Tech Day 20: Biotech & Future Sustainable Societies

Hour: 9.30 a.m.- 2.15 p.m.
Place: Ateneu de Fabricació de Gràcia (C/ Perill, 8)

This year's Tech Day lecture series, under the title "Biotech and Future Sustainable Societies", aims to highlight engineering in design, biology and science fiction as part of the creative process to envision and propose respectful and sustainable future societies.

The series proposes a reflection on the relationship between biomaterials and humans, in view of the future role of biological systems that generate new ecological materials. The aim is to investigate, understand and explore biomaterials in order to propose new futures in which objects come to life and are naturally integrated into human beings. The vision and responsibility that we have as design engineers should allow us to propose a logical discourse from the knowledge that is contained in biology, bioengineering, materials science and biodata.

Tech Day is part of the programme of teaching activities of the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering, and from the subject of Design and Product is organized a knowledge event focused on a particular topic. The objective is to offer a wide view of all the possible factors for the inspiration of new design proposals to students and professionals related to the topic.

The event will include lectures and relevant projects by Elisava Alumni and students of the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering.


9.30 a.m. – Opening doors and registration.

9.45 a.m. – Introduction:

Oscar Tomico, Head of Elisava's Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering.

Jessica Fernández, Director of the Master in Industrial Design Engineering / Coordinator of the projects area of the Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering.

10.00 a.m. – Ron Wakkary: "Things we could design in more than human-centred worlds" (in English). 

Ron Wakkary is full professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University in Canada where he is the founder of the Everyday Design Studio. In addition, he is full professor in Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology in the Future Everyday cluster. Wakkary is interested in design-oriented human-computer interaction (HCI) and the philosophies of technologies through design. Wakkary’s research investigates the changing nature of interaction design and HCI in response to new understandings of human-technology relations. He aims to reflectively create new interaction design exemplars, concepts, and emergent practices of design that help to shape both design and its relations to technologies. Ron is currently a member of the Tangible Embedded/Embodied Interaction (TEI) and Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) steering committees. He is also a member of various editorial boards including International Journal of Design (IJD). He was co-Editor-in-Chief of ACM interactions from 2010 to 2016. 

11.00 a.m. – Dra. Laura Benitez: "Biofriction: beyond disciplinary knowledge(s)" (in English). 

Laura Benítez Valero, PhD in Philosophy, is a researcher and independent curator. Her research connects philosophy, art(s) and techno-science. Currently her work revolves around the practices of bioart, biohacking, bio-resistance processes, civil biodisobedience and non-human agents. She is a professor of Critical and Cultural Studies at La Massana (Art and Design Centre) and an external professor of Technology at Elisava. She has worked as coordinator at the Institute of Humanities of Barcelona/CCCB. She has been a guest researcher at the Ars Electronica Centre and the MACBA documentation centre. She has also been invited to different international institutions such as Interface Cultures Kunstuniersität Linz, Sónar Festival (Bcn/Hong Kong), Royal Academy of Arts London or University of Puerto Rico. She currently collaborates in different research projects, both academic and regional, and is a regular contributor to Hangar. Is the director of Biofriction, european project on bioart and biohacking practices. 

11.45 a.m. – Dra. Maria Broto: "The Color Biolab: a transdisciplinary research on color" (in English). 

Researcher at KASK / School of Arts of University College Ghent. Responsible for Laboratorium the experimental lab for art/design and biotechnology at KASK. María has a scientific background with a degree in Food Technology from the University of León, and a Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona. 

After her Ph.D., she joined the Waag Society in Amsterdam as a laboratory technician where she helped artists and designers to develop their projects in the fields of bioart and biodesign. During that period, she had the opportunity to get in contact with the biohacking and DIYbio scene, helping with the organization of the first Biohack Academy. 

Since 2016, Maria is a researcher at KASK/School of Arts of University College Ghent, where is responsible for Laboratorium the experimental lab for art/design and biotechnology. The main research project developed at Laboratorium is the color biolab, which focuses on new ways of approaching the color field, from alternative and sustainable color production to color as a common language between art and science. 

12.30 p.m. – Break.

1.00 p.m. – Elisava Alumni's presentations (in Spanish).

  • "Bambugi. Garments grown by mycelium". Judith Gómez Cuyàs. 
  • "O-Knit". Laura Freixes Conde.
  • "EFIMERO". Paula Gomez Moreno.

1.45 p.m. – Students' presentations (in Spanish).

2.15 p.m. – End.