Kicking off the Humanizing Technology Experiments projects: collab days and site visits

October 27, 2023

As part of the HUNGRY ECOCITIIES Humanizing Technology Experiments residencies, a variety of kick-offs and meetings took place during September and October 2023 amongst artists and the project partners. 

Direction > CITY+FARMING

Italy, September 2023

For the City+Farming Direction, the in-person kick-off meeting took place in Turin between 12 and 14 September. The mentoring team at CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati received the three selected artists and fellow mentors from the technical and art-driven innovation sides. Through various discussion sessions and workshops, the Core Team explored the key challenges urban agriculture nowadays is facing, and developed a common working methodology to advance the artists’ experiments and ways to maximize opportunities for collaboration within the Hungry EcoCities structure. Beyond that, they also took this opportunity to connect with external experts, familiarize themselves with the CRA team and visit CRA’s factory where the experimentation and prototyping processes could take place – planting the seeds for a successful residency. 

Direction > MEGA SCALE

The Netherlands, October 2023

In the first week of October, the HTE projects linked to the Mega Scale Direction, and mostly the challenge related to the eco-modernism / alternative food production systems standoff, gathered in the Netherlands for some site visits to explore the history and various forms of Controlled Environmental Agriculture in Westland. Next to that, the aim was to understand and experience the approach and vision of the work Stephan Petermann did in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas. It was a team of artists, Jeroen van der Most, Bernat Cuni, IM-A Studio and Genomic Gastronomy, the studio lead Stephan Petermann, the technology mentor Pavel Smrz from Brno University of Technology and the art-driven innovation mentors from In4Art.  

This trip gave the team additional perspectives while reflecting on the food system. The following map outlines the food chain and serves as a reference point to clarify where each project’s focus point lies, and what challenges it tackles.

Hungry EcoCities: The Food Chain

On the first day, the team toured around in the area known as Westland: Westland Museum, Koppert Cress, TomatoWorld, World Horti Center and HortiHeroes. They subsequently had a dinner at Restaurant Gare du Nord to exchange perspectives with local chefs, and explore the consumption part of a culinary journey. This was followed by a visit to OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) and AMO (the research, branding and publication studio of the architectural practice) on the following day. While there, Stephan Petermann gave a presentation on their working method, as the resident artists started to work on a press release. The meeting concluded at Het Nieuw Instituut.  

Bernat Cuni, one of the resident artists, made the following impression of the visit: 


Online, 2023

Those involved in the Local Conditions projects conducted their first meeting online to develop the Innovation Monitoring Plans. The team worked together to define the technological, artistic and outreach indicators. A set of ambitions developed and clarified jointly will serve as a steering wheel throughout the project.  

Meanwhile, the three HTEs linked to Studio Other Spaces were highlighted in its recent exhibition Spatial Solidarities. They raised intriguing discussions challenging the use of AI in general and where the technology will be applied in the projects. 

The Knowledge Sharing Event

Turin, November 2023

The Knowledge Sharing Event will take place in Turin at the end of November. It will unfold through a series of presentation and discussion sessions. Based on their respective approaches and experiences, all the mentors and artists in the Hungry EcoCities programme will debate the roles AI, biotech and digital tool sets could play in urban food systems and explore how they could be applied to advance the program’s objectives. 

This HungryEcoCities project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement 101069990.