Crafting Life: Materiality, Science and Technology Symposium

digital clay Melanie Jackson, The Urpflanze (Part 2), Moby Dick, digital clay
Melanie Jackson, The Urpflanze (Part 2), Moby Dick, digital clay

Crafting Life symposium explored how crafted life forms create an interplay between art, design, science and technology.

The symposium was part of the opening day programming around the Transformism exhibition of work by Melanie Jackson and Revital Cohen.

The cultivation and crafting of biological life has existed for centuries, both for aesthetic and practical purposes. Today, with the advancement of bioscientific tools, techniques and materials, these new forms are now not only produced by farms and individuals, but in laboratories and factories, with 'crafting' taking place on the molecular level.

In this symposium, we will begin to examine, from different disciplinary perspectives, some of the implications of applying new scientific and technological tools to the manipulation of living forms and systems, what this means for our relationship with non-human life, and the new realm of aesthetic and forms it opens up.

Prof Susanne Kuechler is head of Anthropology department at UCL, Director of Masters Programme in Culture, Materials and Design, and co-editor of the Journal of Material Culture. Her current research is in new material, new technologies and society: their innovation, take-up, classification and transmission, material-aesthetics and the anthropology of art, and she specialisises in pacific anthropology and ethnographic collections.

Dr Emma J Roe is a lecturer in Human Geography in Geography and Environment at the University of Southampton. She specialises in bodily cultural geographies, specialising in bodily cultural geographies of human-nonhuman relations, embodied material ethics and practical experience of consumption.

Prof Raymond Oliver is a lecturer in Interactive Materials in the P³i - D:STEM Interaction Studio Lab at Northumbria University, a chemical engineer with 20 years expertise through a variety of senior research and technology management posts in a global chemicals and materials company. P³i - D:STEM Interaction Studio Lab specialises in Synthetic Biology, Organic electronics, Sensors and Mircrofluidics, Nano materials and technologies into practical, usable, desirable solutions for tomorrow’s issues today.