Inspiration day, an intersection of different disciplines, fields and lines of work from inspiring, leading speakers with different visions of the present and the future. This will be the kick-off event for BBDW to establish the perspective and context of this year's theme: Intersections and Transitions.
The speakers will discuss the theme of BBDW21 based on their own experience, how it intervenes in their daily lives, how they work to achieve new ways of living, doing and being - which are more sustainable, inclusive and creative - and imagine and advance towards friendly, shared and safe futures for all living beings.
This event is provided in collaboration with the TopARTE programme of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
AMBER CASE ×
Internationally recognised design advocate and lecturer, and author of four books, including “Calm Technology” and “A Kids Book About Technology.” She spent two years as a fellow at MIT’s Center for Civic Media and Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Her TED Talk, “We Are All Cyborgs Now,” has had over 2 million views.
She has been named one of thirty people under 30 by Inc. Magazine, included in the list of most influential women in technology by Fast Company and called “Emerging Explorer” by National Geographic in 2012. She also received the Claude Shannon Innovation Award from Bell Labs. She was co-founder and CEO of Geoloqi, a location-based software company acquired by Esri.
Amber Case is currently exploring the future of the web economy and creator remuneration with a grant from the Mozilla Foundation.
Designing calm technology
Our world is made of information that competes for our attention. What is needed? What is not? We cannot interact with our daily lives in the same way as we do with a desktop computer.
Technology should not require all of our attention, only some of it, and only when necessary. “Calm technology” describes a state of technological maturity in which the user’s main task is not computing but being human. The idea behind “calm technology” is more intelligent people, not things.
The terms “calm computing” and “calm technology” were coined in 1995 by PARC researchers Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown to react to the increasing complexity that information technologies were creating. “calm technology” aims to provide principles that consider the human lifestyle and environment, allowing technology to amplify humanity rather than diminish it.
The difference between an annoying technology and one that is useful is how it captures our attention. “Calm Technology” is a framework for designing ubiquitous devices that capture our attention in the right way.
FRANCESCA PERONA ×
Francesca Perona is a designer and researcher advocating for a material-led and collaborative approach to innovation. She has developed a highly cross-disciplinary practice by working on new material technologies in collaboration with academic researchers, industry and the tech start-ups world.
Her creative practice has been supported by international residencies and commissions and featured at institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and Science Gallery London. She is an awardee of the Royal Academy of Engineering SME Leaders programme, and has been recognised with a Certificate of Excellence by the Arts & Crafts Design Award.
Francesca is currently Chief Innovation Officer at the London-based start-up TG0, where she is working with talented hardware and software teams on turning conductive polymers into interactive interfaces for automotive, wearables and consumer electronics sectors.
As designers we constantly work with materials, however, we often think of these as inert, passive and isolated from environmental and historical contexts.
What does it look like for designers to use materiality as the starting point of their design process?
Material-led thinking requires practitioners to develop a less linear and more holistic approach to design. It also requires creatives to work across disciplines, connect technologies and processes and acquire new tools and vocabularies.
Materials are agents of positive change at the forefront of innovation practices.
They have a key role in the transition to more conscious and planet-centric innovation, capable of tackling global problems and delivering richer and more meaningful experiences.
MARIANA SALGADO ×
Researcher and designer of services and interaction. She works at Inland Design, an innovation and design laboratory of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.
She is the producer and host of “Design and Diaspora,” the podcast on design for social change. (in Spanish and Portuguese). The podcast currently has 200 episodes published, is the most listened to podcast in Latin America and has more than 6,000 listeners per month. Interviews with people working in education, health, security, cultural heritage, urban planning and citizen participation from companies, public or third sectors. All working in design and reflecting on their practice. Some of them are active in their communities and make long-term efforts to make the world more sustainable, open and fair.
For 4 years, she was a juror for the Finnish national design scholarships awarded by Taike (2016-2020). She has been involved in many projects on cultural heritage, immigration and global health, always in the participatory design field. She inspires and motivates its employees and partners. The projects vary but are all multicultural and multidisciplinary initiatives. She works with different communities of vulnerable groups such as the visually impaired, undocumented migrants, experts in cultural institutions and health experts in developing countries.
Fluency and permeability. Between design work in the government and in a pod cast
About the permeability and fluency occurring between paid professional activity (at the Ministry of the Interior for Finland) and activist professional activity and adhonorem. In this talk, Mariana describes examples of the work at the ministry in the design of public policies and of the work of the pod cast as a research tool. Permeability and fluency are the lines which appear in the day-to-day of different practices, wisdom and contexts. A personal vision describing places of encounter and of conflict mediated by working from the diaspora and supporting learning from the global south.
GINTARAS BALČYTIS ×
Gintaras Balčytis is a renowned Lithuanian architect awarded with the most important awards for architecture and art in Lithuania.
He is a founder of “Balčytis Studio” (from 2018, www.balcytis.com), which is an architecture and design studio based in Kaunas, Lithuania. He also is a founding partner and chief architect of architecture studio “Dviejų Grupė” (from 1993). He is a chief founder and organizer of Kaunas Architecture Festival (KAFe), which is an international happening, organized every three years. Since 2008, he is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Kaunas University of Technology.
Gintaras Balčytis works on different scale projects from small family houses to large-scale projects like apartment blocks, office buildings and bus stations. His projects are characterized by the successful integration of new architecture into the existing urban and natural environment. Balčytis was elected as the most memorable artist of Kaunas in 2017, awarded as “Architect of the year” by the architecture news portal PilotasLT in 2017, received the award by the Ministry of Environment for the best building of the year in 2018, was awarded the Lithuanian Government’s Prize for Culture and Art in 2018, and granted the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts in 2020.
Interviews with Gintaras Balčytis are published in the national and international press; his projects are reviewed and presented in different countries including Germany, Japan, Spain, Austria, UK, China, and other countries.
Gintaras Balčytis is well known as author and initiator of public events and activities. Kaunas Architecture Festival (KAFe), conceived and directed by him, took place in 2013, 2016 and 2019, and became the largest international architectural event in Lithuania that periodically takes place and promotes professional architecture. The exhibition of Kaunas Interwar Architecture, created in 2013 and curated by Gintaras Balčytis, travels internationally and has been displayed in Johannesburg (2021), NATO Headquarters in Brussels (2019), Sao Paulo (2018), Antalya Architecture biennale (2017), Architecture museum of Berlin (2015), Brno Architecture center centre (2014), Tallinn Architecture museum (2014).
Genius Loci, or three forms of “transit” from space to place
We are surrounded by architecture and design at every step. In the city, at home, at work, and even when we sleep, architecture plays no less important role. In its form and content, both architecture and design assist us in the makings of our everyday life. By their thinking, architects and designers are predetermining the style of our future choices. At present, in our everyday encounters we are confronted with a myriad of challenges and uncertainties, such as digitalization, and information abundance and acceleration, but also with such globally apparent threats as global warming, populations aging, and the rise inequalities. The future can no longer be imagined without eco-thinking and environmental protection, but also humanist and sustainable living solutions. And this is a tremendous challenge awaiting all of the creative professions.
Architecture and design are very close professions. Their essence reveals in the ideals of function and form. But architecture is, I would say, a “heavyweight art”. It is very difficult if not impossible to convey a rapid change there; and to overcome challenges of the “circular economy” in architecture is not so easy. Design is a more adaptable and, hence, a faster-changing field. Technical progress and circular economy solutions have a particular impact on it. Design is focused on “consumer-product” interaction, whereas architecture requires a subtle additional factor, which is the actual “place” of the future building. Architecture is inseparable from the place, its history, and its social and cultural environment. A spirit of the place, i.e. the Genius Loci, is a key determinant of architectural thinking. In such a manner, the conceptual approach of “transit” is epitomized as a professional ritual, which builds on deep interrelations between the place, the architecture, and the people.
Understanding the Genius Loci and using this as a design strategy, is particularly important for the architects and society. Architecture not only strongly influences upon the environment, it also has a huge effect on social relations. Architecture should assist us in our moves towards living with humanist values.
In this presentation, three distinct architectural designs will be discussed epitomizing the idea of “transit”. The first example displays “transit” as interrelations between nature and space; the second analyses the architectural concept of the building as the continuation of a city “narrative”; and, lastly, the third example re-interprets how authentic architectural design of a local public space becomes a “signifier” for a new arena for community living.