Hybrid Futures. Speculations by Vera Meyer and Sven Pfeiffer

Art and science between the realms of past, present and future. 

The Hybrid Plattform and the Futurium would like to invite you to another digital "Hybrid Futures".  Here artists and scientists come together to talk about past and current visions of the future that have inspired and continue to inspire their work. 

10th December 2020, 20:15 pm, streamed online with live chat (on the YouTube channel)

In German and English. 

At this third event the fungus biotechnology expert and artist Vera Meyer and the architect Sven Pfeiffer, known for digital and experimental designs, will speculate on their collaborative work at the interface between art and science. Works by both speakers that provide insight into their research are currently on display at the Futurium: Printed Tower is an architectural object printed with the help of a robot using 3D technology and composite materials made from fungi and plants that are optimally suited for stable lightweight structures.

Together Vera Meyer and Sven Pfeiffer are striving to find new uses for fungus, including the design of future (construction) materials. The collaboration has already yielded initial results, which will also be presented on 10 December. In addition they will be speaking about new possibilities for sustainable construction offered by the symbiosis of architecture and biotechnology. How may have mentalities that once shaped our working lives shifted? And how can bioeconomic solutions attract more public attention?

To begin with the conversation will focus on the history of the disciplines and their increasing interconnection. Based on different scenarios from the realms of art and science, the two speakers will then engage in speculation on the future of their scientific fields.

Vera Meyer is biotechnology expert and professor at the Technische Universität Berlin, where she directs the Department of Applied and Molecular Biology. In her scientific work with fungus she combines methods from the field of synthetic biology and systems biology to produce medicines, proteins and platform chemicals that help promote sustainable bioeconomic conditions. The potential uses of such products – from medicines to construction materials – is very diverse, as can be seen from her wide-ranging collaborations. She is also known as an exceptional communicator who in her research promotes dialogue with the civic community. In her works of art she translates the transformational and metabolic potential of her research objects into sculptures made from fungus, the philosophic import of which is both subtle and readily apparent: nothing merely vanishes in nature, everything is in a state of transformation.

Sven Pfeiffer is Professor of Digital Design, Planning and Construction at the Department of Architecture of the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, where he focuses on the experimental integration of digital simulation and production tools in the architectural design process. He utilizes wood, clay and fungus in groundbreaking additive production mechanisms to create materials for innovative architecture. With the help of robot arms and other digital technologies, architectural compositions are created that not only look extraordinary but that feature construction properties that defy current norms.

All those who would like to ask a question regarding future construction methods, bioeconomics and the work between the realms of art and science on this evening can either send an email to info(at)hybrid-plattform.org by 27th November or communicate directly with the two experts on 10th December via the live chat on social media.