New BDes(Hons) Interaction Design

Auld Reekie vs The Big Smoke (emerging trends in post-disciplinary creative practice)

I’ve been back in Edinburgh for almost a year following my 2 years in London, and while I’m missing London stuff like This Happened and the very active Dorkbot, I’m also not missing all the predictable stuff like pollution, commuting and the cost of housing… (I could actually rent a 2-bed flat here on the harbour-front with a balcony and sea views for less than I was paying for a bedsit in Paddington.)

Anyway, coming back after being away has made me realise just how much creative activity there is here. Apart from all the new media startups and digital agencies, there are also heavyweights like Navyblue and Rockstar Games. Plus more festivals than you can shake a stick at — including the excellent film festival, now in its 62nd (!) year and moved to June, and at the other end of the scale the fledgling Edinburgh Interactive Festival. We also have four universities and an art college. All of this in a city only a sixth the size of Berlin.

To get to the point, I was recently very excited to hear about the forthcoming symposium being organised by my Napier colleagues Paul Rodgers and Michael Smyth — not only because it includes some of the most talented and interesting hybrid design/art practitioners based in the UK, but also because it’s happening two minutes walk from my office.

The official website is currently down due to a hardware failure, so I may as well give the full details here. (There’s also a facebook page.)

Apparently there are a few places left although they’re going fast. Registration is a mere 20 pounds. Please contact P DOT Rodgers AT if you want to register, and I’ll see you there (here).


emerging trends in post-disciplinary creative practice

Thursday 26 June, 2008
Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries
Napier University
Merchiston Campus
10 Colinton Road
Edinburgh EH10 5DT

This one day symposium will bring together a number of leading practitioners from the fields of architecture, art, and design who each share a common desire to exploit the latest computing technologies in their creative practice. The invited speakers will reveal their cutting edge work that blurs the traditional boundaries of the creative disciplines.

Emerging trends in post-disciplinary creative practice highlight the interplay of conventional boundaries.

“New hybrids of design are emerging. People don’t fit in neat categories; they’re a mixture of artists, engineers, designers, thinkers. They’re in that fuzzy space and might be finding it quite tough, but the results are really exciting.”
[Tony Dunne quoted in West, D., Digital Poets, Icon, 2007, 43 (January), pp. 56 – 64]

The aim of this event is to inspire and inform the symposium delegates of the significance of this trans-disciplinary research and its impact for creative practice in the UK. This event will appeal to a wide audience including practitioners, researchers, educators, industrialists and stakeholders involved in the creative industries.

[ Update: programme below is now updated, plus Paul sent me a PDF of the Flyer with biogs and stuff. Usman Haque was also mentioned in the initial announcement, but unfortunately he’s had to cancel. ]

Thursday 26 June, 2008
Programme (draft)

09.00 – 09.30 Registration, tea and coffee
09.30 – 09.40 Introduction
09.40 – 10:10 Bengt Sjölén
10:10 – 10:40 Greyworld
10:40 – 11:00 Tea and Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:30 Moritz Waldemeyer
11.30 – 12.00 Crispin Jones
12.00 – 12.30 TROIKA

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 14.00 the POOCH
14.00 – 14.30 HeHe
14.30 – 14.50 Tea and Coffee break
14.50 – 15.20 Jason Bruges Studio
15.20 – 15.50 The Owl Project
15.50 – 16.30 Discussion Session (chaired by Lucy Bullivant)

17.00 – 18.30 Evening Reception