Week Six: Interdisciplinary Insights - New Approaches and Creative Partnerships

Updated: Aug 21, 2021








The lecture was a conversation between Susanna Edwards and Louize Harries.


Louize Harries

  • Comes from a textile background, mainly knit.

  • She completed an MA at CSM in material futures, which is described as an intersection of craft, science and technology to explore possible futures through transdisciplinary practice.

  • Developed interdisciplinary practice, new approaches to working, collaboration and creative partnerships.

  • She has also worked in fashion design, production, buying, had her own label, co-founded a textile collaboration practice, ran her own studio and taught.

Are there any areas or principles from the Bauhaus or other sources that have greatly influenced you?

LH:

  • The Bauhaus influences most people in some way.

  • Personally influenced by Black Mountain College in California.

  • After Bauhaus shut down, the people who taught there fled to California and Black Mountain. Black Mountain College was committed to interdisciplinary practice.

  • Buckminster Fuller's life statement was that his life was an experiment to find what a single individual could contribute to changing the world and benefitting all humanity.

Can you tell us about your drone project, from its conception to its development and testing?

LH:

  • It was a collaborative project.

  • Entered into the Biodesign Challenge.

  • The theme for the challenge was 'Anthropocene'.

  • Wanted to make it about London air quality.

  • Thought-provoking.

  • Visual.

  • Discovered air pollution is a complicated problem.

  • Spoke to numerous professionals on the topic.

  • Did a lot of research.

  • Had to fact check with professionals.


Image: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-6-lecture-podcast-with-louize-harries?module_item_id=50678


As you were working with people in different subject areas, did it make them discuss the issue and look at it from a different perspective?

LH:

  • Yes, we had a lot of collaborative chats.

  • They liked that we could illustrate concepts.

  • An academic paper can be hard to capture the publics attention.

  • So much isn't visualised.

"Being able to communicate science is a really important job, I think, for designers in the future."

Louize Harries


What happened with the drone project? Who engaged with it?

LH:

  • It appeared on a lot of forums.

  • Drones (themselves) are going to be a big part of London's future.

Let's look at how government policy and socio-political issues have helped give rise to design thinking and the responsibility that we have to effect change for the positive good. You made a few points about that.

LH:

  • Design influencing policy.

  • Speculative thinking.

  • Design can be used in really practical areas.

  • Policy Lab and Design Against Crime.

  • You need to interact with other people in relevant fields.

Could you talk us through another one of your projects, My Subconscious Shopper?

LH:

  • Final MA project.

  • Went to a (UK) textile reclamation plant.

  • Discovered that so much is being thrown away, and it can't be recycled.

  • A consumption issue.

  • Neuromarketing is when someone is wired up, and their biometric responses to advertising and brands are recorded.

  • Built EEG headsets aimed at children.

  • Taking tech aimed at children to the extreme.

  • Ripped off Disney (the Mickey Mouse ears) for the design.

  • They are designed for children.

"It's the documentation of the process of that dialogue."

Susanna Edwards


Image: https://louizeharries.com


Did you have a clear methodology or a clear idea about how you would approach the interaction with all the people concerned, or did you learn it as you went along?

LH:

  • A mixture of both.

  • Learnt to make notes.

  • Planned.

What materials did you show/use?

LH:

  • Took inspiration from the Argos catalogue.

  • Left wires on show to look a bit freaky.

You build this experience, which comments on the parameters of how that tech is being used but did you actually use it and show the children material and record it?

LH:

  • There ethical issues involved.

  • I tested it on myself but not the children due to ethical boundaries.

What ethical considerations had been made?

LH:

  • Dr sent a list of criteria for when he conducts experiments.

  • Kepp people involved anonymous.

  • Took consent.

Tools and processes used for collaboration

LH:

  • Explore your surroundings.

  • Talk to people.

  • Digital communities.

  • Asking the right questions.

Advice

LH:

  • Go to talks.

  • Speak to people and follow up with emails.

  • Make yourself know.

Anab Jain


Anab Jain is a designer, futurist, filmmaker and educator that creates experiences where people can touch, see and feel the potential of the world we're making.

  • Creating futures

  • Experimentation

  • Collaborating

Workshop Challenge


Reducing Pollution in Inner Cities

The full interview with Joe Parkinson (Marine Engineer) and Katie Heywood (Architect)





















Interview with Didi Aben (Sustainability Consultant) Part 1

Interview with Didi Aben (Sustainability Consultant) Part 2


Reflection


It was incredible learning about Louize Harries this week and all the projects she has been involved with. Regarding the challenge, I ended up interviewing three people as I didn't think I'd get any responses. However, all were enlightening and interesting, and I am looking forward to seeing what progresses.


References


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-6-lecture-podcast-with-louize-harries?module_item_id=50678 [Accessed 11 Jul. 2021].


www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Why we need to imagine different futures | Anab Jain. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYjWLqE_cfE&t=602s [Accessed 11 Jul. 2021].


Superflux. (n.d.). Anab Jain — Co-Founder and Director @Superflux. [online] Available at: https://superflux.in/index.php/team/anab/# [Accessed 11 Jul. 2021].



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