Projects

Gimme More: is Augmented Reality the Next Medium? (2013)

Client

Founded in 2007, the EPFL+ECAL Lab (www.epfl-ecal-lab.ch) is a unit of the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, located on the premises of its founding partner ECAL/University of art and design Lausanne. It cooperates on a regular basis with several top design schools such as the Royal College of Art (London) and ENSCI-Les Ateliers (Paris). Its mission is to explore the prospects of technologies emerging from research labs and to open up new fields of action for designers. The EPFL+ECAL Lab conducts numerous projects with industrial partners.

Project

“Gimme More, Is Augmented Reality the Next Medium?” is an exhibition presented at Eyebeam, from February 21- March 2, 2013 that explored the link between the physical and digital worlds via seven augmented reality-based immersive installations. Previous incarnations of the show had travelled to London, Milan, Paris and San Francisco, but the New York project was re-designed in collaboration with SOFTlab studio and public programs conceived and produced by Laetitia Wolff. “Augmented reality allows everyday objects to tell their stories, reveal information and interact with users in real time. What transpires is a radical shift of interdependence between the object and the information it conveys,” explains Nicolas Henchoz, director of the EPFL+ECAL Lab.

Results

Laetitia Wolff coordinated the NY showing of Gimme More and made it a memorable experience for both the hosting venue, Eyebeam, and client EPFL+ECAL Lab, by recruiting top notch creatives to help generate a thought-provoking conversation around AR, and inspire the audience to challenge traditional perceptions and rethink how we generate and use content. The immersive quality of the work on display was echoed by SOFTlab’s scenography, conceived as a cocoon-like environment. Architect Michael Szivos, principal of SOFTlab, brought on Pentagram’s partner Natasha Jen for beautiful exhibition graphics. Over a period of 10 days, the exhibition was viewed by more than 1,650 visitors, the opening night, sponsored by the Swiss Consulate, gathered 500 guests, and the panel conversation moderated by Laetitia Wolff featured some of NYC leading figures in interactive design, art direction, and media culture, including Jonathan Lee, JP Williams and Christine Paul.

Info

For Gimme More on EPFL+ECAL Lab website, click here
For Eyebeam’s press release, click here

 


The Interdisciplinarians (2010-2011)

Client

The Interdisciplinarians is an original, lively and analog platform for conversations addressing contemporary design and art matters, that explores the interconnections of creative disciplines. Co-hosted by Zesty Meyers and Evan Snyderman of R20th C, a leading art+design TriBeCa gallery, and cultural engineer Laetitia Wolff, the dinner is conceived around a themed conversation that is current, engaging, and provocative.

Project

The Interdisciplinarians brings New York thought-leaders in art, architecture and design, cultural generalists and taste-makers coming from diverse backgrounds – culturally, generation-wise, and professionally. Participants are hand-picked to connect to a specific theme conceived for each dinner. The event is also an occasion to honor a special guest represented by the gallery. Participants of our Learn&Play dinner for instance were leaders in the field of gaming, toy design, children education experts who debated of the value of play. The second dinner, entitled The Power of the Hand, was based on an exclusive interview with Brazilian Modernist master Hugo França, followed by a conversation+picnic that gathered leading art and design personalities to discuss França’s work in his absence.

Results

For our first dinner, a collaboration with award-winning photographer Henry Leutwyler and emerging interactive design talent Simeon Poulin enabled us to produce a dynamic photo-collage of the event. It captured the amazing energy of the conversation around the notions of learn and play, the delicious and artful five-course dinner by chef Giacoppo Falai and Renate Müller’s therapeutic toys, a striking example of universal design. For our second dinner conversation, with the collaboration of filmmaker Craig Lowy and SVA Social Documentary MFA program, we produced a documentary film of the conversation, capturing the multifaceted and controversial perception of Brazilian designer Hugo França’s work, the passion triggered by his monumental “cocoon” sculptures around the theme of the handmade in art and design.

Info1

The Interdisplinarians #1, “Learn&Play” collage-film, conceived by Simeon Poulin with Henry Leutwyler photography, can be seen Special thanks to Henry Leutwyler for his gorgeous photography.

Info2

The Interdisciplinarians#2, “Power of the Hand” documentary film, by Craig Lowy, was featured on DesignMiami Design log. It can be seen here


Quel Chantier! City of Montreal colloquium (2014)

Client

Over the past 20 years, the City of Montreal’s Design Bureau has been leading the conversation around design’s role in enhancing our urban quality of life and territorial attractiveness. Through various initiatives such as their Commerce Design award-winning program, open competitions and workshops, international partnerships with UNESCO’s Creative Cities of Design network and public programs, they have fostered a solid culture and practice of design within their administration. Under the aegis of Les Entretiens Jacques Cartier, a platform for cultural exchange between Québec and the Rhône-Alpes region in France, Montreal’s Design Bureau has produced bi-annual urban design colloquia in collaboration with the City of Saint-Etienne.

Project

Following a series of events focused on discussing design’s role in shaping our cities – which I had the honor of moderating and for which I edited various publications – Montreal is inviting me to direct and produce a colloquium that will address design’s potential role in alleviating large construction sites impact. The construction of new transit hubs, underground infrastructure renovations, urban renewal projects and upgrades of downtown pedestrian zones often generate major disruptions in citizens’ quality of life, whether it hampers their mobility, safety, quietness or small businesses’ activity. Can design propose innovative solutions and participate in improving our collective experience of major construction sites, or at least contribute to lessen their negative impact on residents, commerces and visitors’ daily lives.

Results

The colloquium will activate Montreal’s existing networks with UNESCO’s Creative Cities of Design network and the Commerce Design network, inviting them to submit best practices, while opening up an international call for case studies, recruiting amongst designers, urban planners, city government agencies, engineering and construction companies, etc.
The colloquium scheduled October 8-9, 2014 will take place at the Canadian Center for Architecture and be an occasion to share best practices through detailed case studies, and also invite participants in a one-day, participatory and educational workshop to generate ideas for a specific Montreal site (most likely on Sainte-Catherine).

Info

Information et dossier de candidature en Français: ici

Information and submission application in Englishhere

 


Design & Mobility in Creative Cities conference (2010)

Client

For the 23rd Entretiens Jacques Cartier, The Cité du Design of Saint Étienne and the City of Montreal co-organized the conference Design and Mobility in Creative Cities. The one-day conference was featured in the 2010 Saint Étienne International Design Biennial program, whose main theme was teleportation and mobility.

Project

Cities cope with complex environmental issues while trying to constantly reinvent new urban experiences, demonstrating that creativity, design and innovation are at the core of new territorial development strategies. This conference addressed questions such as, how can design improve mobility in a so-called “creative” contemporary city, in the areas of transport, energy, housing systems, new lifestyles and social contexts, and sustainable development? Which kind of innovation can be leveraged under the combined leadership of the creative class and new technologies? How do we develop a creative and urban mobility culture in relation with our ever-growing, complex, networked systems and new uses?

Laetitia Wolff moderated the one-day conference amongst an impressive international roster of urban thinkers, planners and designers, architects and city government representatives.

Results

Drawing from the UNESCO creative design cities network (Buenos Aires, Berlin, Kobe, Montreal, Nagoya, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Saint Étienne and Seoul), the conference was a success with a 300-seats room packed all day, attracting a diverse audience of students, urban specialists and design professionals. The highlight of the event were two memorable interventions by keynote speakers Jaime Lerner, the former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil and a visionary urban designer as well as by luminary Mireille Apel-Müller, director of the Paris-based Institut pour la Ville en Mouvement presenting the touring, award-winning exhibit, “La Rue est à nous…tous.”

The conference follows on the 2009 Entretiens Jacques Cartier’s theme, the City as Design Laboratory.

Links

Project Website can be found here


Sunny Memories (2010)

Client

EPFL, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the “MIT of Switzerland” hosts the EPFL+ECAL Lab, a research center established in 2007 by EPFL in collaboration with the award-winning, Swiss design school ECAL, in order to boost innovation at the crossroads of design, engineering and architecture.

Project

Sunny Memories is a global workshop+exhibit led by the EPFL+ECAL Lab, in collaboration with the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL), the California College of the Arts (CCA), the Royal College of Art in London (RCA) and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle in Paris (ENSCI). EPFL’s Professor Michael Graëtzel’s new generation of solar cells harnesses SOLAR ENERGY through flexible, colored or even transparent surfaces, creating endless possibilities for INNOVATION AT THE CROSSROADS OF DESIGN, ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE. In this workshop, the student designers were invited to explore how to use and apply this NEW TECHNOLOGY while responding to the following challenges: how do we use energy to record our memory, heritage and knowledge? How can we employ solar energy to preserve history, while increasing autonomy, mobility, and sustainability?

Following its extensive 2009 European tour, Sunny Memories needed to reach the American market. futureflair was asked to help with the production of the New York exhibit and conception of the public program, as well as with an alternative media outreach program.

Results

Sunny Memories was featured in the upper galleries of the Center for Architecture in New York from May 13 to June 5, 2010 to coincide with the 22nd International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). It drew attention from the international design+architecture industry and media, as well as the sustainable development community, thanks to the highly engaging exhibit design conceived by Pure+Applied, as well as thanks to the friendly/soft media campaign, both orchestrated by futureflair. “The Future of Solar Energy in Design,” a panel discussion featuring Nicolas Henchoz of EPFL+ECAL Lab in conversation with Paul Thompson, rector of the Royal College of Art, Yves Béhar of fuseproject, and Anna Dyson, director of the MATERIALAB at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and moderated by Laetitia Wolff, attracted a passionate audience during one of the most competitive design events in NYC. “Harnessing the Sun’s Energy,” a hands-on workshop, offered children and families the opportunity to imagine new applications for Graëtzel’s solar dye technology.

Sunny Memories initiated the first high visibility presence of EPFL in the American market, with longer-term strategic alliances yet to be developed. The North American tour of Sunny Memories will end at Boston’s Harvard Laboratory in the fall 2010.

Links

http://www.epfl-ecal-lab.ch/ and www.aiany.org/exhibitions ; http://www.core77.com/blog/ny_design_week_10/new_york_design_week_2010_dye-based_photovoltaics_at_sunny_memories_16633.asp