9 am—9:30 am
- Sarah Kenderdine
- Uwe Rieger & Yinan Liu
9:30 am—10:45 am
Moderator: Uwe Rieger
Study brain using digital technologies
Olaf Blanke is founding director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics and holds the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Cognitive Neuroprosthetics at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He directs the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience at EPFL and is Professor of Neurology at the University Hospital of Geneva.
Digital twins of humans for more sustainable healthcare
In the era of digitalization, we are building artificial objects by simulating their features and optimizing their performance based on their digital twins, which are virtual models calibrated on real-data, designed to accurately reflect physical object's features and behavior, with predictive capability. The more complex the artificial object, the higher the need to design it based on its digital twin accurate replica. The benefits of Digital Twins extend to physical art as well and to interfaces between sciences and art. The most complex and challenging case of digital twins is to replicate human's behavior and health and use them to predict and personalize healthcare. Such Human Digital Twins for Healthcare are expected to provide a deep paradigm change in reactive healthcare and make it proactive and sustainable, removing the high costs of chronic stages of the diseases, eliminating medical errors and creating a patient/citizen centric healthcare system, under high ethics and regulatory demands. In this talk, we will explore and analize the components of Human Digital Twins for Healthcare and present a possible roadmap to achieve this ambitious goal, under clinical needs and citizen expectations and acceptance, for the 21st century. This involves strong interactions among a large diversity of sciences and research fields such as Artificial Intelligence models, data and repositories, micro-nano-biotechnologies, multi-omics, nanotechnology, advanced imaging, wearable, implantables, energy-efficient computation and communication, exposome sensors, novel visualization interfaces, extended (X) reality and translational medicine, as driving force.
Adrian M. Ionescu is a Full Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He is director of Nanoelectronic Devices Laboratory of EPFL, Switzerland. His group pioneered steep slope devices, phage change devices, sensors and MEMS resonators for energy efficient Edge AI applications. He published more than 600 articles. He is recipient of IBM Faculty Award 2013 and of André Blondel Medal 2009. In 2015 he was elected member of Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences. He received an ERC Advanced Grant in 2016. He is an IEEE Fellow and he served as Editor of IEEE TED and as member of PUB committee of EDS. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Proceedings of IEEE. Recently he was recognized by the 2024 IEEE Technical Field Cledo Brunetti award, for his groundbreaking work in nanotechnology and technologies for microsystem miniaturization.
Digital Embodiment - Motion capture as a performer
Dance and movement are living their digital revolution. Sound was already being sampled in the eighties, images were digitalized in the nineties and at the start of our century the moving image transitioned from analog to digital. This digital revolution changed fundamentally creation processes, collaborations, and the diffusion of artistic work while the digitalization of the arts opened the doors for many artists to explore new digital territories. Movement artists had to wait until very recently for the powerful processors and computers for the movement to be able to integrate movement in real time into 3D engines. Amazed by the digital possibilities for dance I directed my first digital project involving motion capture in 2017. When covid came we decided to go full digital and invent a new diffusion, producing digital performances that we perform from our studio in Geneva into the world, we call this touring without traveling. In my presentation I will show some example of our exploration of the digital territories, show how our dance could be augmented and what digital embodiment means for today’s perfomers.
Gilles Jobin is an award-winning contemporary dance choreographer based in Geneva. His work is regularly featured in international festivals and programs such as Sundance Film Festival, Venice Film Festival or The Music Center in Los Angeles. He began producing dance pieces in 1995 and soon established himself as one of the leading independent choreographer in Europe. In 2015 Gilles Jobin received the Swiss Grand Award for Dance by the Swiss Office of Culture. Since 2016 the company embarked in the exploration of the new digital territories for dance, creating ground breaking digital pieces such asCosmogony a live digital performance motion captured live in Geneva and performed across the world without traveling. His Geneva studio is equipped for motion capture, the objective is to offer a comprehensive access to hardware for independent artists in an artist led context without the constrain of the commercial studios.
Of Humans, Robots, Matter and Design
Gramazio Kohler Research at ETH Zurich examines the changes in architectural design that result from introducing digital manufacturing techniques. With their pioneering texts “Digital Materiality in Architecture” (2008) and “The Robotic Touch” (2014), they propose a new paradigm in architecture in which two seemingly distinct worlds - the digital and the material – interweave. The interest of Gramazio Kohler Research lies in combining computational and material processes, aiming at creative design approaches for a sustainable architecture. The possibility of directly fabricating building components described in a code expands not only the spectrum of possibilities for construction it also establishes a unique architectural expression and a new aesthetic sensibility. Their research has been focusing on additive robotic fabrication used for building non-standardized architectural components. By positioning material precisely where it is required, it is possible to interweave functional and aesthetic qualities directly into architectural structures, and thus “inform” architecture at material level. Starting with basic modules such as bricks, their work has expanded the spectrum to include natural materials such as sand, earth, gravel, stones or timber. Over the past years, finding responsible forms of human-machine collaboration has become an integral part of the group’s mission. Bridging architectural practice and research, Matthias Kohler and Fabio Gramazio created a unique oevre that includes projects like the NEST research platform and DFAB House, the Clay Rotunda, the Gantenbein and Kitrvs winery facades, the Rock Print Pavilion, Flight Assembled Architecture and the Sequential Roof. Semiramis, their latest architectural piece inaugurated in Zug in 2022, was designed and robotically fabricated thanks to one-of-a-kind human-machine collaboration, by means of artificial intelligence that the team conceived to interact with complex geometry while considering relevant material and fabrication parameters. Recently, they conceived the Immersive Design Lab, an extended reality platform for interdisciplinary research and teaching entirely dedicated to the future of design. Since 2022 Gramazio Kohler Research engages in teaching architectural design in fully immersive and interactive environments.
Matthias Kohler is a Swiss architect, and Professor of Architecture and Digital Fabrication at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich. He is the co-founder of the architectural research group Gramazio Kohler Research, which focuses on the integration of new technologies in architectural design and construction. Kohler has been a leading figure in the fields of computational design and digital fabrication in architecture, and his research and practice have contributed significantly to advancing the use of computational and robotic technologies in the building industry. He has lectured and exhibited his work worldwide and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field.
10:45 am—11 am
11 am—12 am
Moderator: Yinan Liu
- Alexandre Alahi
Socially-aware AI for mobility
I will present a new type of cognition he calls socially-aware AI, i.e., Artificial Intelligence augmented with Social Intelligence. While this type of cognition is originally developed for trustworthy autonomous vehicles, I will show that it can also be used for the built environment.
Alexandre Alahi is an assistant professor at EPFL leading the Visual Intelligence for Transportation laboratory (VITA). Before joining EPFL in 2017, he was a Post-doc and Research Scientist at Stanford University. His research lies at the intersection of Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and Robotics applied to transportation & mobility. He works on the theoretical challenges and practical applications of socially-aware Artificial Intelligence, i.e., systems equipped with perception and social intelligence. His research enables systems to detect, track, and predict human motion dynamics at all scales. In 2022, Alexandre was recognized as the top 100 Most Influential Scholar in Computer Vision over the past 10 years.
- Emmanuel Senft
Human-centered robotics and AI
Robots present an important opportunity to address challenges faced by society, such as population ageing and lack of workforce or more simply to improve quality of life. However, to ensure a harmonious society, between robots, AI and humans, we need to be considerate when developing such technologies and use human-centered methods. In this talk, we will start by observing the opportunities, risks, and challenges of developing robotic technologies. Then, we will explore the role that human-robot interaction research can play in this landscape, contextualized in examples from my current and past research in assistive robotics, education or manufacturing using methods such as participatory design and end-user programming. Finally, we will conclude by discussing the main open questions towards creating a harmonious society between humans and robots.
Dr. Emmanuel Senft is a Research Scientist at the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny, Switzerland and a member of the Swiss Young Academy. He leads the Human-centered Robotics and AI group which develops assistive robotic technologie by exploring the intersection of participatory design, end-user programming, and interactive machine learning. He obtained his MSc. in micro-engineering from EPFL and his PhD in human-robot interaction at the University of Plymouth, UK. Before joining Idiap, he was a cooperate researcher at ATR in Japan and a Research Associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA
- Kirell Benzi
Art in the Age of Algorithms: The Rise of Data-Driven Creations
In the contemporary digital era, the lines between the virtual and physical worlds continue to blur, creating opportunities for innovation at the nexus of art and technology. As a data artist and AI researcher, my journey underscores the harmonious blend of science and art, demonstrating the immense possibilities that arise when these domains intersect. Drawing from personal creations and research undertaken at EPFL, I will detail the process of leveraging AI and vast data sets to conceive visually compelling artworks. Beyond the digital canvas, I'll explore the transition of these creations to tangible forms in the physical space, challenging traditional notions of art and its boundaries.
Dr. Kirell Benzi is a data artist, public speaker and AI researcher. His work revolves around the creation of aesthetic experiences that inspire, educate and empower large audiences using state-of-the-art technology. Through a hypnotic visual semantic, he tries to demonstrate that algorithms have a soul; and that we can create positive emotions from complexity using methods that come straight from scientific research. Kirell holds a Ph.D. in Data Science from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and teaches Data Visualization / Data Art at various universities.
12 am—1 pm
1 pm—2 pm
Tour of the exhibition led by the artists
2 pm—3:15 pm
Moderator: Sarah Kenderdine
- Frieder Nake
Art & Science in Fifteen Minutes
Quite personally, I am a mathematician. I became a mathematician by studying mathematics and gaining a doctoral degree by writing a thesis under the title “On the number of real solutions of random systems of equations”. For many, this may sound funny. By the time, I was working for the university’s Computing Center. As a student assistant, my job was to look after and develop software for everybody else to use. One morning, the director told me: “We are going to buy a drawing machine.” (This was in 1963, when nobody knew what a “Drawing Machine” was, and most of those who knew it, would call it “Plotter”.) So, I say, “Aha”. And he says, “But we don’t get any software.” I: “Aha.” He: “Would you do it?” I: “Yes.” – I had no idea of what I got myself into by saying that “Yes.” But it turned out to be great fun, and when it came to test my software, I decided to do it randomly, not systematically. This is when I became an artist. At least, people call me such. – The presentation will show and discuss a few selected examples of historic works of art that came out of the computing machine.
Frieder Nake is a mathematician who has worked at universities in Stuttgart, Toronto, Vancouver, and Bremen. He is a professor of Computer Graphics and Interactive Systems. He considers Computing Science as the “Machinization of Mental Labor”, based on Algorithmic Semiotics. He was one of three scientists who, in 1965, had the first exhibitions world-wide of algorithmic art. He considers early computer art as the dawning of Digital Media.
- Jeffrey Shaw
Cyber|Physical: Reformulations of Art|Technology
The presentation will show examples of my media art practice over the last 50 years that explore various conjunctions of aesthetic configuration, conceptual articulation and technological machination, with human embodiment, perceptual enhancement and sensual entanglement.
Jeffrey Shaw (1944 Australia) has been a leading figure in new media art since its emergence from the performance, expanded cinema and installation paradigms of the 1960s to today’s technology- informed and virtualized forms. In a prolific career of widely exhibited and critically acclaimed work he has pioneered the creative use of digital media technologies in the fields of expanded cinema, virtual and augmented reality, immersive visualization environments, navigable cinematic systems and interactive narrative.
Shaw’s artworks are milestones of technological and cultural innovation that have had seminal impact on the theory, design and application of digital media in art, society and industry, and his artistic achievements are amongst the most cited in new media literature. “…his works co- created, co-constructed the genre, gave it its initial contours.” (Prof. Dr. Peter Weibel). Besides his artistic research, Shaw has been active in conceiving, curating and producing major international exhibitions, publications and conferences. Shaw was the co-founder of the Eventstructure Research Group Amsterdam (1969-1979), founding director of the ZKM Institute for Visual Media Karlsruhe, Germany (1991-2002), and an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and founding director of the iCinema Research Center at UNSW Australia (2003-2008(, Dean of the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong (2009- 2015). Currently he is Chair Professor and Founding Director of the Visualization Research Centre at the Academy of Visual Arts Hong Kong Baptist University and Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts. Beijing, China. Shaw’s many awards include Immagine Elettronica Prize, Ferrara, Italy, 1990; Oribe Award, Gifu, Japan 2005; Lifetime Achievement Award, Society of Art and Technology, Montreal, Canada, 2014; Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Visionary Pioneer of Media Art, Linz, Austria, 2015; ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art, 2020.
- Manfred Wolff-Plottegg
Architecture Generators are based on changed planning methods. Architectures are designed and generated through new instructions, rules, scripts and algorithms. The traditional concept of planning, the pragmatic definition of goals, the auratic object, the beautiful building, optimization, specialization, autocratic and deterministic procedures are no longer state of the art. It is obvious that the latest developments in science and technology are also activated for the relatively slow medium of architecture: architecture as information processing, on an open communication platform, a wealth of new planning approaches, operative, methodical, systemic. It is primarily about changes in the planning algorithm, about manipulations of the method, about détournements. The technique consists in giving everyday situations an unexpected kick, in order to alienate the usual comme il fault, to replace it with something new / different. Apparently nothing seems to be more important than persistently freeing oneself from all acquired traditional reservations. The most important requirement is to get rid of the personal handwriting/signature of the architect, to avoid intrinsic hang-ups. The architect no longer has the autocratic planning privilege. A new planning setup is required: like the change from Expressionism to Actionism, like the change in philosophy from the previous content-based thinking to method- and language-analysis. This also includes loosening the relationship between words and meaning and regarding it as indefinite, in our case of drawing and meaning or of building components and functions, postulating the same between images on screen and their referents. The advanced computer application detaches them, separating the signifier from the signified. Another shift concerns the change from object planning to process control. The object and the ideal form are out of date, the potential for further developments is in demand. It is not the object but the instructions or processes that are planned. The goal is not the rigid end product, but permanent change, enabling and controlling developments. So do not plan the end product but a tool for a variety of products and applications. This is the step to the second and higher order. The determinism of a finished object is replaced by a process-oriented open system. All of this can be achieved particularly advantageously through conceptual scripting and manipulation of the algorithms in the computer. These architecture generators can be seen as the first steps towards an autocatalytic architecture.
Manfred Wolff-Plottegg, architect, born in Schöder / Styria in 1946. He studied at the Technical University of Graz, the Beaux Arts Academie Paris and Salzburg Summer Academy. Running his own architectural practice as registered architect since 1983, he has been teaching at various universities, subjects such as planning methods, computer concepts, basics of computing, experimental architecture & algorithm design. 1995 Professor of CAAD at Munich Technical University. Since 2001 Professor of Building Theory and Design and head of the Institute of Architecture and Design at Vienna University of Technology. He has taken part in numerous exhibitions and competitions and received prices such as the Austrian Concrete Construction Prize, the Architecture Prize of Styria, the Austrian Aluminium-Architecture-Prize, the International Media Award for Science and Art. His books include: Das Binäre Haus, Architektur-Algorithmen, Hybrid Architektur & Hyper Funktionen, Architecture beyond Inclusion and Identity is Exclusion and Difference from Art, Raumzuckungen, together with numerous articles in leading architectural publications.
- Lucia Jalón Oyarzun
FACE at the Deep City Symposium — A global dialogical platform for hybrid conferencing
In 2019, the EPFL laboratories ALICE and LDM received the Latsis Symposium grant to organize a scientific conference around the challenges posed by digitalisation to the different disciplines and actors involved in the creation of the contemporary city, the Deep City. The Deep City International Latsis Symposium took place between March 24th and 26th, 2021. Due to the covid-19 crisis and the limitations it posed to travel and people capacity, the Deep City developed an innovative conference concept where the digital and the physical joined to create a global dialogical field. Streaming from the Rolex Learning Center at the EPFL Campus in Lausanne, the Deep City had parallel and common activities in two partner sites: Singapore (in collaboration with SUTD Singapore University of Technology and Design) and Hong Kong (in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong). To make possible this global dialogical field, ALICE and LDM in collaboration with Lausanne-based ComputedBy and EPFL Mediacom, developed the Deep City digital platform, an interface for hybrid conferencing. It sought to expand the possibilities of the digital through a unique use and understanding of the spatial and the embodied. Through this platform, the Deep City global audience came together, discussed and exchanged for three days. Furthermore, it acted as an archive of the event, as all activities were documented and post-produced along the way, allowing all participants to follow the event live or at their own pace. Beyond Covid-19, climate change demands us to invent instruments able to create global meaningful encounters while keeping the academic carbon footprint at the lowest. As the pandemics have shown, for these tools to work, the digital needs to become more than a substitute for an unavailable presence. The physical brings forth a site of touch, synesthetic encounter and performativity whose added value cannot be denied. The Deep City digital platform connected an amplified audience located in different time zones and geographical areas without losing the spontaneity and informal interaction that physical presence gives us. The digital platform was conceived as a plug-and-play tool, and the Deep City was deployed as a pilot experience, becoming a proof-of-concept for its further development in the future. With this presentation, we want to convey the experience, explaining its accomplishments as well as the issues that we met along the way. We will then describe the workings of the platform. Finally, we will share the reflections it provoked on the connections between the digital and the embodied and what space and architecture can do to bridge those dimensions.
Lucía Jalón Oyarzun is an architect and researcher. She graduated from the ETSAM School of Architecture of Madrid where she also obtained her PhD in 2017. Since 2019 she is Head of Research at ALICE (Atelier de la Conception de l'Espace), EPFL, where she continues her interdisciplinary research on the conflict between the spatial forms used by politics and the exception, and the commons created by the rebel body. From 2017 to 2020 she was Director of Academic Affairs at Escuela SUR, a postgraduate interdisciplinary art program in Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Her work, ranging from scientific production to cultural critique, has been published in several journals and publications.
3:15 pm—3:30 pm
3:30 pm—5 pm
Markets in Motion
How do technologies put markets in motion and vice versa, how do market activities shape technologies?
Tackling an age of climate emergence and social divide requires a dynamic view of markets as part of our societies. A view that makes us question our roles and responsibilities and that emphasises the importance of understanding and engaging with value-creation activities throughout and between the processes of design, production, circulation, and consumption. The roundtable session explores the roles of digital (spatial) technologies in innovating future markets and sustainable societies. Drawing on their experience spanning private, public, and academic contexts, the panel will share specific projects and personal journeys. The discussion will highlight various transformation and adaptation activities, and pinpoint value-creation complexities at both project and ecosystem levels. Reflecting on the role of technology, important marketization activities, as well as personal and organisational responsibilities, this session puts innovation activities at the centre of markets in motion.
Moderator and introduction: Charlotta Windahl
Dr Charlotta 'Lotta' Windahl (PhD Ind Mgmt., MSc Chem Eng), University of Auckland Business School Charlotta's expertise lies in the cross section of innovation, market, and design practices. Studying practices that involve situated and systemic complexities related to digitalisation, as well as creative, curious, and courageous approaches to value creation, Charlotta has worked with organizations such as Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco, ABB, Ericsson, SKF, Vattenfall, Fortum, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Gallagher, and Air New Zealand. Her current research takes place in the context of cyber-physical design/ XR systems and in close collaboration with the arcsec lab at the University of Auckland.
- Robert Giezendanner-Thoben
Dr. Robert Giezendanner-Thoben holds a diploma in mechanical engineering from EPFL and a PhD from the Institute of Aerospace Thermodynamics of the University of Stuttgart. After completing his studies, he began working as a PhD student and scientific researcher in laser diagnostics at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) in 1999. In 2005, he joined Robert Bosch Corporate Research GmbH in Stuttgart and held various positions until 2018, during which he also lectured in fluid mechanics at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). Since 2018, Robert has been sharing his expertise with EPFL and was recently appointed Director of Industry Affairs at the Vice Presidency for Innovation in 2021. His role is to foster and develop strong partnerships between academia and industry and support the future growth of the EPFL innovation ecosystem. He also serves on the board of directors of various organizations, further demonstrating his commitment to positively impacting society.
- Edouard Bugnion
Inno suisse context report
Professor Bugnion is a Professor in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences, where he focuses on datacenter systems and cloud infrastructures. Prof. Bugnion has an extensive experience in technology transfer and innovation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of InnoSuisse — the Swiss Innovation Agency.
- Luciano Abriata
Visualization and handling of molecules
Luciano Abriata is a scientist and a content creator focused on the natural sciences and modern computer technologies. With a PhD in biological nuclear magnetic resonance, since 2012 he is a Senior Scientist at EPFL's Laboratory for Biomolecular Modeling led by Prof. Dal Peraro and at the Protein Structure Core Facility. In the Dal Peraro group he leads research lines on the use of novel human-computer interaction technologies such as augmented and virtual reality to assist education and work in various fields chemistry and biology.
- Giovanni Landi
Creal startup based in Inno park
Giovanni Landi is an award-winning mixed reality expert with over 10 years of experience. He collaborated with different museums and academic institutions, designing immersive installations and visualization systems. In 2021 he joined CREAL SA where he leads the XR Design team. CREAL developed a unique light field XR display that blends digital content into the real world, with natural focus and continuous depth resolution, and without any visual conflict (VAC). REAL SA was recently ranked 6th among the TOP 100 SWISS Scale-Ups.
Closing words by Sarah Kenderdine
5:15 pm—6 pm
Tour of the exhibition led by the artists