Fab City Conference
Meet the speakers
We gathered inspiring and forward thinking experts and enthusiasts.
His books include African Fractals: modern computing and indigenous design and Appropriating Technology: vernacular science and social power.
Collaborating with indigenous communities, urban artisans and others, his research program on “generative justice” develops computational, thermal and mechanical systems that nurture the bottom-up circulation of value in unalienated form, from heritage algorithms to decolonized digital fabrication.
Throughout the past decade, he has explored the possibility of a future airborne existence as part of his ongoing Aerocene/Cloud Cities projects. Building on the progressive proposals and theories put forth by R. Buckminster Fuller, Frei Otto, Gyula Kosice, Yona Friedman and other visionaries before him, Saraceno develops engaging proposals and models that invite viewers to conceptualize innovative ways of living and interacting with one another, and with their surroundings at large.
Saraceno studied architecture at Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in Argentina (1992-1999) and received postgraduate degrees in Art and Architecture from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Nación “Ernesto de la Cárcova”, Buenos Aires (2000), and Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main (2003), attending the IUAV in Venice thereafter. In 2009, he participated in the International Space Studies Program at NASA Center Ames in Silicon Valley, CA, and was awarded the prestigious Calder Prize. That same year he also presented a major installation at the 53rd Venice Bienale as part of the group exhibition Fari Mondi // Making Worlds, curated by Daniel Birnbaum. Saraceno lectures in institutions worldwide, and directed the Institute of Architecture-related Art (IAK) at Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany (2014–2016). He has held residencies at Centre National d’Études Spatiales (2014–2015), MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (2012–ongoing) and Atelier Calder (2010), among others.
Aerocene, an open-source community project for artistic and scientific exploration initiated from Saraceno’s vision, becomes buoyant only by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth.
In 2015, Saraceno achieved the world record for the first and longest certified fully-solar manned flight. He was the first person to scan, reconstruct and reimagine spiders’ weaved spatial habitats, and possesses the only three-dimensional spider web collection to existence.
Saraceno’s important solo presentations include How to Entangle the Universe in a Spider’s Web, curated by Victoria Noorthoorn, at Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires (2017); Stillness in Motion – Cloud Cities, curated by Joseph Becker, at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016); 163,000 Light Years, curated by Gonzalo Ortega, at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey (2016); Arachnid Orchestra.Jam Sessions, curated by Ute Meta Bauer, at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2015); Becoming Aerosolar, curated by Mario Codognato, at 21er Haus – Belvedere, Vienna (2015); Cosmic Jive, Tomas Saraceno: The Spider Sessions, curated by Luca Cerizza, at Museo di Villa Croce, Genoa (2014); In orbit, curated by Marion Ackermann and Susanne Meyer-Büser, at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K21, Düsseldorf (2013-ongoing); On Space Time Foam, at HangarBicocca, Milan (2012-13); On the Roof: Cloud City, a site-specific installation commissioned for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); Cloud Cities, at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2011-12), 14 Billions (Working Title), at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2010).
He has worked in industry R&D for 15 years, in government (French Prime Minister’s strategy unit), and academia.
He authored many publications; the recently published “Installation theory” (Cambridge University Press, 2017), his 5th book, examines the influence of context on behaviour, and how to produce behavioural change.
Francesca Bria is an adviser for the European Commission on Future Internet and Innovation Policy. She is currently the new Commissioner of Digital Technology and Innovation for the city of Barcelona in Spain and she is leading the DECODE project (http://decodeproject.eu) on data sovereignty in Europe.
He is currently First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council and is responsible for Economy and Labour, Digital City and International Relations. He is also in charge of International Relations and Global Justice, Historical Memory, and Technology and Digital Innovation.
He is President of Barcelona Activa, the municipal local development agency, the Municipal Institute of Finance, as well as the Municipal Institute of Informatics.
As author of several works on constitutionalism, human rights and the right to the city, he has published “Vivienda para todos. Un derecho en (de)construcción” (2003); “Los derechos sociales y sus garantías” (2007); “La ofensiva del constitucionalismo antidemocrático” (2011) and “Procesos constituyentes. Caminos para la ruptura democrática” (2012). He is the co-author of “No hay derecho(s). La ilegalidad del poder en tiempos de crisis” (2012) and “La bestia sin bozal. En defensa del derecho a la protesta” (2014).
For over more than ten years he has been Vice-President of the Observatory of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Observatori DESC).