Art and Design by Other Means

Interdisciplinary meeting organized by the UOC-Telefónica Chair in Design and Multimedia Creation
31 August 2016
Museu del Disseny de Barcelona


In recent years, there has been increasing interest in research in art and design, both inside and outside academia. Traditionally associated with highly practical craftsmanship, the focus in research into art and design has brought about new interest in methodological and epistemological questions that could benefit the development of the fields in both universities and the professional world. The transformation and inclusion of schools of art and design in universities aimed at producing research outputs has created new horizons to be explored. But this rapid, ongoing evolution needs new tools and frameworks to endow us with the new skills required. It also needs to keep the focus on practices while at the same time adding a great amount of self-reflection and methodology to the processes involved.

In this sense, collaboration with other disciplines with an older or stronger tradition of research practices and methodologies could be a key aspect in improving the field. This may imply joint but separate epistemic and design/art work, or a mutual blended transformation into transdisciplinary processes. There is a myriad of forms and types of collaboration to be explored while researching within hybrid contexts.

On the one hand, there is an ever greater tendency for art and design research to establish and enhance its links with science and technology studies (STS). This has happened for a variety of methodological and epistemological reasons. On the other hand, although STS were born within the social sciences, they have extended their field of action to other disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas related to the arts and humanities. In fact, art and design share a mutual approach with STS that is beneficial for both sides, considering their drive to transform and to be transformed.

The purpose of the meeting organized by the UOC-Telefónica Chair in Design and Multimedia Creation that took place on 31 August 2016 at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona was to explore this mutual approach from the multiple perspectives of those involved. It was also an opportunity to exchange practices and experiences between the researchers undertaking their work in the local context and those that had come to Barcelona to present their ongoing investigations at the 4S/EASST Conference, organized by the two foremost international STS societies. The Conference took place in Barcelona between 31 August and 3 September, 2016. Apart from the aim of creating a forum for the exchange of experiences, a main objective of the session was to become a space for joint reflection on the research processes, methodologies and practices that have emerged in this shared territory between art, design and STS. The hope was also to establish networks that would contribute to the strengthening of this increasing connection. In this sense, it has indeed served to foster a more productive and fertile interconnection, one that needed to be explored more thoroughly and deeply. Aligned with the 4S/EASST Conference’s proposal to explore projects and spaces where science and technology were performed divergently, this session tried to address and discuss potential frameworks for studying the diversity of creative practices, respecting their dispersion and their otherness, while at the same time recognizing them as such. We were moving in hybrid territories that fostered connections between the creative local scene and international research, as well as different knowledge-sharing formats. These connections could help address the cross-cutting issues involved through concrete practices.

The organizing team:
Pau Alsina, Nerea Calvillo, Vanina Hofman, Daniel López, Enric Mor, Irma Vilà i Òdena


During the meeting, Pau Waelder wrote a summary of the interventions by Ignacio Farias, Irene Lapuente, Joana Moll, Enric Senabre, Katrina Jungnickel, Susana Tesconi, Nina Wakeford, Tim Choy, Michael Guggenheim, Bani Brusadin and Liliana Ovalle in the two Pecha Kucha sessions and the final round table with Dehlia Hannah, Deborah Lanzeni, Alex Wilkie, Amanda Windle, and Pau Alsina while Mario Pereda drew the graphic documentation of every discussion.

Document: Art and Design by other means (PDF)


The meeting was recorded on video by Antoni Marín Amatller with further video editing by Aniol Marín. The videos are reproduced below.

Ignacio Farias- Boundary Making

Irene Lapuente- Art&Design by other means: Research, methods & Practices

Joana Moll- Go2gle&Deforest

Enric Senabre- Collaborative Methodologies for collaborative research?

Katrina Jungnickel- Bikers and Bloomers

Susana Tesconi- Teacher training through Making and Prototyping

Nina Wakeford- Inventiveness: Feminist STS and Artistic Research

Tim Choy- Drawing Breath Together: Sketches for an Atmosferic Conspiracy

Michael Guggenheim- The Cosmopolitical Problem of Provision: Cooking Emergency

Bani Brusadin- Art and Design

Lilliana Ovalle- Energy Babbe: Designing a research device

Round Table