The Hybrid Talks and Symposium which took place at the beginning of November 2011 brought artists, designers, scientists and engineers together in an open discussion of the different approaches and strategies in prototyping.
A mix of presentations ranging from architecture and media design, to mechanical engineering, cognitive robotics, computer science and vehicle design, provided very different examples of methods, but with fundamental similarities in the way prototypes were used and positioned in work process.
At a fundamental level, prototypes are to be interacted with: whether to evaluate the physical qualities of a product, the emergent behavior of a simple robot, or the mechanical "feeling" of a hybrid virtual/physical car model, all prototypes focused on exploration - on hands on evaluation of the systems. The knowledge that exists in a physical embodiment of a design or idea validates theories, refines focus and can even give completely new ideas as to how to proceed.
The Prototyping talks, symposium and exhibition stirred exciting discussions which are paving the way to transdisciplinary collaborations, and exploring what different fields can learn from each others' working methods in developing ideas. Stay tuned!