The Royal College of Art is pleased to announce the inaugural Inspiring Matter conference to take place at the Royal College of Art in London on April 2nd & 3rd 2012.
Inspiring Matter will provide you with a unique insider’s view of how some of the world’s leading designers, scientists, artists and anthropologists think and work within materials research and innovation, and enable you to be in at the start of an important new series of materials-based events and research activities which the RCA is launching at the conference.
We have asked our presenters – including physicist Professor Sir Richard Friend (University of Cambridge), Anna Valtonen (ex Head, Nokia design-research, now Rector, Umea Design Institute), architect Mike Davies (Rogers Stirk Harbour) and anthropologist Professor Susanne Küchler (University College London) – to talk frankly about how they work across disciplines, how they tackle the challenges of collaboration, and how they find and apply inspiration in their work with materials.
Having heard these unique experiences and insights, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to share ideas, experiences and questions both with the speakers and with your peers from the worlds of art, design, the humanities and science. Inspiring Matter is the beginning of a new RCA-based community which will facilitate useful and inspiring dialogue across materials-related disciplines. We look forward to you joining us in this initiative, and to welcoming you to the RCA for Inspiring Matter.
How to book your place at Inspiring Matter 2012:
Tickets are £250 for the full two-day conference, documentation and materials design exhibition (2-3 April), plus an opening drinks reception at the Institute of Materials on 1 April, and optional visits to the Science Museum and Kew Gardens’ 19th century materials library on 4 April.
Register now at: http://inspiringmatter.org/register
Hosted by the RCA‘s Materials for Living Hub and the Materials and Design Exchange of the Materials KTN.
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In a brave, new and uncertain world the invisible and intangible ‘matter’ of inspiration that fuels artists, designers, scientists and technologists is one of the most precious materials of all.
Design, art, the applied sciences and the humanities and social sciences are critical contributors to the future of our material world, but most effective when we communicate with each other. Inspiring Matters suggests that unexpected innovation can arise through boundary-crossing, and that flashes of inspiration that guide our work unite all of these areas. By foregrounding common questions and modes of communication between areas, the conference seeks to foster collaboration between lab discovery, product innovation, human experience and social welfare.
Innovative new materials and process technologies both allow and challenge designers to create a new paradigm of design practice that is, by necessity, inter-disciplinary and collaborative.
As products develop into complex integrated systems with logic, memory and connectivity the expertise and skill base needed to realise this vision extends far beyond the design community into the material science and technology communities.
Similarly, as the lab becomes increasingly important in the development of new products, designers’ ways of working with materials to form products is becoming critical, as the characteristics of the new materials offer far greater impact into sensory and emotive human values.
And insights from the fine arts, social sciences and humanities into human behaviour, desire and the nature of innovation bring crucial insights into our interaction with technologies, materials and things, and can guide potential impact in the area of social inclusion and societal benefit.
Inspiring Matter asks leading and emerging figures in each of these areas to consider their own sources and methods of inspiration. How does inspiration strike? What inspiration do we draw from collaboration, and from materials themselves?