Cross-Species Testsites - Spring 2019 @ Columbia GSAPP
Instructor: Chris Woebken

In this course, students will focus our investigations on considering new interactions and new relationships between humans and non-humans urban inhabitants. We will study urban animal wildlife, indicator species, and microbial communities and work with biologists and ecologists to identify new design opportunities for the built environment. Through the process of building and testing design interventions, we aim to create a reflective space for deeply considering the details of these new interactions, and to discover unforeseen opportunities, twists and challenges. Possible project outcomes encompass infrastructure interventions, bio-receptive materials, and cross-species interfaces. The goal of this work is to seed ideas for more equitable, and inclusive narratives and to innovate on new approaches in designing for biological systems.

Full Syllabus

Weather Worlds at UNFCCC COP24 - Fall 2018 @ NYU ITP/IMA
Instructors: Karolina Sobecka & Chris Woebken

Weather Worlds is a studio course that explores the role that design plays in public engagement on climate disruption. In this outcome-focused course the students will design pop-up public engagement interventions for the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP24), which will take place in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland. The designs will be created in consultation with Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. The aim is to create blueprints for design approaches that can be adapted and replayed in different contexts and settings to create interventions sensitive to and inclusive of local challenges and participation. A handoff that includes a local re-interpretation of the design is a key aspect of this approach.

In this semester’s Weather Worlds studio we will focus on the impacts of climate change on food systems and vice versa - on the impact of our food systems on climate. We will design interventions through which participants confront how by simply eating they connect to supply chains, networks, and institutions that extend well beyond their families, communities or countries. Specifically the interventions will connect the international COP conference participants with the local polish food-system-and-climate-impact intersections. Understanding the paths that the carbon we ingest takes through the myriad material configurations and their sociotechnical orderings exposes the fundamental interconnections between the matter of our bodies, carbon emissions impacts on climate, and the agricultural, infrastructural, consumption, valuation and information systems that we have put in place. It further lets us consider what can be done about it, from local context-specific issues to global policy.

The partnership with the humanitarian sector will broaden and amplify the impact of this project, facilitating and developing engagements worldwide. This course produces a Weather Worlds platform that will investigate forms of experimental pedagogy, communication, and participation in engaging the public and multiple stakeholders on issues linked to climate disruption.

Full Syllabus

Micro-Environment Exploration Lab - Spring 2018 @ NYU  Tandon - Integrated Digital Media
Instructors: Elizabeth Hénaff & Chris Woebken

Metagenomics is the field of research which investigates the microbial component of our environment. It is a rapidly growing field, enabled by the recent decrease in cost and increase in throughput of DNA sequencing technology. We can now easily measure the microbial component of our environment and have the opportunity to incorporate this new microbial metric into the design of our built environments and products. In this class we will cover a basic understanding of the state of current research in environmental microbiomes. Students will get hands-on experience in which they will learn the computational methods to analyze genomic data. We will design physical devices to interact with this invisible component of our environment, either in form of sampling instruments, bioreactors or bio receptive substrates that propose new symbiotic relationships with the microbial environment.

Full Syllabus

Other teaching activities:
‘Graduate Thesis Research’, Adjunct Faculty, RISD Industrial Design, Providence, US, Fall 2018
Thesis Advisor, Aaron Simmons, RISD ID, Providence, US, Spring 2018 
'Designing with Biology', Summer School, CIID, San Jose, CR, 2018
'Testing Hypotheticals', Queens Museum, 2-week workshop, NYC, US, 2018 (documentation)
Visiting critic in the graduate thesis studio, (remote tutoring), RISD ID, Providence, US, Fall 2017
'Weather Worlds' co-taught with Karolina Sobecka, 14-week class, SVA Design (IXD) BFA, NYC, US, Fall 2017 (documentation)
'Designing Hypotheticals', month long intensive, School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe, Berlin, DE, 2017 (documentation)
'Design Kids | Future Prototype', workshop, Cooper Hewitt, NYC, US, 2017
'Workshopping workshops', RISD ID, Providence, US, 2017
'Specials Programs Think Tank', week long intensive, CCA, San Francisco, US, 2017 (documentation)
'Panel for Future Special Programmes of the European Union', week long intensive, MCAST, Malta, MT, 2017 (documentation)
'Design Futures Workshop', Genspace, NYC, US, 2017 (documentation)
'Testing Tomorrows', 7-week class, NYU ITP, NYC, US, 2016 (documentation)
Original Mind Scholar, year long residency, Dalton School, NYC, US, 2016-2017
'Welcome to the Futures', workshop, SVA Products of Design, NYC, US, 2016 (documentation)
'Alternative Unknowns' workshop at 'Infrastructure Space', LafargeHolcim Forum, Detroit, US, 2016 (documentation)
'Adventuring Trailhead', lecturer, IDEO, San Francisco, US, 2016
'Modeling Futures', 5-week course, Pioneer Works, NYC, US, 2016 (documentation)
'Hybrid Urbanism', (remote tutoring), Strelka Institute, Moscow, RU, 2016
'Testing Tomorrows', week long, NYU ITP, NYC, US, 2015 (documentation)
Graduate thesis studio, Adjunct Faculty, RISD ID, Providence, US, 2015
'Urban Data Research Center' workshop, Strelka Institute, Moscow, 2015 (documentation)
'Speculative Design and Strategic Planning' workshop, Strelka Institute, Moscow, 2015
'1-888-FUTURES' workshop, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, 2015 (documentation)
Cyborg workshop with the Biomechanics and Movement Science (BIOMS) course, UD, Newark, 2015 (documentation)
Visiting Critic, Design Fiction Group, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, 2015
Visiting Artist, NCAR/CU Boulder, CO, US, 2015 (documentation)
Extrapolation Factory workshop, Transdisciplinary Design, Parsons, NYC, US, 2015
'Craigslist for Barter' workshop, SVA Products of Design, NYC, US, 2015 (documentation)
Extrapolation Factory workshop, Weimar, Bauhaus University, DE, 2014
'Telstar Shopping Network' intensive, Z33, Leuven, BE, 2014 (documentation)
'Biotechnominimarket' design intensive, RCA, Design Interactions, London, UK, 2014 (documentation)
'Futurematic - Waves of Tomorrow' workshop, NYU ITP, NYC, US, 2014 (documentation)
'Wild Posting Futures BBQ' workshop, Eyebeam, NYC, US, 2014 (documentation)
'Futurematic' workshop, OCAD University Strategic Foresight and Innovation, Toronto, CA, 2014 (documentation)
'Oficina de patentes', intensive at Laboratorio para la Ciudad, Mexico City, MX, 2014 (documentation)
Visiting Critic, Liam Young’s studio, Princeton University School of Architecture, Princeton, US, 2014
'The Society for Speculative Rocketry', 2-week workshop, Eyebeam, NYC, 2014 (documentation)
Thesis Advisor, Alex Todaro, SVA IDX MA, NYC, US, 2014
Extrapolation Factory workshop, GSAPP Studio-X, NYC, US, 2013 (documentation)
Film workshop, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, US, 2013 (documentation)
Thesis Advisor, Namwoo Bae, RISD Digital+Media, Providence, US, 2013
Visiting Critic, Geoff Manaugh & Nicola Twilley’s studio, GSAPP, NYC, US, 2013
Film workshop, RISD Digital + Media, Providence, US, 2013
'Camera Hacking Nightschool', GSAPP Studio-X, NYC, US, 2012  (documentation)
Thesis Advisor, Kyung Hoon Hyun, RISD ID, Providence, US, 2012
Film workshop, RISD Digital + Media, Providence, US, 2012
Intensive, Industrial Design, Syracuse University, US, 2012
Conflux, workshop, NYC, US, 2012
Visiting Critic, David Benjamin's class, Pratt, NYC, US, 2011
'Invisible Behaviors', workshop, NYU ITP, NYC, US, 2011
'Futurelabcamp', organized a series of biotech un-conferences, NYC & Cambridge, US, 2011 (documentation)