With a rich history and an incredible track record of success, the WantedDesign's Design School Workshop launched at the start of this year's New York Design Week, NYCxDesign, mixing and mashing students and mentors from all over the world to share, to collaborate, and to learn.
The co-founders of WantedDesign, Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, have always considered design education critical to the success of the design profession, and have once again put it at the center (and as the finale of the week) of their design event. Indeed, the initiative spanned both Wanted's—The students worked in the Wanted Brooklyn location in Industry City, and then researched and presented in Wanted Manhattan at the Tunnel.
Hainaut was enthusiastic about the result: "This year brought the biggest number of participating schools and students (and languages and cultural backgrounds), and certainly the richest in term of exchanges and conceptualization. It was a group of extremely motivated, skilled, curious, talented and enthusiastic students. And in listening to their final presentation, I felt that we can be reassured about the important role this new generation of students will play in envisioning and designing tomorrow's peoples lives."
Led by James Meraz and Chiara Ferrari of ArtCenter College of Design, this year's theme was "Future Heirloom." Here was the pitch:
Students were tasked with discovering what constitutes the modern heirloom, and how we contain and display these heirlooms in meaningful and tactile ways that can be passed down from generation to generation. An heirloom may be defined as an antiquity or some kind of a social, cultural and family artifact, but the question needs to be asked, "What are the artifacts that millennials value?" What do they feel has equity, and are meaningful enough to pass on to future generations?
Further, the workshop confronted a shift in the way we consider collection and preservation of "moments of meaning."
While the object may continue to be important, it might now share its dominance or presence with the containment-display, or preservation of our evidence of the past. Craft, surface, textile and material conjugation will play no small part in this exploration. Design teams will explore outcomes that may have a digital and material conclusion, making connections through analog and digital fabrication modes. What is the hybrid Heirloom of the future? How will Nex-gen make connections to their past, present, and future?
Meraz added that, "The brief was devised to have a philosophical, even existential component, as well as challenging these young designers to consider the "moments of meaning" that they would want to leave behind; what might they speculate around what we would value enough to pass on to future generations. I actually was not prepared for the depth of intellectual curiosity and passion that these 33 multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary students brought into the workshop every single day."
At the final presentation, the Jury Committee chose their favorites, but there was a lot to get excited about, and a ton of Q&A during the presentation. The presentations went over an hour longer than they were supposed to, but nobody minded since the material was so fascinating.
Here are the participants, and then on to the work!
Participating Schools and Leads
Centro (Mexico), Sebastian OcampoAalto University (Finland), Pentti Kareoja STRATE School of design (France), Cecilia Talopp
Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, New York), Constantin Boym
ArtCenter College of Design (Pasadena, California), David Mocarski, James Meraz, Chiara Ferrari
The Strzeminski Academy of Art Lódz (Poland), Dr. Boguslaw Krzciuk
Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina), Richard Prisco
Allan Chochinov, Partner, Core77; Chair, MFA Products of Design
Lauren Slowik, 3D print mentor, Shapeways
Amy Auscherman, Herman Miller Corporate Archivist
Tomek Rygalik, Studio Rygalik & Founder of TRE
Sponsors and Mentors
FilzFelt represented by Submaterial; Emily Howe
Artefacto; Marwa Cupif and Valerie Cottereau
Makingworks; Louis Lim
Core77 was once again the media partner, XL Airways was the airline partner, along with Strzeminski Academy of Art Lódz from Poland, participating with the support of the Polish Cultural Institute New York and KGHM Foundation.
Let's get to the projects!
Aliette Platiau, STRATE School of Design
Linda Xin, Pratt Institute
Barbara Reszka, Strzeminski Academy of Art Lódz
Mason Hawkins, Appalachian State University
Andres Zavala, ArtCenter College of Design
Imprint is a smart wearable that transmits both the physical and intangible memories of your loved ones to future generations, acting as the surrogate of a loved one. The heirloom captures the physical embrace between two people through its cast brass form, expressing the details and folds of the skin in the final form. It is embedded with sensing technology that stores the history of a loved one through location tracking and heartbeat.
Data capturing is activated when two loved ones engage in the same gesture—or "Imprint" moment. Location tracking and heartbeat are collected to indicate a connection to place. The "Imprint" is passed down from one generation to another, keeping the data of the original family member stored in it forever. When the device gets passed down to the next generation, the user feels gentle pulses of warmth whenever he or she passes locations where "memory" data was captured. "We imagine that IMPRINT can also be used to comfort users in times of need with its emotion-sensing capabilities," adds the team.
"Ubiquitous computing and digital sensing give us the opportunity to capture memories and give life to objects in ways we haven't before. Imprint is a response to our generation's cultural shift, where experiences are more valued than objects within themselves. Our future heirloom is about passing down intangible experiences in a surrogate object, that lives and breathes with each generation."
Tony Yau, Aalto University
Hugo Artarit, Strate School of Design
Marie Beaulieu, Centro
Alynn Tergevorkian, ArtCenter College of Design
Neo Heritage is a provocation that reminds the public that our trash is precious. What we are leaving behind will affect our future generations. According to Geyer Roland of Science Advances Journal (June 2017), as of 2015, approximately 6300 million metric tons (Mt) of plastic waste has been generated—79% has been dumped into landfills, 12% has been incinerated, and only 9% percent has been recycled. The team argues, "Plastic waste is the global heirloom we will inevitably leave behind for our future generations if current trends continue."
"Our team is proposing a movement; inviting artists, designers, social impact and environmental groups to take part in repairing cracks and breaks in the city using the recycled plastic we mindlessly dispose of on a daily basis. Collection receptacles are placed in central locations of the city, acting as a beacon of change. This invites those who dispose of their plastic to follow the painted lines throughout the city which will eventually lead them to another receptacle, or a piece of the city that has been repaired."
"An heirloom is something that leaves a trace behind for future generations. We want to leave behind the trace of being good ancestors."
José Miguel Ramírez, Centro
Kartikaye Mittal , Pratt Institute
Adrianna Pomykacz, Strzeminski Academy of Art Lódz
Sophie Randleman, Appalachian State University
Eveliina Juuri, Aalto University
Calla is a solar-powered felt lamp that records and reproduces the movement, temperature and intensity of sunlight. It relies on minimal, basic technologies that allow for it to last for decades, establishing and maintaining a dialogue with the surrounding nature.
You can use CALLA as a freestanding or wall lamp. When you turn it on, the device reminds you of the natural lighting experience and encourages you to go out into nature "to become part of a universal heirloom. We were inspired by the phenomenon of phototropism, the growth of an organism in response to a light stimulus," offers the team. "Calla reacts to stimuli from the environment, and creates a sense of belonging to a larger ecosystem, while simultaneously strengthening the bond between individuals through a ritual and positive emotion. The information recorded by Calla acts as environmental indicators that will communicate the state of the environment in order to increase its protection and combat its degradation. It is the passing on of nature as a gift and the reminder of our place in it."
Gabriela Barrera, Pratt Institute
Alan Abraham, Centro
Lindsay Everhart, Appalachian State University
Marta Wota, Strzeminski Academy of Art Lódz
Arnaud Corvisier, STRATE School of Design
Amalgam, the "family identity pattern generator," defines the future heirloom by building a unified connection between family generations. Using an algorithm, it decodes one's genetics, personality, and signature to produce an abstract pattern on a glass tile that is unique to that individual. Amalgam allows the user to then "layer their legacy" among those who came before them—much like a family tree.
"Amalgam uses moments of meaning, such as weddings, to initiate the creation of a new tile for those involved to build emotional connections," explains the team. "The transparency of the glass tiles allows families to see the overlay of previous generations and highlight their similarities/differences. Light embodies the spirit of a person and can be used to commemorate specific members of a family during a time of celebration or difficulty. Using art as a medium, Amalgam merges science, technology and emotions to create a unique experience that can become a ritual for future generations to come."
Markus Holste, Aalto University
Valentina Villarreal Díaz, Centro
Jeremy Silberberg, Pratt Institute
Noah Howells, Appalachian State University
Marta Grodek, Strzeminski Academy of Art Lódz
Kii is a portable device that users hold and interact with to control their environment in the AR/VR space. It is comprised of a series of linkages or "totems" that represent various categories that are indicated via tactile symbols on each link. Each totem is touch-sensitive, and acts as a selection tool. Kii has two control pieces at either end of the device that function as the user's hands and are manipulated to move objects inside of AR/VR.
"With Kii, users can create an infinite archive of virtually inhabitable memories," submits the team. "Kii features customizable totems that indicate landscapes, objects, and structures that exist in augmented and virtual reality. As users move these totems, their respective augmented and virtual representations are altered accordingly. Once the experience is complete, it is stored for future accessibility. The result is a collection of layered, personal experiences that can be shared with future generations to emphasize the intimate revelation of memory."
Alice Hixon Kirk, Pratt Institute
Agathe Baudin, STRATE School of Design
Miranda Lapour, ArtCenter College of Design
Ryan Decker, Appalachian State University
Martyna Piasciak, Strzeminski Academy of Art Lódz
Melio (Collective Memory) is an immersive AR/VR platform for collective memory. Users access a memory catalog of collective creation and curation with the personal Melio Stone—your key to the collective memory space. "The Melio Stone is the last physical manifestation of precious materiality that millennial nomads require," argues the team.
"AR-capable glasses scan the unique profile of your Melio Stone to unlock an augmented world of collective memories. From here, you can upload images, video, or audio content to document what is unique and precious to you. You can submit your content to the collective memory database, and customize your visibility settings. Melio's dynamic interface allows you to immerse yourself in a private moment, or to share your favorite memories and artifacts in group scenarios and new research modalities. Become a part of our larger collective legacy by submitting your unique perspective to this interactive time capsule."
Julia Popova, Aalto University
Mitja Behnke, Strate School of Design
Alberto Zinser Werschkull, Centro
Charlie Hodges, ArtCenter College of Design
"An heirloom is passed from one generation to the next, carrying meaning and memory, while adapting to the needs of each new owner," offers the team. "Living in the Anthropocene means the environment is now our heirloom. But in a world of notifications, alerts, updates and interruptions, we are losing connection to this heirloom, to the moments that matter most. We wondered, if people could customize nature, would they care about it as much as they care about their social media presence?"
"Root(S) is our solution. Using CRISPR technology, we can now put up to 100mb of data into cellular DNA without corruption or genetic mutation—an organic harddrive. Just as people have carved their initials into bark, Root(S) uses this technology to allow people to safely engrave their initials into the genome of a tree. Leaf samples collected from every visit become digital keys which—when scanned with a smartphone—enable access to archived videos, photos and songs from that day. Your growing tree becomes the backdrop for your life."
"We believe that personalizing a tree at a cellular level will engender a powerful bond between a user and their tree, creating a living heirloom that will extend across generations. It's time we allowed people to leave a permanent mark today that makes for a better tomorrow."
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