John Boylan’s Next Conversation: ” Art and Design, Fabrication and Technology”

Event Date: Tuesday, September 22, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Admission is free. Tell your friends.

Location: Vermillion, an art gallery, bar, and neighborhood gathering place at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle

The Summary

This time we’ll look at the interplay between art and design, technologies and fabrication. In short, how we make things, and especially, how we make art. Read on for details.

The Guests (see bios below)

Aduén Darriba Frederiks, artist, researcher

Helene Steiner, designer, researcher

Dhairya Dand, researcher, engineer, and designer

The Story

We’re back. We hope you’ve had an excellent summer. Now, with coming of the dark and the beginnings of the rain, it’s time to get back into some conversation.

In this discussion we’ll be exploring the edges and the dynamics between design and art, and looking at the ways in which the processes of fabrication—and the technologies on which they depend—play with each other.

As the art we make and the culture we create become more complex and collaborative, these interfaces become more important. And it seems critical to better understand how they work. Of course, we may be going to some fairly basic questions: What is art, what is design? Where does the creativity live in a collaborative effort? And how does the act of making affect what we make?

For this conversation, we’ve assembled an international crew, people who live at the edges of art, design, and engineering. I can’t help but think that as we approach the craziness that is life in the 21st century, it’s these edges where new understandings and new innovations will appear and grow.

Come and have a conversation.

Next Up

In October (October 20) we’ll be revisiting a favorite topic of mine, with “Creating Outlaw Space, Part 3.” How do we find outlaw space, space for creativity and transformation outside the everyday, outside the mainstream culture? Whether it’s a home, a hideout, a whole neighborhood, or a state of mind, in this city on the make, how do we get there? More details to follow.


This seems to be a week for talking about design in a broader context. On Thursday, September 24, the Seattle Pecha Kucha tackles Design for Equity in its own unique way.

The Guests in Detail

Aduén Darriba Frederiks makes art that lies on the borders of machine and creature, and this translates itself into sculptures and body-worn devices. These live, behave, and act on their surroundings, in symbioses with their wearer. His research focuses on body-worn haptic interfaces, using touch-sensitive garments for social communication.

He has a background in Information Technology and holds a Master of Art degree in European Media. The combination of technology and art has been a driving force in his work since 2008, when he started to collaborate with fashion designers. At that moment he was highly influenced by robotics from his work on animations for the NAO H25. Today he is a recognized creative technologist in the field of fashion and technology.

He is currently an artist in residence at Microsoft Research in Redmond.

Helene Steiner is a London-based designer and researcher with a focus on new interactions in and with our (natural) environment. Her research follows a biological approach and looks at opportunities to not only bridge the physical and digital world but also the natural and artificial.

Her background is in Product Design with an MDes from the Bauhaus University in Weimar, where she started researching human behavior and the interventions of objects in different everyday life situations. During her time in Vienna she studied under FROG founder Prof. Hartmut Esslinger to explore the opportunities of extending our bodies with technology and prosthetics. That lead to her MA and MSc in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College in London, to focus on how technologies can be better embedded in our environment to create interactions with our environment. The goal is delivery of contextualized information and a better understanding of our surroundings. She is collaborating with the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab on new dynamic biological interfaces on a cellular level.

Currently she is an artist in residence at Microsoft Research in Redmond and works on plant/computer interfaces and natural communication systems.

Dhairya Dand is an award winning researcher, engineer and designer based in Seattle. He currently runs oDD – a futurist factory X lab.

His work investigates the human body as a medium for computation, new materials as a tool to embody interactions, and design as a vehicle for mindfulness.

Had recent exhibitions at the V&A, Tokyo Design Week, and the MIT Museum; was part of the Forbes 30 under 30 list, has been a WIRED Innovation Fellow and an INK Fellow. Previously a researcher at the MIT Media Lab, amateur geologist in Saudi Arabia, toy designer in Singapore, sensory researcher in Tokyo, artist in residence at EYEBEAM in New York and political activist in Bombay.

Likes to travel, likes to meet new animals.

Some of his useless/useful inventions live here –


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: