The conference aims to explore the developing role of design research in both academia and practice, to encourage dialogue between academic researchers and practitioners, and to act as an experimental platform to test and evolve new modes of disseminating design research.
SensiLab director, Jon McCormack, will be one of the keynote speakers. He will explore the debate about what it means to “design” in the twenty-first century. Can meaningful design be undertaken by intelligent machines in a time when machine learning and artificial intelligence become increasingly prevalent in every walk of life?
Research from SensiLab will also be displayed in the exhibition that accompanies the conference program. Biohybrids is exploring natural-human-artificial intelligence co-creation through the combination of generative algorithms for form-making, 3D printing for fabrication and robotic control for autonomous ‘gardening’. Artefacts from the research process will be on display with researchers demonstrating a robotic installation that plants and nurtures seeds over complex 3D printed structures.
The research includes a new custom syringe hardware for Universal Robots that allows precise placement of small objects (such as plant seeds) and control over flow rates of nutrients. In addition, the hardware includes provision for a variety of analogue or digital sensors that can be used to drive robot behaviour.