Symbiotic Systems

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A workshop within the Machine Wilderness programme, by Ivan Henriques.

Symbiotic Systems is a design exercise to explore how to adapt a machine to natural systems, with focus in the specific landscape from Amstelpark.

We'll brainstorm with the participants about the needs and functions of a bio-robotic structure inspired by the park’s landscape. Investigate how the relationship between this hybrid system and the resources and opportunities the park offers and re-think about a different equation: how to adapt machines to natural systems, looking at the environment as a partner from which we can learn to attempt to communicate with the living and non-living environment.

Concepts of post-humanism and autopoiesis will be the basis of the workshop.

Sign up:  –  before April 01

Max 10 participants (please include a short motivation)


Day 01 - fri 29 April, morning:
•    Explanation about Ivan Henriques’ works: Bio-Machine evolution
•    Presentation of the participants
•    Discussion about the workshop and final goal
•    Division of the groups
Material: paper A3, pen, pencil, colour pen

Day 01 - fri 29 April, afternoon:

•    Groups explore Amstelpark
•    Bring/discuss ideas
•    Map Amstelpark and the group will underline on the map their choices of places
Material: Printed map from Amstelpark (size A0), thumbtacks, thin ropes (different colours), pen, pencil, colour pen, stickers (different colours)

Day 02 first part - sat 30 April:

•    Discussion with their team and myself the design of the bio-robotic structure for their specific place
•    Participants design & prototype robotic structure

Day 02 second part - sat 30 April: (if confirmed the participation from Laser Lab Amsterdam)

•    workshop with Laser Lab Amsterdam (bio-solar cells)
•    discuss about other possible energy sources

More details online at machinewilderness/workshops/


FoAM - Amsterdam, Witte de withstraat 122 , 1057 ZH Amsterdam , The Netherlands
Get directions: Google maps


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