Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Copyright: Ilkin Taşdelen, Ana Vila, Master Open Design, adapted by Matters of Activity
Copyright: Ilkin Taşdelen, Ana Vila, Master Open Design, adapted by Matters of Activity

Dear friends of »Matters of Activity«,

In the coming weeks, a whole series of events will take place in cooperation with the Cluster. We would like to draw your attention to two of them and hope to reach interested people beyond our Cluster: On the one hand, this is Peter Fratzl's lecture series »Interdependence of Structure and Function in Biological Materials«, which takes place every two weeks from 4:15–5:45 pm. The next lecture will be tomorrow, Tuesday, April 27th.

On the other hand, we are very pleased that our Cluster will be opening the »MitWissenschaft« series of events at the Humboldt Forum next Thursday, April 29th, at 5 pm. The title is: »Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn? We need a new Culture of Materials«.

Last but not least, we are happy to inform you that Carolin Ott has returned to the MoA PR team after her parental leave!

Happy reading,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott and Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«,

in den kommenden Wochen findet gleich ein ganzer Reigen an Veranstaltungen unter der Federführung oder in Kooperation mit dem Cluster statt. Auf zwei davon, die dezidiert auch interessierte Personenkreise jenseits unseres Clusters erreichen möchten, möchten wir an dieser Stelle besonders hinweisen:
Dabei handelt es sich einerseits um Peter Fratzls Vorlesungsreihe »Interdependence of Structure and Function in Biological Materials«, die alle zwei Wochen von 16:15–17:45 Uhr stattfindet. Der nächste Termin ist am morgigen Dienstag, den 27. April.

Zum anderen freuen wir uns sehr, dass unser Cluster am kommenden Donnerstag, den 29. April, um 17 Uhr die Veranstaltungsreihe »MitWissenschaft« im Humboldt Forum eröffnen wird. Der Titel der Auftaktveranstaltung lautet: »Spinnen die, die Bakterien? Wir brauchen eine neue Kultur des Materialen«.

Zuletzt eine kurze Info in eigener Sache: Wir freuen uns, dass Carolin Ott nach ihrer Elternzeit ins MoA-PR-Team zurückgekehrt ist!

Viel Spaß beim Lesen wünschen
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott und Franziska Wegener

Magic Circle
Recap Video for Symposium for Interdisciplinary Exchange on 25 February 2021
Still recap video »Magic Circle«. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin
Still recap video »Magic Circle«. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin

The symposium »Magic Circle« was organized by the »Forschungskreis« of the weißensee school of art and design berlin (khb) in cooperation with »Matters of Activity«, under the direction of → Prof. Dr. Jörg Petruschat. It aimed to further develop the exchange between the knowledge cultures of the natural sciences, engineering, life sciences and humanities on the one hand and research activities in design and the arts on the other. For this purpose, experts from different disciplines were invited to the project presentations. The aim was to provoke new perspectives and open up opportunities for collaboration. Methods of performative research will also be up for discussion.

The online symposium was intertwined with 12 research contributions simultaneously exhibited in the »Kunsthalle« of the weißensee school of art and design berlin. Various MoA members contributed to the exchange process, such as → Dr. Lorenzo Guiducci on »Self-Shaping Textiles« and → Felix Rasehorn with »Tesselated Material Systems«.

Click more to view the recap video of the conference.
  → more

»Materialwissenschaft – von der Biomimese zur Bioinspiration«
Guest Article from Peter Fratzl in the »Austria Presse Agentur – Science«

News | Press Peter Fratzl has published a guest article in »Austria Presse Agentur – Science« in the series »Lehrmeisterin Natur«. Under the title »Materialwissenschaft – von der Biomimese zur Bioinspiration«, he explores the question of what makes natural materials so interesting for materials scientists. On the one hand, there are the renewable raw materials such as wood or cotton, which are widely used as building materials or textiles. On the other hand, it is the fact that nature succeeds in producing materials with an incredible variety of properties and applications from comparatively few and not always very high-quality basic materials. The article is available in German. → more

Master Open Design
Cohort 2021-2023 Virtual Semester Kick-Off
Copyright: Ilkin Taşdelen, Ana Vila, Master Open Design
Copyright: Ilkin Taşdelen, Ana Vila, Master Open Design

News | Master Open Design In April 2021, the first virtual semester of the international interdisciplinary Master's Program »Open Design« kicked-off. In the opening week, 40 students from all over the world accompanied each other on virtual walks in their study locations, interchanging visual impressions and audio files discussing different topics, ranging from ecological and sustainable design, the philosophy of the Anthropocene to emergency design and DIY. → more

Cutting 2D Polyglycerols from 2D Graphitic Templates for Inhibition of Virals such as SARS‐CoV‐2
New Publication by Jürgen P. Rabe, Mohammad Fardin Gholami and Colleagues
Copyright: Mohammad Fardin Gholami, 2020
Copyright: Mohammad Fardin Gholami, 2020

News | Publication Together with their colleagues, Cluster members Jürgen P. Rabe and Mohammad Fardin Gholami published the paper »Graphene‐Assisted Synthesis of 2D Polyglycerols as Innovative Platforms for Multivalent Virus Interactions« in the international journal »Advanced Functional Materials«. 2D nanomaterials have garnered widespread attention in biomedicine and bioengineering due to their unique physicochemical properties. However, poor functionality, low solubility, intrinsic toxicity, and nonspecific interactions at biointerfaces have hampered their application in vivo. → more

New Members & Roles
Mario Cypko, PhD

Mario Cypko's research lies in medical informatics with a background in machine intelligence-based clinical decision support systems, shared decision making in multidisciplinary teams, and expert modeling of and interaction with computer-based knowledge models. Mario is a Research Associate in the project »Cutting«. → more

Carolin Ott

Back from parental leave, Carolin Ott, together with her MoA PR team colleagues Antje Nestler and Franziska Wegener, supports you again in planning and promoting your activities, is your contact person for press and public image issues and takes care of public relations and internal communication at the Cluster. → more

Rahel Röker

Rahel Röker is responsible for personnel matters and for supporting the Academic Manager as an Executive Assistant. Rahel pauses her parental leave and joins the Management team temporarely until the end of June 2021. She will fully return in September 2021. → more

Prof. Dr. Robert Stock

Robert Stock holds the Cluster Professorship for Cultures of Knowledge at the Department of Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His main research interests are the contemporary relations and cultures of knowledge of digital media and dis/abilities, the materiality of epistemic practices, decolonization processes and postcolonial knowledge objects as well as human-animal-technology assemblages. → more

Sara R. Yazdani, PhD

Sara R. Yazdani is an art historian and art critic. Her fields of research and teaching are modern and contemporary art with a particular focus on the relationship between art, media, technologies, theory of the Anthropocene, media ecologies and process philosophy. She is a Visiting Scholar at the Cluster until June 2021. → more

Interdependence of Structure and Function in Biological Materials
Peter Fratzl holds Lecture Series for an Interdisciplinary Audience at HU
Biological materials are built with a limited number of building blocks, based on polysaccharides, proteins, and minerals. Copyright: Julia Blumenthal 
Biological materials are built with a limited number of building blocks, based on polysaccharides, proteins, and minerals. Copyright: Julia Blumenthal 

Event | Lecture Series Every second Tuesday 4:15–5:45 pm, Cluster Co-Director → Peter Fratzl gives a digital lecture at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The lecture series starts on April 13th, 2021 and will be addressed to a pluridisciplinary audience, including sciences, design and cultural studies. All required basics from biophysics and biochemistry to mechanics will be provided. Biological materials adapt their structure to functional needs. The lectures introduce relevant structural features from molecular to macroscopic scales using examples for materials based on proteins or on polysaccharides, in particular cellulose and chitin. Some biological materials – like bone – are reinforced with minerals. The importance of hierarchical assemblies of building blocks, such as fibers and tessellations will be discussed.

Schedule (every second Tuesday, 4:15–5:45 pm):

  • 13 April: Introduction – Hierarchical Structure Versus Function, Adaptive Growth
  • 27 April: Protein Sequence, Conformation and Assembly: From Filaments to Materials
  • 11 May: Shape Change Materials from Plants
  • 25 May: Bone Structure and Material Adaptation
  • 08 June: Spider Cuticle as a Versatile Toolbox
  • 22 June: Mechanical Behavior of Tessellations
  • 06 July: Summary, Conclusion and Outlook

All Cluster members and interested persons are warmly invited! Access to Zoom can be requested from the MoA PR Team at moa.public.relations [​at​] hu-berlin.de. The recording of the introduction from April 13th can also be requested from the MoA PR Team, as well as a Moodle course that has been set up that provides relevant materials, accompanying the lecture series.

More Information can be found here: ↗ https://agnes.hu-berlin.de/

Ferment-Activity Club
Next Workshop »Kombucha Refresher«
Fermentation toolkit. Copyright: Bastian Beyer
Fermentation toolkit. Copyright: Bastian Beyer

News | Workshop Out of the workshop »Ferment-Activity and Nurturing Materials« organized by Cluster Members Maxime le Calvé, Alwin Cubasch and Anna Heitger in December 2020 the so-called »ferment-activity club« has emerged to continue exchange about fermentation practices. Semi-regular meetings will be started in order to pursue a »club of activity« approach to research: sharing experiences, staying with the trouble, and learning together about other fermentation practices in an online workshop format. The next meeting, »Kombucha Refresher«, will be held on Wednesday, 28th of April at 4 pm. → more

Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn? We Need a New Culture of Materials
Cluster Members Opened Event Series »MitWissenschaft/ WeSearch« at the Humboldt Forum
Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn? Kick-Off event »MitWissenschaft/ WeSearch«, Humboldt Forum Berlin, 29 April 2021. Copyright: Humbolt Forum
Can Bacteria Spin a Yarn? Kick-Off event »MitWissenschaft/ WeSearch«, Humboldt Forum Berlin, 29 April 2021. Copyright: Humbolt Forum

Event | Humboldt Forum On Thursday, April 29th, 7–9:30 pm, members of the Cluster gave insights into the research of »Matters of Activity« in an interactive live show, thus opening the event series »MitWissenschaft/ WeSearch« at the Humboldt Forum.

Using concrete examples from the Cluster projects »Weaving« and »Filtering«, MoA members Bastian Beyer, Alwin Cubasch, Peter Fratzl, Regine Hengge, Claudia Mareis, Léa Perraudin, Christiane Sauer and Wolfgang Schäffner showed how the natural sciences, the humanities and the design disciplines work closely together to find innovative solutions to contemporary problems. → more

Material Trajectories. Designing with Care
Annual Conference of the German Society for Design Theory and Research in Berlin on 6–8 May 2021
»Material Trajectories. Designing with Care« Annual Conference of the Annual Conference of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF). Copyright: DGTF
»Material Trajectories. Designing with Care« Annual Conference of the Annual Conference of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF). Copyright: DGTF

Event | Conference Design is deeply engaged with materials. Yet the attempt to make sense of the properties, composition and behavior of matter, artifacts and built infrastructures is accompanied by a pressing question: »Who is in fact designing?«. The 17th Annual Conference 2021 of the DGTF (German Society for Design Theory and Research), that took place from May 6th to 8th in cooperation with »Matters of Activity« and the weißensee school of art and design berlin, intended to make this and other questions graspable and to discuss the contribution of design through four interlaced strands: Sympoiesis of Making, Performative Surfaces, Living Matter, Designing Resilience. The conference was held in English via Zoom. → more

Digital Matters: Designing/Performing Agency for the Anthropocene
Call for Participation for the 25th Digital Research in Humanities and Arts Conference – Extended Deadline for Submissions until 30 May 2021
Website DRHA Digital Matters. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja
Website DRHA Digital Matters. Copyright: Lucius Fekonja

Event | Call The 25th Digital Research in Humanities and Arts conference invites contributions and interventions that focus on transfers and interactions between digital and natural environments. »Digital Matters« takes on the challenge of exploring new material and multi-species agencies, forms of embodiment, and interactions between the Performing Arts, the Humanities and the Natural Sciences that engage the sense of relationality and expanded scale the Anthropocene affords. The conference is organized by Cluster member Christian Stein (Project Object Space Agency) in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence »Temporal Communities« and takes place September 5th–7th, 2021. Due to the complexities of planning during the pandemic, the deadline for submissions has been extended to May 30th, 2021. → more

New Blog Posts
blog.matters-of-activity.de

Blog ↗ Cutting 2D Polyglycerols from 2D Graphitic Templates for Inhibition of Virals Such as SARS‐CoV‐2
by Fardin Gholami

↗ Activities at NMI 2021 »Computing and Worldmaking«
by Frank Bauer