On November 8th, Swiss art and design university ECAL hosts the ECAL Research Day, an eclectic symposium where artists, designers, and scholars will discuss the entanglement of technology and research. CAN will be on-site and report live.
Few European educational institutions have resonated with our thinking as much as ECAL (École cantonale d’art de Lausanne) has. Based in Renens, a suburb of Lausanne, Switzerland, the renowned art and design university weaves like a red thread through much of CAN’s archive (a quick search yields nearly 100 ECAL-related entries). From the forward-thinking work created by its students to landmark projects and initiatives by past and current educators: ECAL’s understanding of art and design – as a form of research – has always neatly aligned with ours. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited to join the upcoming ECAL Research Day, a cross-disciplinary symposium exploring the connective tissue between technology and research through a series of incisive talks and conversations.
Nathalie D. Kane (V&A London), Bianca Berning (Dalton Maag), Christian Kaegi (Qwestion), Fabrice Aeberhard (Viu), Hugues Vinet (IRCAM), Christian Mio Loclair (Waltz Binaire), Ala Tannir (22nd Milan Triennale)
Taking place on November 8th, the ECAL Research Day brings together a cross-section of leading artists, designers, and scholars to examine “the links between technology and research” in discussion with ECAL faculty members. A look into the program reveals a number of exciting pairings: the V&A’s digital design curator Nathalie D. Kane will converse with ECAL professor Patrick Keller on “Data Materialization”; IRCAM-Centre Pompidou’s innovation and research director Hugues Vinet will talk “Artists Residencies for Innovation” with EPFL+ECAL Lab director Nicolas Henchoz; and Christian Kaegi and Fabrice Aeberhard, founders of accessories label Qwstion and eyewear fabricators Viu, will chat “The Aesthetics of Sustainability” with ECAL professor and ON shoes art director Thilo Alex Brunner. Feeding into these conversations are keynote presentations by Dalton Maag font engineer Bianca Berning (“How Can Type Influence How We Design Written Communication?”), Waltz Binaire founder and CAN veteran Christian Mio Loclair (“Humanising Machines: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Art and Design”), and 22nd Milan Triennale Broken Nature co-curator Ala Tannir (“Designing Citizenship in Unstable Times”). This day-time clash of disciplines and personalities is capped with an audio performance curated by ECAL professor Thibault Walter that has Mexican sound artist Mario de Vega perform The Invisible Other. Chapter 1. Vibrancy. When the Divinity Manifests.
Exhibitions: ECAL Research Day visitors will have the opportunity see a number of on-site exhibitions that provide views into the school’s scope of work: “100 beste Plakate 18” showcases the most beautiful posters of 2018 from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, awarded in 2019; “ECAL Diplômes 2019” presents a selection of the Bachelor and Master diploma projects; “Smartphone Peripheral Companions,” curated by Alain Bellet, features an ECAL research project on alternate (more balanced) mobile data flows; and “Soft Machines” presents the outcome of a week-long soft robotics workshop at the MIT Department of Architecture. Last but not least: the EPFL+ECAL Lab will have an ‘open doors’ exhibiting a selection of research projects and prototypes.
Publication: In tradition of the 2017 ECAL Research Day, where the book Making Sense: 10 Years of Research in Art and Design at ECAL was published, this year’s event will see the launch of Technology and Research in Art and Design. Edited by Davide Fornari, the 172-page book features a synopsis of research projects accompanied by conversations on design and artistic research between ECAL professors and leading scholars. Contributors include Florian Amoser, Alain Bellet, Kai Bernau, François Bovier, Thilo Alex Brunner, Matthieu Cortat, Alexis Georgacopoulos, Claus Gunti, Milo Keller, Adeena Mey, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, and Thibault Walter.
Attending the ECAL Research Day is free upon registration. Due to a limited capacity of 350 participants however, we recommend you RSVP over at researchday.ch now. If you can’t attend in person, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter to tune into the proceedings as they happen.