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. 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.
taliaYsebastian 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.
Curator Marlies Wirth
A cooperation between MAK and the University of Applied Arts, Vienna
Exhibition series APPLIED ARTS. NOW The term „applied arts“, unlike other, more specific categories, comprises not only the trend of an increasingly conceptual and “artistic” design, but also the contemporary movements in “free” arts which critically scrutinize the practical value of their output while continuously expanding into the fields of the rendition of service delivery, options for use and fundamental research for trend-setting approaches and spheres of action. At the same time the claim for the autonomy of free arts remains uncontested, but instead potential inherent in the free arts is revealed that could amplify and expand the scope of “applied arts”.
Special Thanks to OSRAM - Ing. Karim Momen (OLED Technology) / Hobl&Sohn GmbH - Ludwig Hobl Jr. (Handcrafted Paper) / DKIA - Simon Laburda & Nora Dibowski (interaction & electronic design) / Susanne Gosztonyi - Bio-Mimicry Advisor