With the installation entitled The Committee of Sleep by the designer duo taliaYsebastian, the MAK showcases seminal developments in the area of Social and Human Design. The presentation of this Vienna-based design office established 2009 by Talia Radford and Juan Sebastián Gómez is already the third single exhibition of the APPLIED ARTS. NOW series, a cooperation of MAK and University of Applied Arts Vienna. taliaYsebastian have developed a piece especially for the exhibition situation at the MAK, which explores innovative uses of freely available sources of energy. In addition, the show features design sketches and illustrations of other projects of the two designers.
The Committee of Sleep makes use of the principle of ‘energy scavenging,’ which means the capturing of surplus energy from living organisms. The expansive installation, which is based on structural elements made of paper, is equipped with organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), a newly developed lighting technology. The objects absorb energy released by the movement of visitors in the exhibition room and transmit it to the light diodes. The lighting situation thus varies with the frequency of visitors in the exhibition. To implement the project, the international Osram lighting technology company could be won as a cooperating partner.
taliaYsebastian borrow from nature for their project—specifically from the “sea orange,” a luminous sponge that interacts with algae. The exhibition takes its title, The Committee of Sleep, from a term used by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett—who in turn borrowed it from John Steinbeck—to refer to the role and influence that dreams can have for creative problem-solving or in finding approaches to scientific problems.
Responsible sustainable design with consideration for nature and human needs is taliaYsebastian’s central concern. Their mission is not just product design, but social change, a conscious transformation of human consumer habits, in short, quality of life. Involving expert opinions from science and the
economy as well as from experienced Social Designers, their developments are precisely targeted to meet user needs.
Following international internships with Michael Young in Hongkong and Spime Technologies in India, taliaYsebastian (taliaysebastian.com) have specialized on “Human Design” in conjunction with new technologies. They have already received several awards, among them the 2011 Victor J. Papanek Social Design Award and the 2012 red dot Design Award for product design. Talia Radford also won the 2007 den James Dyson Award. As a duo, they were among the finalists of the 2011 Austrian Rado Young Design Prize. They designed the Austrian contribution to the 2011 BIO and in 2009 got into the finale of the EESC Design ZeroNine, the design competition held by the European Economic and Social Committee.
taliaYsebastian are also represented in the current MAK exhibition MADE 4 YOU. Design for Change (till 7 Oct 2012, MAK Exhibition Hall) with a teething toy (Pato, 2012) developed together with NUK Germany and a portable water purifier with a layer of converter crystals (Aqualris, 2011). The duo’s most recent development project is about self-sufficient water treatment (Thirst).
APPLIED ARTS. NOW
APPLIED ARTS. NOW is an exhibition series intended to provide a platform for contemporary forms of applied arts and to give more visibility to particularly interesting positions of graduates from the University of Applied Arts Vienna who live and work in Austria. The series kickoff was the presentation PATRICK RAMPELOTTO. Adventures in Foam (25 Jan – 6 May 2012), and the second exhibition was STIEFEL & COMPANY ARCHITECTS. Faux Terrains (23 May – 16 Sep 2012).