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FUNKEN Academy for artistic research

In the FUNKEN Academy, artists, technological institutes and research facilities come together to experiment in the field between arts and technology.



Discursive Design Class | IF / THEN ARTIFICIAL NATURES

Can a shape-memory polymer function as an artificial larynx and be applied in sound-creation? Can programmable materials lend character to everyday objects? What if a household gadget running low on battery would communicate this by slumping in exhaustion? Which structures and characteristics derived from nature can be used in the development of new materials? And which philosophical questions arise in the process of creating artificial forms of nature? 

In cooperation with the  Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials artists and designers are invited to investigate the novel programmable materials in a course by Prof. Dr. Johanna Schmeer.  Through the cooperation with the institute, the participants gain access to new materials, which are not yet available on the market. 

Following a Kick-Off event in Chemnitz and Dresden from 04th of October till 06th of October 2021 are followed by regular consultations (remote).  The final works will be presented on 24th of January 2022. 

Photos: © Fraunhofer CPM / smart³ / Sascha Linke.

Pilotprojekt LABOR 2025

In March 2021, Labor 2025 was realized as a pilot project of the FUNKEN Academy. In three workshops, developed by artists in collaboration with the partner institutes Fraunhofer IWU, Fraunhofer ENAS and the Saxon Textile Research Institute, students and post-graduates worked on the prototyping of ideas in the fields of AR, smart materials and textile design, followed by an exhibition of the results at the Ars Electronica Center Linz.

The Lab 2025 was funded by the Cultural Capital Office Chemnitz 2025 and implemented as a pilot project within the EU-funded project InduCCI in cooperation with Kreatives Sachsen.

Video credit: Fabian Thüroff

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