Sunday, 5 January 2014

TVAD Monthly Research Seminars 2013-2014

The TVAD research group enjoyed a series of fascinating research seminars in the autumn term 2013, which kicked off with a group meeting on 18 September. On October 16, a lively discussion followed by Erica Liu's presentation on her research into Megaevents and on 20 November, Daniel Marques Sampaio's presentation, 'The image of revolution' similarly sparked a long and complex response. Our 11 December seminar was led by Silvio Carta, on the topic 'Holistic construction system for Interior Architecture':
The introduction of digital fabrication and—in particular—of additive manufacturing techniques (3D Printer) in design processes seem to have resulted in an epochal shift in the design culture, involving the future of manufacturing (where the creation of objects is moving from factory to the workshop) and the people's perception of objects (a network society self-produces objects within open design platforms and with open source tools). This shift has been defined “The third industrial revolution” and it is closing the circle described by the massive industrial production and the long lasting consumerism-driven momentum. Within the field of research of architecture, the Digital Fabrication offers new and—partially yet unexplored—construction techniques. However, the majority of the building experiments realised by researchers and designers so far tends to fall into one of the two categories:
-       The design is mainly driven by the technology (hence eluding any possible critical reflection or theoretical ground for the design)
-       The design is based on former construction techniques which allow for a perception of space and abject rooted in previous technologies.
The challenge for the future design is thus to think --before to design and make—what digital fabrication may really mean in terms of generating new scenarios for our lives.

In the coming year, our research seminar programme holds much of interest to those research relationships between text, narrative and image. Seminars take place in the School of Creative Arts on the second Wednesday of each month. All are welcome. For more information, contact Dr Grace Lees-Maffei and stayed briefed at our blog

January 15, 2014
Marta Rabikowska, ‘From art to ethnography: What research questions can be posed in relation to photographic practice?’
Afterwards, discussion: TVAD research and Impact

February 12, 2014, TVAD/R2P MINI-SYMPOSIUM
Two research groups in the School of Creative Arts, TVAD and Research into Practice (R2P), come together for paired presentations and discussion, constituting a mini-symposium. For more information about R2P see the group's webpages at

Pat Simpson & Prof Fae Brauer UEL/UNSW, 'Art & Biopolitics: Evolution, Revolution, Genetics & Transgenics'
This session focuses on the related research interests of Dr Pat Simpson (Reader in Social History of Art, UH) and Professor Fae Brauer (UEL and University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia). The area described by the session title is still nascent, but rapidly growing in significance, both from art historical and art practice perspectives, in relation to contemporary discourse on genetics/genetic manipulation, and the potentially 'eugenic' connotations of both. It is a pre- and post-modernist truism that art has a necessary engagement with contemporary life, and its concerns. We question how this engagement has, and does work with aspects of past and contemporary art.

Ana Gabriela Lima, U. Mackenzie, São Paulo, ‘Feminine & Plural: Women Architects & Designers, Paths & Projects’
This research project investigated architectural and design processes from the perspective of gender. It employed a combination of literature review and interviews with women architects and designers, to identify and describe how gender affects the ways women design. It has been assumed that design practice, as a cultural practice, carries the identity marks of the person who does it, gender among them. Nevertheless, the initial conclusions point out that that architects and designers do not seem to have a gender consciousness that guides their projects, but rather a professional consciousness that has been built as a "cultural field", in Bourdieu's terms. Thus a gender perspective, within the design process, seems to appear in the form of conceptual instruments formulated by the person who designs, in order to respond to project-specific demands.

March 19, 2014
Carolyn Lefley, title TBA
Michael Heilgemeir, title TBA

April 23, 2014
Steven Adams, 'Psychogeography & Revolution: Traveling on the 21 bus from Bastille to Concorde’

May 14, 2014
Kerry Purcell, 'The Accidental Intention: Design, History, & the Truth Event'
The French philosopher Alain Badiou recently stated that a truth procedure was “an experience whereby a certain kind of truth is constructed” (Badiou, 2012: 38). Badiou classified four spheres where such "truth events" could occur, as those of science, art, politics, and love. In these four realms, "chance is defeated word by word" (Badiou, 2012: 46), where through the random unplanned encounter a new world is born. In each moment, whether that be a scientific breakthrough, a radical political act, a creative artistic solution, or unexpectedly falling in love, our singular vision becomes a collective shared moment. When design does this, it breaks our absorption in the temporal, it reveals the depths of our singular reality, it opens us to a fuller sense of ourselves, but, more importantly, it serves to reveal our common existence. This paper tentatively seeks to explore the application of Badiou's theories in mapping the ways in which design is being produced and new communities being formed.

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