Intensive program for Learners 1 (A2)

Date: 09-2021 Duration: 5 days

The workshop will discuss and explore theories, ideas and examples which traverse disciplinary boundaries from various scientific and artistic perspectives: e.g. robotics research, microbial fuel cell research and experiments, energy use and production in robotics, biofuel, energy as a concept within contemporary society and its challenges in a sustainable future, and notions about energy and post-fossil fuel culture from the arts and humanities.

The workshop will include lectures, practice-based work, project-idea development. Potential project-ideas will be discussed and critically evaluated from a sustainable / circular economy (CE) perspective. The feasibility for realisation for the final exhibition in Hungary (IO5) will be assessed. The goal of the 3-day workshop is to stimulate transdisciplinary thinking and knowledge by fostering an intellectually-stimulating environment for the exchange of transdisciplinary methods and ideas that connect biology, robotics, art and design and the human sciences and to establish a common vocabulary for effective communication between different fields.

The workshop will take place in 3 sessions: In session 1 - theories related to (a) problem based learning, (b) design-based and art-based research, (c) the state of the art in robotics and robotic production and (d) areas of intersection between: technology and biology; genetics and computation; digital fabrication and bio-fabrication; making and bio-hacking; artificial intelligence and natural intelligence are all presented and discussed. In session 2, participants will work towards the production of robots through a problem based learning approach. Using a series of design thinking methods, blueprints for soft robots with different controlled or un-controlled movement patterns are produced. A number of designs, production techniques and natural and artificial materials are introduced and applied. Through computational design and digital fabrication, we will explore different (1) exterior, but also (2) interior geometric configurations of the robots themselves in trying to control their movement and inquire what kind of interactions these different movements allow and deny/impede. The participants will work in interdisciplinary teams and exchange background knowledge and experience. The third session will focus on studying and evaluating interactions between people and the outputs developed in Session 2. Discussions and reflections on challenges and opportunities related to the future of robotics, human-robot interaction and artificial life will take place.


The workshop participants will be MA/MSc/PhD students from each of the strategic partners. The students are selected primarily based on their motivation and capacity to contribute and work with integration of the artistic and scientific aspects and perspectives.


At the end of the workshop participants will:

  • Have an understanding and a working knowledge on problem based learning, design thinking and arts-based research.
  • Acquire a multidisciplinary vocabulary necessary to communicate with team members coming from varied fields ranging from: the arts, humanities, robotics and biology
  • Be able to use digital fabrication and 3d modelling to fabricate own designs;
  • Be able to understand how the field of human computer and human robot interaction can be placed within a larger context of technological and biological realms, including artificial life, artificial intelligence with their theories, methods and artistic implementations.

The activities will contribute to the Intellectual Output 1, 2, 4 and 5:

  1. IO1 - ABRA platform
  2. IO2 - Course guide on transdisciplinary teaching and learning.
  3. IO4 - What trans-knowledge looks like / Exhibition in Hungary.
  4. IO5 - the Joint Master Degree Curriculum for Erasmus+ application.