Arts Academy Split, Croatia (leading organisation)
UMAS, Arts Academy (University of Split) was established in 1997 and consists of three divisions: Fine Arts, Music Arts, and Theatrical Arts. With its students and professors constantly engaging in many cultural events in the city, the Arts Academy is an integral part of the cultural scene in Split. UMAS has almost 15 years of experience in interaction design, critical and speculative design education, organisation of workshops, and introduction and promotion of novel methods and approaches; and is considered a leader in the region. By applying the critical approach, workshops, lectures, exhibitions have always questioned the design profession and found links between the discourse and practice thereof, gathering many prominent professionals active in critical, speculative, and related practices. The focus of applied speculative practice is set upon the implications of important global topics in the local context, such as how will recent and emerging technological, economic, social, and political changes impact the context of the Mediterranean South-East of Europe.
Ivica Mitrović is assistant professor at the Department of Visual Communications Design at the Arts Academy (University of Split), where he teaches Interaction Design and Interactive Media Design. He holds a PhD at the University of Split (Human Computer Interaction) and has also specialized at several other international institutions. As a guest lecturer and workshop leader, he was invited to various eminent international institutions. He acted as a leader, mentor, and co-mentor for numerous exhibited and awarded student projects at national and international design exhibitions. Since 2001, he has been working on promoting and introducing Interaction Design (later Critical and Speculative Design) as new design specializations in Croatia and the region. In 2012, his book “Designing New Media, Design and the New Media – Croatian Context (1995 – 2010)” was published. The book gives an overview of the Croatian scene in the field of design in the new media.
Oleg Šuran was born in 1988 in Pula. He is working as an associate at DVK/UMAS, University of Split, as a teaching assistant on visual communication and interaction design. He holds a BA in visual communication and an MA in new media design. Together with Andi Pekica and Oleg Morović, he runs AO Fazan, Polet, nakonjusmo.net portal, and FazanFonts type foundry. He runs workshops in the field of communication, interaction and speculative design. Oleg also participated in multiple group and solo shows both in Croatia and abroad. In 2013-14, he worked as an external associate at UNIST on UrbanIxD project, a Coordination Action project for the European Commission under the Future and Emerging Technologies program.
Bruna Pausic works at the Office for Projects and Technology Transfer at the University of Split. She has a Masters in Business Administration and work experience in several business sectors – from tourism and real estate to finance and mining and quarrying. Bruna’s current focus is in writing, implementing, and managing projects, the majority of which are funded by the EU. Most of the time, she is occupied with keeping track of various projects and all their activities (that mostly happen all at the same time!) Other times, she can fully dedicate her daily hours to one project, which turns out to be like a holiday at work – especially if the project’s subject is as innovative and interesting as the Erasmus+ Speculative Edu project. Her role in the Speculative Edu project is to provide the team with management and administration support, built on lasting experiences with successfully implemented KA2 projects.
Goldsmith College, UK
Goldsmiths’ College (trading as Goldsmiths, University of London) is a higher education institution in South East London. Goldsmiths is a technical and recreative institute set up in 1891 to provide educational opportunities for the people of New Cross, and remains committed to the local community and life-long learning. The institution attracts nearly 9,000 students each year in undergraduate, postgraduate, teacher training and return-to-study opportunities in subjects across three schools covering creative arts, social sciences, humanities, management, and computing. Their commitment to widening participation is also evidenced in the flexible learning and distance learning opportunities provided through the University of London International Programmes.
Jimmy Loizeau is a lecturer of design at Goldsmiths’s internationally recognised Department of Design. His projects are intended to exist on, or just inside the peripheries of possibility. These new systems, schemes or products provide an altered view on how we might interact with infrastructures, technologies for better or for worse exploring design possibilities through inclusive speculation. Projects like the Afterlife Project (2002) offer contemporary systems for dealing with mortality proposing a chemical afterlife for the ‘new needs’ of ‘new believers’, the Audio Tooth Implant (2001) proposes the next stage of in body communications technology, the project was also deployed as a way to explore ways for the dissemination of issues surrounding technology through engagement with mass media. Recently projects such as the The Illegal Town Plan (Twin Town) look at inclusive structures and strategies for local engagement and education through speculative town planning schemes which provide an inclusive platform to mediate communities engagement with local government. Since 2015 Loizeau has been working with refugee communities in France and Greece initiating numerous collaborations that explore archiving, mapping and media representation of communities, spaces the conditions and lives of people who have been forced to leave their countries.
Matt Ward is the Head of Design at Goldsmiths. Previous to his appointment as Head he spent 10 years leading and evolving the BA Design. He has held numerous External Examiner across the sector, including Design Products at the Royal College of Art, Graphic Media Design at University of the Arts, Design; Process, Material, Context at University of West England. His research spans a wide range of interests from speculative design to radical pedagogy. He’s a practicing designer, writer and founding member of DWFE; a post-disciplinary, semi-fictional design syndicate. DWFE’s work searches for meaning in the construction of the extraordinary; they design activities, objects and incidents to reconfigure people’s perceptions. Matt holds three international patents on the work he did at NCR’s Advanced Research and Development Department on the emerging contexts of the Internet of Things and Urban Computing. Matt has been a research affiliate to MIT Media Lab and Interaction Design at The RCA. He consults for a range of organisations; Nokia, BERG, Dentsu and the Design Council. He lectures internationally about design, technology and education.
Dash Macdonald is part of the design action group Dash N’ Dem, whose wide-ranging participatory projects centre on political education and engagement. Ideas inhabit varied media and platforms as a vehicle for agitation, using co-production as a form of collective action that encourages diverse audiences to speak out and think critically and creatively. He teaches in the Department of Design at Goldsmiths.
Madeira Interactive Technology Institute, Portugal
Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (MITI) is a non-profit innovation institute of the University of Madeira, Portugal. As a multi-disciplinary centre combining natural and social scientists, engineers, designers, and artists, its output is focused in the area of applied science and human-centred technology. MITI’s research includes empirical and analytic studies of behaviour amongst groups and individuals to inform the design and evaluation of new technologies in order to propose new theories, methods, and techniques, and generate artefacts for the real world. Strategically placed at the intersection of the American, European, and African sides of the Atlantic, MITI is poised to play a crucial role in connecting, exchanging, and contributing to knowledge across continents.
Julian Hanna is assistant professor in Culture Studies at Tilburg University in The Netherlands and a collaborator at the Interactive Technologies Institute (ITI) in Portugal. His research focuses on critical intersections between culture, politics, and technology. With James Auger he co-authors a critical design and futures blog, Crap Futures. In 2017 they received the CCCB Cultural Innovation International Prize (with Laura Watts) for a speculative energy project called The Newton Machine. He is co-founder of the Words in Freedom Project, which recently created a card game for activists called MANIFESTO! He has written extensively on modern and contemporary avant-gardes, with a focus on movements and manifestos. His latest book is The Manifesto Handbook: 95 Theses on an Incendiary Form (Zero Books, 2020).
James Auger is a designer, researcher, and educator who uses practice-based design approaches to examine what it means to exist in a technology rich environment both today and in the near future. After graduating from Design Products (MA) at the Royal College of Art, James moved to Dublin to conduct research at Media Lab Europe (MLE), exploring the theme of human communication as mediated by technology. After MLE he worked in Tokyo as a guest designer at the Issey Miyake Design Studio, developing new concepts for mobile telephones. Between 2005 and 2015, James was part of the critically acclaimed Design Interactions department at the RCA, teaching for the MA programme, and continuing his development of critical and speculative approaches to design and technology, completing his PhD on the subject in 2012. After the RCA, James led the Reconstrained Design Group at Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI) in Portugal, exploring the potential of the island as an experimental living laboratory through a combination of fictional, factual, and functional multi-scale energy-related proposals and projects. This work was awarded the Cultural Innovation International Prize by the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) in 2017. Running parallel to his academic work, James is a partner in the Auger-Loizeau speculative design practice, a collaboration founded in 2000. Auger-Loizeau projects have been published and exhibited internationally, including at MoMA, New York; 21_21, Tokyo; the Science Museum, London; the National Museum of China, Beijing; and Ars Electronica, Linz. Their work is in the permanent collection at MoMA.
Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland
Edinburgh Napier University started as a technical college in the 1960s and became a university in 1992. It is comprised of six schools, situated in three campuses in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. The Centre for Interaction Design, one of the School of Computing’s research groups, is located in the Merchiston Campus, originally the home of John Napier, the 16th-century mathematician and philosopher from whom the university takes its name. The university has strong links with industry and enterprise, and also has a global educational presence, with many international education and research partnerships.
Ingi Helgason is a research fellow at Edinburgh Napier University and also teaches interaction design and technology innovation at the Open University, UK. She has a PhD in Interaction Design and an MSc in Multimedia and Interactive Systems. Her research interests around interactive systems and technology-mediated interactions include: the design and innovation of systems in public, social, and urban spaces; experiential aspects – affective, aesthetic, and emotional responses to technology; and the social and cultural implications of interactive systems. She has worked on European Commission research projects in the H2020, FP7 and FP6 frameworks, and on UK research projects, including the ENSEMBLE project funded by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)’s call for the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences. The project looked at how musicians can perform live together seamlessly as a group even though they are separated by distance, mediated through cutting-edge connection technologies. ENSEMBLE addressed the subjective, experiential, and contextual factors that support high quality performance experiences primarily from the perspective of the performers themselves.
Michael Smyth is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Interaction Design, Edinburgh Napier University, UK. He grew up in a generation that can remember men landing on the moon; he listened to the music of Ziggy Stardust (AKA David Bowie); and dreamt about a future and things that did not yet exist. He likes to tell stories – not stories about the past, but stories about our future. His hope is that these stories allow us to better understand our world and our place in it; and critically what that could be like in the future. During the day, Michael researches and teaches in the fields of interaction design and human computer interaction. He is intrigued by the space between people and technology. Michael is a Co-Director of the Edinburgh Creative Informatics Partnership funded through the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council Creative Industries Cluster Programme. Previously, he has worked on European Commission projects funded under Horizon2020, FP7, FP6 and FP5 initiatives, and is the co-editor of the book entitled “Digital Blur: Creative Practice at the Boundaries of Architecture, Design and Art”.
Human Ecosystems Relazioni, Italy
HER, Human Ecosystems Relazioni, is a research and service center that deals in transforming buildings, cities, territories, organisations, and communities into big data generators, using social networks, sensors, blockchains, and ubiquitous interactive systems. HER studies relational ecosystems, flows of knowledge, information, communication, and interaction to enable citizens, professionals, companies, organisations, and institutions to build strategies, actions, and participatory initiatives. HER uses cutting edge technologies, arts, and design to create cultural acceleration, uniting innovation to a social and cultural impact.
Salvatore Iaconesi & Oriana Persico
He is an interaction designer, robotics engineer, artist, hacker; and she is an artist and writer. Together, Salvatore and Oriana look at all changes in society deriving from the coming of ubiquitous networks and technologies. Between poetics and politics, bodies and architecture, and revolutionary business models, the couple promotes a vision of the world in which art is what unifies science, politics, and economy. Their performances, publications, and artwork have appeared all over the world. They teach Near Future and Design in several universities, among them ISIA in Florence and Università La Sapienza in Rome. They are also the founders of HER – Human Ecosystems Relazioni, a research center that uses art and design to create cultural acceleration processes through data as the existential border of the human being in contemporary societies.
Institute for Transmedia Design, Slovenia
The Institute for Transmedia Design (“ITD”, Slovenia) is a smart institution focused on story and technology driven innovation. A pioneer in transmedia design methodology and practice (research, development, and production), the Institute has been actively involved in co-creating international projects with partners such as the British Council, Edinburgh Napier University, the Arts Academy, Split, Croatia, MEDIA Desk Slovenia, etc. Its work has been selected for major industry events – Cross Video Days, Biennale of Design, Ljubljana, Cartoon Forum, IDFA Forum, MIT Open Doc Lab, Berlinale, to name but a few. ITD is a multi-faceted creative community that participates in international projects and promotes local and international debates, cultural exchanges, and education in the field of transmedia design.
Sara Božanić is CEO of the Institute for Transmedia Design, based in Slovenia. She is a ‘hybrid’ – a designer, strategist, educator, and thinker. She has been working for many years on the promotion of transmedia design disciplines in Europe, organizing events, designing labs, and lectures. As a consultant, producer, and director, she has worked on numerous international projects funded by the European Commission. In 2015, she was chosen among 40 EU consultants working on audience development via digital means to take part in policy debates under the Voice of Culture project ‒ a structured dialogue between the European Commission and the cultural sector. In 2011, she received a Young Creative Entrepreneur Media Award by the British Council for her achievements in the development of the interactive media design sector in Slovenia. Sara believes that digital opens new paths to the public and fosters an endless series of design possibilities.
Petra Bertalanič is a linguist. Since 2014, she has played the role of transmedia producer at the Institute for Transmedia Design, communicating across mediums and cultures; thus, building the bridges between them. As transmedia producer, she is involved in various international projects including managing, planning, and development, as well as production and maintenance of story continuity across multiple platforms. Petra likes prototyping and creating stories that weave traditional ways of delivering narrative experiences along with the latest in technology.