Workshop: mo' to go!

Mischa Schaub, Director, Hyperwerk Institute of Post Industrial Design, Basel, Switzerland, mischa.schaub@fhnw.ch

Summary: Over the past year the HyperWerk Institute for Postindustrial Design tried to fulfill its promise made at COINs 2010 to look into the fine art of applied swarming by exploring the question „how to swarm“. In the meantime we do this mostly in the context of DaO: Eight academies of art and design, all situated within a radius of one hundred miles around Basel, initiated the collaborative network “Design am Oberrhein – DaO” in December 2010. The aim of this network is to respond creatively to the melting-pot situation of the three radically different design cultures coming together at the tripoint. In the last months we had the great experience of visiting the DaO schools with our nomadic laboratory tryplex (more about this at coins11). And in the next year we plan to try taking the next step with the project mo'. mo' stands for mobility. To offer mobility to students was the basic hope behind the so called Bologna reform, which has brought many european art and design education programmes close to their extinction. After our travelling with the tryplex lab we think to understand by now that it might make more sense to move whole labs around than just single students. Such nomadic groups have the advantage to bring along their own research topics and their own learning culture. With nomadix we have shown that such groups may be welcome guests in friendly institutions. We were happy to feel the great interest that we met from our hosts and we learned a whole lot from each institution visited. In comparison to individual academic visitors such collaborations between two cultures seem to produce better learning experiences for both sides. 1

Public theaters in smaller towns often are offering a mixed programme of inhouse productions and invited performances. We would like to try out an analog behaviour for academic exchange, where the visiting group brings along its own identity so that both sides, the host and the invited team, may profit from the exchange.

We try to find out how to get on the move with our institution, away from campus and into the world. We hope to fulfill the original bologna dream, which was based on bigger mobility of the students. We plan to transform our whole institution towards mobility and to exchange our furniture against our own constructions of flightcases we want to build. The aim would be that we could roll our whole institution into some containers and be up and running the next day at some other place. We think that swarming in the real world needs real equipment suitable to the job, and we plan to develop this as an open source project together with flightcase-manufacturers, furniture designers, stage planners, logistic companies, software developers and with you. This complex collaboration project will be the first content of our mobile lab during the coming year – we are convinced that the partners we visit will profit from this experience and that our project will evolve with each visit at a guest institution. The goal of this exploratory workshop is to present the concepts and plans for mo' and to gather the participants’ feedback regarding the desirability of such guests in their own institutions.

Detailed description of the workshop structure, activities and goals: This workshop will take 2 hours in total.

09:30 We will start the workshop with a five minute walk to HyperWerk where we will present our fablab for making flight cases. We are just starting this these days, so there will not so much to be seen, just some first parts, but we can talk about our plans for the coming months. After a morning coffee plus croissant we will have a presentation of the context and the plans for our international and collaborative mo' project. We discuss the potential for creative swarms. How to participate as an institution in such a network of collaborative design and production? What are the lessons we have learned so far, and what are our recommendations? Who may be interested in joining our collaborative swarm for innovation?

11:30 We walk back to the conference location.

Names, contact information and background of organizers: Mischa Schaub,mischa.schaub@hyperwerk.ch, Mischa Schaub is the Director of HyperWerk Institute for Postindustrial Design. He received training as a sculptor and as an industrial designer. He is fascinated by design processes supporting the creative use of digital systems for collaborative innovation.

Maximum number of participants: 20

Anticipated A/V requirements: beamer in HyperWerk, camera for recording the proceedings, and a whiteboard or blackboard for brainstorming.

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