STARTS Talk in the People's Pavilion at DDW 2017

STARTS Talk on art-science-technology collaborations at DDW

Experimental designer Frank Kolkman, Senior Director of Design innovation at Philips Geert Christiansen, CEO of VanBerlo Thomas Paulen and Head of Programme of Waag’s Creative Care Lab Sabine Wildevuur gathered during the second STARTS Talk that took place at Dutch Design Week. They discussed the added value of collaborations between art, science, technology and business. The focus was specifically on the healthcare industry, as a result of a collaboration of the parties mentioned above in the ‘Embassy of Health’ at this years Dutch Design Week.

The talk focused on the work of Frank Kolkman, experimental designer. Frank Kolkman received the Young Designer Award 2017 for his surprising views on the future of healthcare and the position of the patient in his work. His recent work 'Outrospectre' was part of the exhibition ‘Chronic Health: Designing a Healthy Future’. In this work Frank Kolkman embraces virtual reality technology to research unanswered questions about mortality and ‘end of life’. A short report on the main points of discussion can be found below.

The variety of speakers represented different disciplines. Based on their individual experiences they all agreed on the role of art as initiator of a debat, which is embodied in the work of Frank Kolkman. Furthermore the positive and negative impact of healthcare regulations and laws was emphasized. Here examples of the USA was raised, where more and more people are unable to afford healthcare insurance. These type of situations and healthcare challenges stimulate people to take control themselves. Enhanced by the growing DIY community designers are able to build bridges between what people need and what is being designed. Raising attention for healthcare solutions is a task for designers.

Finally the importance and successes of multidisciplinary collaborations were discussed. In the work by Frank Kolkman, but also in the success achieved by Philips and VanBerlo in the healthcare domain, collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach were key. Frank Kolkman works across several domains: science, art and healthcare. His work raises questions and is a conversation starter for future research and innovation. Geert Christiansen emphasized that Philips runs into system challenges that can only be solved by combining expertises and collaborating across domains. At the end of the talk both Philips as Frank Kolkman expressed the ambition to concretize the debat through collaboration. 

The STARTS Talk’s series will continue in 2018 during which more practitioners and speakers will present their work and vision on the interactions between Science, Technology and the ARTS. More information on these events will follow soon.

Waag formed the 'Embassy of Health' in collaboration with VanBerlo, Philips, U CREATE and the Máxima Medical Centre as part of the first edition of the World Design Event, during Dutch Design Week. Sabine Wildevuur from Waag’s Creative Care Lab is one of the curators of the exhibition. Have a look at the exhibition on this Flickr album.

STARTS Talks are part of the STARTS Prize organisation. The STARTS Talks are organized by Waag to display STARTS Prize nominees and winners. STARTS stands for science, technology and the arts. It’s an initiative of the European Commission focusing on innovative projects at the nexus of these three domains.



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S+T+ARTS Prize has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 956603.