Matters of Activity: Image Space Material
A new culture of material
The cluster “Matters of Activity” aims to establish the foundation for a new material culture. The central vision is to develop images, spaces, and materials as active structures of a new physical and symbolic reality, in which nature and culture intertwine in a novel way. Interdisciplinary research and the development of sustainable processes and structures – for example, in the areas of design, wearables, materials engineering, medical technology, logistics, architecture, and robotics – is of great importance in this context.
In exemplary research projects, researchers and designers from more than 40 disciplines systematically examine design strategies for materials and structures that adapt to specific requirements and the environment. This includes traditional processes, such as filtering, weaving, and cutting, which enable tth generation of new forms of dynamic and active materiality in the digital age, leading to a fundamental change of our culture.
Understanding images as dynamic processes controlling activities, e.g., in surgical scenarios, and spaces and materials being active structures adapting to tasks and environments is essential for the development of future techniques and artifacts.
The inseparable linking of active images, spaces, and materials demands an interdisciplinary approach, in which the humanities, natural sciences, and design disciplines are working as equal partners. Experimental and creative approaches will be combined with historical analysis offering interlocked practical solutions and theoretical concepts.
The cluster thus is committed to promote a new central role of design, which is emerging in the context of growing abundance and continual improvement of materials and forms of visualization in all disciplines. Application and transfer are therefore integrative components of interdisciplinary fundamental research.
The cluster “Matters of Activity” connects the heritage of over 200 years of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and 100 years of Bauhaus in a dynamic interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Hermann von Helmholtz Center for Cultural Techniques, an interdisciplinary institute of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The new cluster builds on the cluster “Image Knowledge Gestaltung,” which started off in 2012 and since then has systematically established interdisciplinary structures. Moreover, research and teaching will be provided with a social platform through the Humboldt Labor facilitating direct interaction with the public in the Humboldt Forum through innovative exhibition and publication formats.
The comprehensive, interdisciplinary support of early career researchers and intensive cooperation with a wide variety of non-university research, business, and cultural institutions will also facilitate a long-term dialog between the fundamental research conducted in the cluster and the society. With its numerous research facilities, design academies, collections, and museums, as well as its internationally leading design and start-up scene, Berlin is an excellent location for such a project.
Designated spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schäffner
Applicant university: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin