Design Lectures

Feb. 2
Manuel Garcia from Nagami

Manuel Jimenez García is the co-founder and CEO of the robotic manufacturing and design brand Nagami, based in Avila, Spain, co-founder of Automated Architecture Ltd (AuAr), a design-tech consultancy based in London, and founder and principal of madMdesign, a computational design practice based in London. For more than a decade, Manuel has developed a large variety of projects focusing on computational design and automation. His work has been exhibited worldwide in venues such as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Canada´s Design Museum (Toronto), The Design Museum (London), Royal Academy of Arts (London), Zaha Hadid Design Gallery (London), and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Alongside his practice, Manuel is an Associate Professor in Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL (London). He is programme director of MSc/MRes Architectural Computation (AC), and unit master of AD Research Cluster 4, both part of The Bartlett B-Pro; in addition, he is also co-founder of UCL AUAR Labs and curator of Plexus, a multidisciplinary lecture series based on computational design. 

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Feb 24:

MUD Futures Symposium
Theme: MOTOR
This edition of MUD Futures will look at how designers and architects are using robotics and 3D printing using mud as the main material in order to make objects, building components, interiors and enclosures for the future of the built environment. The symposium will include the speakers Dries Verbruggen from Unfold Studio in Antwerp, Alexandre Dubor from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Lauren Vasey from the Gramazio Kohler Research Group at the Swiss Federal Institute, and Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael from San Jose State University and the University of California Berkeley. SJSU faculty, staff and students may register for free using the code mfsjsu.

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Mar: 16
Behnaz Farahi

Trained as an architect, Behnaz Farahi is an award winning designer and critical maker based in Los Angeles. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Media Arts and Practice from USC School of Cinematic Arts. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Design, California State University, Long Beach. She explores how to foster an empathetic relationship between the human body and the space around it using computational systems. Her work addresses critical issues such as feminism, emotion, perception, and social interaction. Farahi has won several awards including the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Digital Design Award, Innovation By Design Fast Company Award, World Technology Award. She is a co-editor of an issue of AD, ‘3D Printed Body Architecture’ (2017) and ‘Interactive Futures’ (forthcoming).

Talk: Critical Computation and Emotive Matter
Can computation be critical or will various forms of bias always be found embedded in computational systems? Could surveillances act as a form of resistance? Could materials be imbued with Artificial Intelligence and computer vision in order to address critical issues such as emotion? The goal is to address the possibility of an empathetic relationship between human beings and their environment in order to augment human intelligence and sensory experience of the world and influence social interactions in a critical way. By demonstrating a series of interdisciplinary projects, the attempt is to address provocative research questions through design and critical making, fueled by the latest advances in the world of neuroscience, cognitive philosophy, computational design, artificial intelligence, and feminism. From wearables to architecture, these projects demonstrate an application of techniques, such as EEG brain imaging, facial and gaze tracking as well as novel actuator systems, such as smart materials and pneumatics systems.

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Mar 23:
Joshua Stein

"Artifacts, Data, and Otherwise" 
The work of Joshua G. Stein seeks to give form and materiality to the less visible forces that profoundly influence daily life. His recent projects translate seemingly abstract or distant phenomena -- from policy decisions to resource extraction -- into tangible artifacts that serve as touchstones for debate and imagination. Joshua G. Stein is the founder of Radical Craft ( a Los Angeles-based studio that advances an experimental art and design practice saturated in history, archaeology, and craft. This inquiry inflects the production of urban spaces and artifacts by evolving newly grounded approaches to the challenges posed by virtuality, velocity, and globalization. His recent projects reimagine the construction and resource extraction industries as anthropogenic geological processes while investigating new applications for earthen materials. Joshua G. Stein has received numerous grants, awards, and fellowships, including multiple grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the AIA Upjohn research award, and the 2010-11 Rome Prize Fellowship in Architecture. He is Professor of Architecture at Woodbury University where he is the Interim Chair of the Sustainable Practices program. 


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Apr: 27
Jonathon Anderson

Jonathon Anderson is an Associate Professor of Interior Design and Director of the Design + Technology Lab in the Creative School at Ryerson University. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Furniture Design from Savannah College of Art & Design and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Southern Illinois University. His work explores how industrial manufacturing, robots, and CNC technologies influence the design and making processes. As a result, the work is characterized by innovative and explorative methods that result in interconnected design, fine art, and technology solutions. From this non-traditional process emerges a provocative, complex design language that visually communicates at varied scales and emphasizes corporeal and phenomenological experiences. To Jonathon, making is not only a practice but a form of critical thinking. Jonathon served as co-editor of the International Journal of Interior Architecture and Spatial Design (ii journal), editor of the IDEC Exchange, and recently co-edited a new book Digital Fabrication in Interior Design: Body, Object, Enclosure. Jonathon is currently working on a new book, Visualizing Interiors, that will be published by Routledge in 2023.

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