Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
MoA Project »Bacterial Cellulose: Co-Weaving Biofilms« at the Milano Triennale 2022. Copyright: Alessandro Saletta - DSL Studio, adapted by Matters of Activity
MoA Project »Bacterial Cellulose: Co-Weaving Biofilms« at the Milano Triennale 2022. Copyright: Alessandro Saletta - DSL Studio, adapted by Matters of Activity

Dear Friends of »Matters of Activity«,

With today's issue, we are back from the Cluster summer break and would like to draw your attention to our freshly released podcast in the »Exzellent Erklärt« series with Cluster-Co-Director Claudia Mareis and Postdoctoral Researcher Khashayar Razghandi! Moreover, we look back to the superb presentation of the Master Open Design Students in the Humboldt Lab in July and invite you to experience the wonderful installation of MoA members at the Triennale Milano, which can be seen until December. Finally, we give a little foretaste of the two great MoA exhibitions that will open in November and other events coming up soon.

Happy reading,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

Liebe Freund:innen von »Matters of Activity«,

mit der heutigen Ausgabe melden wir uns aus der Clustersommerpause zurück und möchten auf unseren frisch erschienenen Podcast in der Reihe »Exzellent Erklärt« mit Cluster-Co-Sprecherin Claudia Mareis und PostDoc Khashayar Razghandi aufmerksam machen! Weiterhin blicken wir auf die großartige Ausstellung der Master Open Design-Studierenden im Humboldt Labor im Juli zurück und laden ein, die wunderbare Installation von MoA-Mitgliedern auf der Triennale Milano zu erleben, die noch bis Dezember zu sehen sein wird. Schließlich geben wir einen kleinen Vorgeschmack auf die beiden großen MoA-Ausstellungen, die im November eröffnet werden, und auf weitere Veranstaltungen, auf die wir uns diesen Herbst freuen.

Viel Spaß beim Lesen,
Antje Nestler, Carolin Ott & Franziska Wegener

What is our Future Made Of? Active Materials and Bio-Inspired Design
Episode 18 of the DFG Podcast Series »Exzellent Erklärt« Gives Insights Into Matters of Activity

News | Science Communication How do we deal with materiality in the age of digitalization? Can other understandings of materiality lead to other modes of production or other ways of living? Episode 18 of the DFG podcast series »Exzellent erklärt« (English: Excellent Explained), available from 1 September 2022, focuses on the interdisciplinary research at »Matters of Acticity«. Journalist Larissa Vassilian speaks with Cluster Co-Director Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis, designer and cultural historian, and Research Associate Dr. Khashayar Razghandi, a materials scientist and design teacher about topics like sustainability and bio-inspired design and what active materials have to do with it. → more

Bacterial Cellulose: Co-Weaving Biofilms
An Installation for the Triennale XXIII: »Unknown Unknows, An Introduction to Mysteries«
MoA Project »Bacterial Cellulose: Co-Weaving Biofilms« at the Milano Triennale 2022. Copyright: Triennale Milano – photo by DSL Studio
MoA Project »Bacterial Cellulose: Co-Weaving Biofilms« at the Milano Triennale 2022. Copyright: Triennale Milano – photo by DSL Studio

Event | Weaving | Material Form Function | Object Space Agency Cellulose of different forms and origins is woven together in this structure: pieces of wood, paper threads and biofilms grown by bacteria. A collaborative textile is created – human, plant and microbial. Three MoA research projects, Weaving, Material Form Function and Object Space Agency and with that many MoA Members worked together on the project  »Bacterial Cellulose: Co-Weaving Biofilms« shown at the Triennale di Milano XXIII »Unknown Unknows, An Introduction to Mysteries«, in the thematic exhibition »Alchemic Laboratory«, curated by Ingrid Paoletti, from July 15th to December 11th, 2022. → more

Growing Sensecapes
Open Design Master's Students' Projects Exhibited at Humboldt Lab
Master Students and Visitors at the »Growing Sensecapes« event in the Humboldt Lab. Photo: Carmen Gloria Cuello Quintana.
Master Students and Visitors at the »Growing Sensecapes« event in the Humboldt Lab. Photo: Carmen Gloria Cuello Quintana.

Event | Master Open Design With the event and exhibition »Growing Sensecapes«, the students of the »Open Design« Master Program wanted to bring forward the numerous dilemmas and challenges they face, not only as students but also as individuals, when it comes to designing a better tomorrow. A permanent flow of people engaged with the students in their reflections at the Humboldt Labor on July 25th 2022. Visitors encountered the six projects that were developed during the Seminar Laboratory Projects led by Cluster members Frank Bauer, Bastian Beyer, Maxime Le Calvé, Jose D. Cojal Gonzaléz, the lecturers from the Universidad de Buenos Aires Rodrigo Martin Iglesias, José Ignacio Alvarez-Hamelin and the support of Brazilian artist Rejane Cantoni. → more

Embodied Interaction (2): Heliobolici
Small Solar Self-Suppliers
KonsOasis. Copyright: An Guoliu
KonsOasis. Copyright: An Guoliu

News | MoA Design Research Studio In the summer term of 2022, the Embodied Interaction Studio hosted the practice project »Heliobolici« at the weißensee school of art and design berlin. The Bachelor's and Master's students in the Product Design Department investigated solar technology's potential to make artifacts energetically independent. The solutions developed range from concepts for public infrastructure to personal use. 


Many objects, tools or services we use daily require energy to produce heat, light, motor or computing power. A whole range of these artifacts could achieve energy self-sufficiency through solar power. In the project, we investigated objects and application contexts in which solar energy could be used to achieve energy independence. »Heliobolici« explored the question of to what extent this product dimension can generate new rituals of use and, therefore, new aesthetic archetypes. → more

Museums, Transculturality, and the Nation-State. Case Studies from a Global Context
New Publication by Cluster Member Nina Samuel
Cover: Museums, Transculturality, and the Nationstate. Copyright:transcript
Cover: Museums, Transculturality, and the Nationstate. Copyright:transcript

News | Publication While the nation-state gave rise to the advent of museums, its influence in times of transculturality and post-/decolonial studies appears to have vanished. But is this really the case? With case studies from various geo- and sociopolitical contexts from around the globe, the contributors investigate which roles the nation-state continues to play in museums, collections, and heritage. They answer the question to which degree the nation-state still determines practices of collection and circulation and its amount of power to shape contemporary narratives. The volume thus examines the contradictions at play when the necessary claim for transculturality meets the institutions of the nation-state. With contributions by Stanislas Spero Adotevi, Sebastián Eduardo Dávila, Natasha Ginwala, Monica Hanna, Rajkamal Kahlon, Suzana Milevska, Mirjam Shatanawi, Kavita Singh, Ruth Stamm, Andrea Witcomb. → more

Model and Mathematics
Open Access Volume by Editors Michael Friedman and Karin Krauthausen Published Now
Thread model by Hermann Wiener of a cone of third order and genus 0. Copyright: Collection of Mathematical Models and Instruments at Georg-August-University Göttingen, all rights reserved
Thread model by Hermann Wiener of a cone of third order and genus 0. Copyright: Collection of Mathematical Models and Instruments at Georg-August-University Göttingen, all rights reserved

News | Publication | Weaving | Symbolic Material The open access book »Model and Mathematics: From the 19th to the 21st Century«, published in August 2022, collects the historical and medial perspectives of a systematic and epistemological analysis of the complicated, multifaceted relationship between model and mathematics. Contributions and expert interviews range from, for example, the physical mathematical models of the 19th century to the simulation and digital modeling of the 21st century. The aim of this anthology, edited by MoA members Michael Friedman and Karin Krauthausen, is to showcase the status of the mathematical model between abstraction and realization, presentation and representation, what is modeled and what models. → more

Design, Gestaltung, Formatività. Philosophies of Making
A Central Cluster Publication Edited by Patricia Ribault Released
Design, Gestaltung, Formatività. Philosophies of Making. Copyright: Birkhäuser, 2022
Design, Gestaltung, Formatività. Philosophies of Making. Copyright: Birkhäuser, 2022

News | Publication We are excited to announce the release of the new anthology edited by Patricia Ribault including contributions by Cluster members Samuel Bianchini, Cecile Bidan, Horst Bredekamp, Mason Dean, Emile De Visscher, Peter Fratzl, Lorenzo Guiducci, Leonie Häsler, Claudia Mareis, Martin Müller, Jörg Petruschat, Emanuele Quinz, Khashayar Razghandi, Patricia Ribault, Wolfgang Schäffer and Charlett Wenig. Congratulations! Through the concepts of »Design, Gestaltung and Formatività«, this book sheds a new light on the processes of formation and transformation of the material world we live in. In the first part— »Giving Form« —philosophers, historians, psychologists and cultural studies scholars question our modes of giving form, while in the second— »Form Given« —artists, designers, engineers and scientists unfold their creative processes. These »philosophies of making« invite us to reflect on what we do, what we can do, and how to do it, but they also spur us into action. → more

New Members & Roles
Dimitra Almpani-Lekka

Dimitra Almpani-Lekka is an Architect who graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. For the last few years she has been working in the field of Landscape Architecture with a focus on public space. Dimitra is currently a Pre-Doctoral Researcher at the Architecture department of the University of Ioannina in Greece as well as  in the project »Object Space Agency«. Dimitra is member of the Berlin-based SciArt Collective MY-CO-X that experiments with the use of mycelium-based composite materials in the architectural context.

  → more

Prof. Dr. Regula Valérie Burri

Regula Valérie Burri is Professor in science and technology studies (STS) at HCU Hamburg, Germany, a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University, and a Feodor Lynen Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Her research interests focus on the social, political, and cultural implications of science and technology, and involve topics like (visual) knowledge and the intersections of science and art, and cultures and the governance of science and technology. She is AI in the project »Cutting«. → more

Rahel Kesselring

Rahel Kesselring is a Pre-Doctoral Researcher at »Matters of Activity« within the research project »Active Trees – Knowledge, Technologies and Futures«. Her doctoral project investigates the role of wood and forest in material cultures and cultural production (architecture, art, theater) against the background of posthumanist and postcolonial theories. Rahel studied applied theater studies in Giessen, Germany, and scenography in Basel and Vienna. Most recently she worked as a research associate and lecturer at Zurich University of the Arts. → more

Ivy Kräuter

Ivy Kräuter is a trained »IHK Kauffrau« and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She is currently studying for a MSc in Psychology at the FernUniversität in Hagen as well as a BA in Scandinavian & Northern European Studies at HU Berlin. During her studies she worked, among other things, at the research center Germany of the EURAP project at a Berlin hospital, where she also completed her professional internship in Neuropsychology. At MoA Ivy supports the Finances and Human Resources team. → more

Prof. Anna Kubelík

Anna Kubelík currently holds a professorship for »artistic experimental representation and design« at the architecture faculty of the HTWG Konstanz, University of Applied Sciences. She is AM in the project »Object Space Agency«. Kubelík's project »Well-Tempered Hygrometer« was presented as part of the exhibition »Stretching Materialities« in 2021-22 at the Tieranatomisches Theater. This exhibition linked Kubelík's artistic work with the work of »Object Space Agency«. Her practice combines scientific phenomena, such as climate or particle physics, with musical or narrative sound.

 

  → more

Liliia Lanevska

Liliia completed her BA in English & German studies and Literature at the Eastern European Lesja Ukrainka University in Luzk (Ukraine) before discovering her passion for journalism and philosophy (BA in Communication Studies & Philosophy at the FU Berlin). Her research interests mainly revolve around Critical Theory: from the earliest diagnoses of society, through the high points of historical influence, to the most current developments. At MoA Liliia supports the Management Office and the Inventory team – multitasking guru on the rise! → more

Dr. Timo Torsten Schmidt

Dr. Timo Torsten Schmidt is a neuroscientist working at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Berlin (CCNB) at the Freie Universität Berlin. He obtained a BSc in cognitive science, a MSc in medical neuroscience and his PhD thesis was entitled »Tactile Mental Representations«. His research focuses on the mental representation of consciousness content, where he studies how the human brain performs haptic and tactile working memory and mental imagery tasks. He is AI in the project »Cutting«.

  → more

Salif Sawadogo

Drawing from his team work experience, of working with local communities, of planning logistics as well as his extensive linguistic expertise, Salif Sawadogo worked from 2009 as an interpreter, translator, cultural mediator and logistic planner on three research projects on West African wild silks, slavery and natural dyes. He has contributed to two research projects on wild silk cocoons and fermented textiles. As an AM in »Weaving« Salif is currently working on the material contents and language aspects of the interdisciplinary »Daoula/Sheen« exhibition that will travel from Berlin to Ouagadougou and to the village of Safané in Burkina Faso in 2023. → more

Daniel Suarez
Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suárez is an architect and researcher interested in investigating innovative materials, design interfaces and technology processes for architectural production. His experience combines long practice, working as an architect with practice-based research at UdK Berlin as part of the ArcInTexETN network. Daniel's research operates at the intersection of textile technology and architecture. It encompasses the fluid interaction of human craftsmanship and vernacular design with digital fabrication and computational design. Daniel is AM in the projects »Object Space Agency« and »Weaving«.

  → more

What Does Ropemaking Has to do With Active Matter?
Next »Talking Matters« Event on 11 October Focuses on this Ancient Cultural Technique
Scaling Nature (1): Wrinkles«: Liquid Lacquer. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin / Luis Magg | Bacterial cellulose curtain. Copyright: Bastian Beyer and Iva Rešetar
Scaling Nature (1): Wrinkles«: Liquid Lacquer. Copyright: weißensee school of art and design berlin / Luis Magg | Bacterial cellulose curtain. Copyright: Bastian Beyer and Iva Rešetar

Event | Talking Matters We are very happy to invite you to our next »Talking Matters« lecture on October 11th as an on-site event in the Sophienstraße. With our guest César Enrique Giraldo Herrera, Social Anthropologist from the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Bremen, we are looking forward to an inspiring discussion about »Winding intentionalities and the harmony of ropes«. → more

Material Legacies
Save the Date for Exhibition Opening at Kunstgewerbemuseum on 3 November 2022
KGM - DesignLab #13 - Material Legacies. Charlett Wenig, Johanna Hehemeyer-Cürten, Lee Zihern, Bark jacket woven, MPIKG, 2020. Copyright: Studio Patrick Walter.
KGM - DesignLab #13 - Material Legacies. Charlett Wenig, Johanna Hehemeyer-Cürten, Lee Zihern, Bark jacket woven, MPIKG, 2020. Copyright: Studio Patrick Walter.

News | Exhibition | Material Form Function The exhibition »Material Legacies« at Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, opening on November 3rd, 2022, will explore contingencies and ruptures between traditional crafts and the most recent developments at the crossroads of material research, design, engineering, and architecture. It brings together artifacts from the museum’s collection with work-in-progress installations by designers and researchers from the Cluster of Excellence »Matters of Activity. Image Space Material« to initiate a dialogue about the historical, contemporary, and future conditions under which materiality unfolds. »Material Legacies« is curated by Michaela Büsse and Emile De Visscher and is part of the exhibition series »Design Lab« at the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, for which Claudia Banz, Curator of Design at the Kunstgewerbemuseum since 2019, invites selected design studios, students and researchers to present current projects and enter into a discourse with the collection of the Kunstgewerbemuseum. → more

Daoula | Sheen
West African Wild Silk on its Way
Caterpillars spinning a nest in the Banforo area / Burkina Faso. Copyright: Salif Sawadogo.
Caterpillars spinning a nest in the Banforo area / Burkina Faso. Copyright: Salif Sawadogo.

Event | Exhibition | Weaving The exhibition »Daoula | Sheen«, which begins in November 2022 and will initially be shown in the Tieranatomisches Theater in Berlin, focuses on the natural formation and the cultural history of wild silk obtained from caterpillars in West Africa, and on the many and complex ways in which this unique material is viewed by microbiologists, materials scientists, and architects in Germany. Curated by MoA members Laurence Douny, Karin Krauthausen, and Felix Sattler, and co-created by a large and diverse multidisciplinary team, this unusual project sets out to stimulate dialogue between West African craft, European science, and design. Please save the date for the opening on November 17, 2022, and follow the MoA Instagram channel to find out how wild silk is making its way from Burkina Faso to Berlin! → more