Materia Workshop (Hexagram x ELEKTRA)

Sept 8 - 10, 2022

Alice Jarry and several team members host the Bio-Inspired Soft Membrane and Soft Robotics: Form, Inform, Deform Modules. Tricia Enns participates in the Sono-(soro)ridades cluster.

With Alice Jarry, Brice Ammar-Khodja, Don Undeen, Jacqui Beaumont, Jean-MIcheal Celerier, Matt Halpenny, Natalia Balska, Philippe Vandal, Tricia Enns and Vanessa Mardirossian
Bioplastic membrane floating in the air and harvesting the energy of the building
From September 8th to September 10th, 2022

In this cluster, participants will engage with the growth and maintenance processes of bio-inspired membranes such as bioplastics, algae, invasive plant species, and abaca. The flexible and filtering properties of these surfaces will inform the creation of foldable and adaptive membranes. In close collaboration with the module “Soft Robotics: Form, Inform, Deform”, the behaviours of these membranes will be tested using pneumatic systems and airflows relevant to “soft robotics”. Practice-based activities will relate to discussions and visits of urban sites addressing the critical, social and political dimensions of air and membranes in the built environment.


Soft, deformable robotics do not respond to the geometry or the control systems of traditional, hard and articulated robotics. How to elaborate such flexible and active objects while taking into account their materiality, their modalities of action as well as their particular aesthetics and symbolism?

To address this question, participants will experiment with different techniques (Nitinol, gel, bioplastic, …) including pneumatic systems for which air is as much a vector of deformation as a breathing resource.This medium will be explored in relation to membranes, in close collaboration with the module “Bio-inspired flexible membranes and adaptive surfaces”. This approach aims more broadly to rethink our ways of inhabiting the world, in a renewed relationship with the environment.

Materia brought together, over three consecutive days, local and international artists, creators, scientists, researchers and professionals from the artistic and cultural sectors. Invited guests and visitors, along with a team of mediators, participated in this arena of creation and knowledge sharing, at the intersections of art, design, science, and multiple forms of knowledge and forms of knowing.

Practice-based exchanges around technological and material conditions were the central premise of the Labo Public. Divided into 10 thematic clusters, the collaborative and radically multidisciplinary explorations at each cluster unfolded along a central theme: MATERIA, which questions the return to materiality, working with matter and tangible media in response to the frantic development of the virtual realm.

Critical Practices in
Materials and Materiality