• think about making practices and their critical potential.
  • offer opportunity for exchange across disciplines, attempt to shift the discourse of making from maker culture to a wider set of creative practices,
  • propose alternatives to the solutionism of contemporary techno-creative industries.
  • ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making’ investigates how Critical Making — a notion originally developed in the context of social research, design and technology — can be adopted and developed in relation to artistic research and (post)critical theory.

to connect practical research with academic research. 
urgency of overcoming the split between creative disciplines which they experience as increasingly problematic in their research, respectively art/design educational, practice.

At the same time, the social impact of new technologies requires a new common discourse and language among practitioners in all disciplines.

Critical in the sense of figuring out what is going on, analyzing beyond face value and challenging oppressive power structures (taken from “Critical Theory”). And making as in building things, especially using new technology (coming from DIY Maker Culture). Critical thinking + Making =  Critical Making.

  • These practices are seen in such isolation, but yet each facilitates the other under when treated under practices of ’Critical Thinking and Critical Making’.
  • Separating practices into seperate categories is merely tactile; prescribed notions of what makes ‘Art, art’ and ‘Design, design’ are upheld in our current societal state. This is stunting growth, development and exploration for ‘bigger and better things’. -
  • discuss the emergent practices that transcend this threshold, helping us transition into a needed ’middle stage’ of interdisciplinary critical making, thinking and artistic practice for a better future. We aim to break down the dichotomies of ‘Art’ and ‘Design’ and ‘abroad’.

1: Matthew Galloway is an artist and designer
- Their work is concerned with the potential for art to challenge the status-quo and present alternative paths.
- Their practice uses the tools and methodologies of design to investigate issues of identity, understanding of place, and the political implications of both. Often beginning with a simple observation from the world around themselves, they create open-ended research projects with multiple results.
- Galloway’s art work is research-based. They find topics to use as a ‘window’ and then delve into issues around it. Their research is brought to life using graphical elements and sculpture - graphic prints and letters often adorn walls, alongside deconstructed frames and forms, and flags bearing quotes.

‘It’s a neutral space. There is no limits to what you can do and why you do it that way. You can deal with real-world issues and politics, engage the big topics in a poetic and visual way.’

2: Anja Groten is an independent designer and researcher

- In 2013 Groten co-founded the initiative ‘Hackers & Designers’, attempting to break down the barriers between the two fields by enforcing a common vocabulary through education, hacks and collaboration.
- Investigating the possibilities of frictional encounters as part of design practice, Groten designs collective moments of critical making, aimed at discussion, confrontation and contingency.
- Her design practice evolves around the cross-section of digital and physical media, design and art education and community organization

‘…oppositional forces and encounters of resistance in the context of design and engineering processes be productive, and if so, what could be a possible outcome?’

- created sculptural, kinetic pictograms that move through space. The playful pieces use rebus, or visual puns, which is the use of visual image to convey a word or phrase.
- Imagine entering a white cube and seeing emoticons we use daily, like : ) or </3, crawling on the gallery floor. It’s language as sculpture, filled with humor and play, and pushing the relationships between object=word=image.
- creates new and playful relations between language and reality. Exploring miscommunications, he seeks to unearth some of the ways in which meaning is transmitted via words, signs, texts, emojis – especially across communication platforms.
- Through his text works and sculptural installations he draws attention to how – often unthinkingly – the way the message is transmitted, rather than the message itself, affects us.
- showing how humans have always been in a close, adaptive, flexible relation with the signs that surround them.
Semiotics in art

4: Mindy Seu
The graphic design practice of Harvard student Mindy Seu is steeped in research. Her projects always have a large backstory to them and regularly see the designer diving deep into the archives of the discipline, particularly translating analogue materials to digital, visually represented with her interest in “kinetic typography, computational poetry, and interface aesthetics”.
Currently at Harvard’s graduate school of design, Mindy is studying a masters concentrating on art, design and the public domain. The latter explains Mindy’s design approach entirely, as it appears the end goal is always to share what she’s found.
- “Pedagogy is also an important element in my practice,” Mindy points out. Relaying her theoretical concepts through teaching offers the designer an opportunity to talk through her work.

5: Simon Denny
In recent years, Simon Denny’s research-based art projects have explored aspects of technological evolution and obsolescence, corporate and neoliberal culture, national identity, tech-industry culture, and the internet.

His Biennale Arte 2015 project, Secret Power, was partly prompted by the impact of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks of PowerPoint slides outlining top-secret US telecommunications surveillance programmes to the world media, which began in 2013. These slides highlighted New Zealand’s role in US intelligence work, as a member of the US-led Five Eyes alliance. Now in the open, the slides have come to represent international surveillance work and its impact on individual privacy.

First Topic Idea: Critical Making