On June 19-20th, Elvin Karana and Prof. Elisa Giaccardi (link to profile) chaired EKSIG2017 (www.eksig2017.com) at the Het Nieuwe Instituut of Rotterdam, together with Prof. Nithikul Nimkulrat (Estonian Academy of Arts), Prof. Kristina Niedderer (University of Woltherhampton). Serena Camere (link to profile) assisted the Organization Board as Pictorials Chair and taking care of the organizational matters. EKSIG is an International Conference organized biannually under the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge. This year we focused on the experiential knowledge of working with emerging materials that are alive, active and adaptive, whether by means of biological or computational processes or an integration of the two. During the two days, the conference hosted three keynote talks from prominent experts of Materials & Design (Prof. Mark Miodownik, Institute of Making; Anna Vallgarda, IT University of Copenhagen; Maurizio Montalti, Officina Corpuscoli) and 26 paper presentations.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Het Nieuwe Instituut, we also enjoyed 6 presentations from design practitioners, highlighting how research on materials is entering their design studios. The conference included also 3 pop-up exhibitions, showcasing the work of designers and participants joining the Conference. In total, 65 participants from 12 different countries (including Japan, US, Brazil) joined the two days of the Conference. The conference showcased high quality content and a timely contribution to the field of materials and design. The debate that went on during the presentations was vivid and it raised few important questions about the future of materials design research. The feedback from our participants was excellent, and we are glad to have hosted such an inspiring and outblowing event!

Hereafter a comment from two special guests:

“EKSIG_2017 has been a unique conference filled with inspiring contributions and stimulating debates. By merging academic research with hands-on approaches, the conference at large allowed to reflect on the fundamental necessity of strengthening even further the connection between theory and practical/experimental approaches, for the generation of a wide range of innovative outcomes, being them (living) materials, systems and/or products. Furthermore, thanks to also the professionally of the organisational team setting up a highly balanced program and to the peculiar location hosting the event, EKSIG _2017 resulted in a successful event filled with content, critical dialogues and a positive and purposive atmosphere, clearly outlining and contributing to partly defining our present-futures.”  (Maurizio Montalti, Officina Corpuscoli)

“EKSIG2017 brought researchers together across the disciplines and generations to hear about leading work on materials design. The quality of the papers was uniformly high, and the opportunities for informal communication and networking were very effectively built into the programme. The venue was excellent (even in the heat…) and the choice of keynotes was inspiring.” (Prof. Tom Fisher, Nottingham Trent University)


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