cortical areas of the brain and their size are illustrated as nodes in the form of spheres. Additionally, three orange TMS points are shown (TMS = Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). In this case, the patient's speech network could be non-invasively disturbed in these areas and mapped accordingly. The visualization of the white matter is based on tractography. The different directions of the white matter can be measured and displayed by means of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja & Image Guidance Lab, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Press At one of the research stations in the soon to be open Humboldt Laboratory, visitors will take a look into the human brain. 3D models of this complex organ are shown as holographic representations and in clinical practice, such visualizations support the preparation of operations.

You will find the detailed article in German ↗ here and more information (in English) on our → MoA Cutting Website.

HU joins DEAL Springer Nature Agreement

Publication On February 26th, 2020 the HU joined the ↗ DEAL Springer Nature Agreement. For the period from 2020 to 2022, full text access to around 1.900 Springer journals is thus still guaranteed.

If you are a correspondent author at the HU, you have also been entitled to publish your articles open access at no additional cost in the journals requiring subscription since January 1st, 2020.
The offer applies to manuscripts published online by Springer between January 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2022.



For publications in Springer Nature Open Access journals, as a correspondent author at Humboldt-Universität you will receive a 20% discount on publication fees from August 1st, 2020. For publications in Nature Open Access journals an internal discount of 5 % can be granted.

HU Authors are encouraged to use this publication option and to refrain from publishing without an open access component at Springer-Verlag. Together with hundreds of other scientific institutions in Germany, which have joined the previous DEAL agreements with the publishers Wiley and Springer, we are thus making an important contribution to unhindered access to knowledge.

Cluster Member Clemens Winkler becomes Jury Member at »Gingko Bioworks –The Organism Company«
Residencies between Creative Disciplines and Synthetic Biology

News | Achievements At »Gingko Bioworks – The Organism Company« designers can spend a three month residency working at the intersection of creative disciplines and synthetic Biology. Through an open call process, they invited designers to submit a design project proposal in response to the theme: »Skin: Designing Biological Interfaces«. Cluster Member and Design Researcher Clemens Winkler was part of the jury. The jury members will now provide mentorship during the residency and interact with the residents on a regular basis. → more

New Members & Roles
Dr.-Ing. Christoph Kinkeldey

Christoph Kinkeldey is a postdoctoral Research Associate in the field of visualization, leveraging knowledge and principles from cartography for interactive visual data analysis and interpretable machine learning. His main research interest is how visual communication of uncertainty can support people to gain a better understanding of complex information. → more

Natalija Miodragović

The Starting point for the interdisciplinary and experimental work of Natalija Miodragović M.A. (SCI-ARCH) are art and space as vehicles for social change. She works in cooperation with artists, scientists and in the field of academic research. The focus of the work is perception and understanding of space, lightweight, flexible, unfoldable and textile structures. Natalija now became Project Leader in »Object Space Agency«. → more

Stassja Mrozinski

As part of the IT-Team, Stassja supports us with hard- and software requirements for our research. She received a BA Honours in Graphic Design and is currently studying European Ethnology and Gender Studies. After working for a number of years as a freelance designer, Stassja has returned to academia to explore transdisciplinary research methodologies in art, science and technology. → more

Prof. Dr. Patricia Ribault

Patricia Ribault will strengthen teaching and research in the Department of Theory and History at school of art and design berlin from the summer semester 2020. The new Cluster Professor for »Performative Design Research« was most recently Junior Professor for History and Theory of Gestaltung at the Institute for Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. → more

Dr. Samo Tomšič

Samo Tomšič studied Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana and received his PhD from the university’s Institute of Philosophy for a thesis entitled »What is Anti-Philosophy?« in 2008. Previously he worked for the Scientific Research Centre at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. From now on Samo will take the Project Leader position in »Symbolic Material«. → more

Critical Zones
ZKM Opens Online Exhibition
Screenshot of the ZKM Website (https://zkm.de/de/ausstellung/2020/05/critical-zones), 11 June 2020.
Screenshot of the ZKM Website (https://zkm.de/de/ausstellung/2020/05/critical-zones), 11 June 2020.

Event | Exhibition We have been informed by some of our members that the following exhibition might be interesting for everyone: For a long time, the earth's reactions to our human actions went unnoticed, but with the protest movement »Fridays for Future« at the latest, the climate crisis has moved into the public consciousness. The thought exhibition »Critical Zones« invites everyone to deal with the critical state of the earth in a variety of ways and to explore new modes of coexistence between all forms of life. The festival was kicked off with a streaming festival on May 22nd, 2020.

You can still enter the online exhibition ↗ here. The ›real, analog‹ exhibition is starting July 24th, 2020 at the ↗ ZKM in Karlsruhe.

Professorship for Digital Neurosurgery
With 100 % Regular Working Time – W2 BBesG-ÜfBE. – Limited for 5 Years

job At the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the position of Professor of Digital Neurosurgery at the Clinic for Neurosurgery with the working area Pediatric Neurosurgery (Director: Prof. Dr. Peter Vajkoczy) located at the CharitéCentrum 15 for Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry is open for applications. He/she will evaluate, support and promote the digital transformation in surgery and related disciplines within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence. → more

Junior Professorship for Digital Surgery and Interdisciplinary Technology Research
With 100 % Regular Working Time – W1 BBesG-ÜfBE. – Limited for 3 Years, Possible Extension for a Further Three Year Period after Evaluation
Extra-Cellular Matrix Liver at Experimental Surgery Lab. Copyright: Igor Sauer
Extra-Cellular Matrix Liver at Experimental Surgery Lab. Copyright: Igor Sauer

job Within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence, he/she will evaluate, support and promote the digital transformation in surgery and related disciplines. In cooperation with the research areas »Cutting« and »Material Form Function«, new surgical cutting techniques are to be investigated and developed, the repertoire of methods expanded and innovations initiated. It is planned to link the content of the project to institutions currently being established, such as »Der simulierte Mensch (Si-M)« and the »Berliner Simulations- und Trainingszentrum (BeST)«. → more

Student Assistant in the Project »Weaving« (m/f/d)
40h per Month, Limited for 24 Months – KSBF/37/20 – Application Deadline 17 June 2020 – Start of Employment: September 2020
Wild Silk Cocoons. Copyright: Michelle Mantel
Wild Silk Cocoons. Copyright: Michelle Mantel

job The project »Weaving« is currently looking for a student assistant in the field of History/ Archive Studies. Follow the link for the announcement in German. → more

Career Opportunity Outside of MoA: Research Assistant for »MixedPlant«
HTW is Looking for Research Assistant

Job The research project ↗ MixedPlant aims to develop an intelligent assistance system, which shall help during the planning stage of process facility construction. Therefore, various methods from the domain of artificial intelligence will be utilised.

The project is looking for a Research Assistant part-time (30 hours per week) in pay group E13 with a fixed term contract until June 15th, 2022.

Your profile should contain: 

  • Obtained scientific degree in an appropriate field (preferably Computer Science with a focus on AI / Data Analytics)
  • Solid knowledge in the domain of Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (knowledge concerning expert systems is helpful)
  • Solid knowledge in math and software engineering
  • Advanced knowledge of programming languages (C#, Python, JavaScript, C++)
  • Basic knowledge in German is an advantage
  • Knowledge and experience in scientific accompaniment of projects

More information can be found here:
in ↗ German
or ↗ English.

The application deadline is July 6th, 2020. ↗ more

The Analog in the Digital Age
Save the Date of 11 November 2020 for our 1st Annual Conference Happening Online
»The Analog in the Digital Age« MoA Annual Conference, 11 November 2020 (From Top to Button, Left to Right): Bacterial Curtain. Copyright: Bastian Beyer and Iva Rešetar; Visualization of the cellular network inside a compact bone. Copyright: Andreas Roschger & Richard Weinkamer, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces; Medallion commemorating Lorenzo de’ Medici: Felt hat and two daggers, after 1537. Copyright: Arthor’s Archive; E. Coli Colony Biofilm. Copyright: Michelle Mantel for »Matters of Activity«; Crochet Model of a Hyperbolic Planes. Copyright: Regine Hengge; Wax Mulages, Copyright: Michelle Mantel for »Matters of Activity«
»The Analog in the Digital Age« MoA Annual Conference, 11 November 2020 (From Top to Button, Left to Right): Bacterial Curtain. Copyright: Bastian Beyer and Iva Rešetar; Visualization of the cellular network inside a compact bone. Copyright: Andreas Roschger & Richard Weinkamer, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces; Medallion commemorating Lorenzo de’ Medici: Felt hat and two daggers, after 1537. Copyright: Arthor’s Archive; E. Coli Colony Biofilm. Copyright: Michelle Mantel for »Matters of Activity«; Crochet Model of a Hyperbolic Planes. Copyright: Regine Hengge; Wax Mulages, Copyright: Michelle Mantel for »Matters of Activity«

Event | Annual Conference We cordially invite you to our virtual conference space. You will find a variety of surprisingly designed and individually accessible knowledge rooms as well as exciting lectures from different research disciplines. To enable encounters and exchanges discover our digital meeting possibilities such as live question rounds and wrap-ups. Get a first glimpse of the program and all relevant information at → https://www.matters-of-activity.de/annualconference. → more