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Cross Border Conversations: STIR video series with global creative changemakers

STIR X LOCO Design present candid conversations among creative professionals across geographical borders and creative disciplines of architecture, design, art and beyond.

by STIRworldPublished on : Jul 07, 2020

Today, the only way to survive and evolve is to Become One. One world without borders, One world working toward creative innovation that can save the future, One world against a pandemic and climate change — the unified force of One that is only stronger with its diverse cultural and geographical influences. A force that must be born out of a seamless connection; out of Cross Border Conversations between enlightened minds.

With this thought, STIR in collaboration with LOCO Design – inspired by a heritage of fine craftsmanship and innovation and creating contemporary works in the fields of design, craft and enterprise – presents Cross Border Conversations — a series curated by Amit Gupta and Pramiti Madhavji, featuring video conversations between global thought leaders and inspired professionals from architecture, design, art and other contemporary creative disciplines.

Each episode of Cross Border Conversations pairs changemakers from different continents and creative disciplines including architecture, product design, industrial design, creative strategy and forecasting, graphic design, contemporary art, virtual art, sustainability and environment, storytelling, artificial intelligence, filmmaking, technology, progressive culture…and much more. While each speaker has a unique expertise, all their works weave a common thread through experimentation, futuristic ideation and community-focused interventions, which is revealed as they take us through their concepts, architectural projects, design projects and plans.

“We exist in a time where we are seeing sweeping conceptual changes in our relation to the wider world. As our experience of the world alters and in turn evolves, we create new communities and spaces for thoughts, ideas, feelings and aspirations. We see Cross Border Conversations as part of this evolution, a responsibility of creative individuals to change the world – a commitment to the role of creating ONE world - breaking barriers and rules of engagement - talking and working towards a humane and collaborative world. We are delighted to be supporting this initiative,” says Parminder Pal Singh, Co-Founder, LOCO Design.

The format is simple – it is an easy-flowing chat between two people who can be imagined as sitting in their living room or running into each other in a café – only, a virtual one. They are soon absorbed in moments of revelation, each other’s life journeys, practices, anecdotes, inspiration and insights – right up to where and how we must chart our collective futures.

The in-depth talks would also address the paradigm shift that we, as individuals, and as One world, are undergoing, and what every individual must do before it is too late. "Imagination is an essential contributor to building futures, and our moment today is universal where making connections and knowledge-sharing will mark our journey forward," observes Singh.

Some of the best creative minds across the world have signed up to be part of this rare creative synergy, a dialogue that is a convergence of personal experience and professional learning alike, no holds barred. Follow the links to watch these enriching sessions.

Episode 1: Arthur Mamou-Mani X Ayaz Basrai
Temple Run into the Future

Arthur Mamou-Mani and Ayaz Basrai | Cross Border Conversations |
Arthur Mamou-Mani (L) and Ayaz Basrai (R) Image Credit: Courtesy of speakers

London-based architect Arthur Mamou-Mani of Mamou-Mani Ltd and designer Ayaz Basrai of The Busride Lab from Goa, India, exchange memories from some of their most unforgettable personal experiences in a dialogue steered by STIR Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Amit Gupta. Both Arthur and Ayaz employ computational tools and parametric techniques in their respective works, but what connects them at a more personal level is their approach to seeking unusual meaning in the vast complexity of their architectural and design practices.

The 60-minute conversation traverses across temporary and permanent temple towns, build and burn rituals, game design based on ancient Indian temple architecture and the cosmic design underlying all of life in the past, present and future. While Arthur looks back at the colossal temple Galaxia at the centre of the Black Rock City during the Burning Man festival, Ayaz reminisces his time working in the Indian city of Auroville that shaped his understanding of utopia and dystopia. 

Episode 2: Space Popular X teamLab
Sense and Sensoriality

Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg (L) X Takashi Kudo (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg (L) X Takashi Kudo (R) Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

Architect duo Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg of London-based Space Popular studio, in dialogue with Takashi Kudo of digital art collective teamLab from Tokyo, discuss their practices that find common ground in the virtual space - while one experiments with virtual architecture in immersive internet, the other creates stimulating spatial experiences using digital art.

The 40-minute conversation traverses their childhood memories and early career as well as includes subjects such as virtual minimalism, creativity that embraces common sense, the value of heritage in digital times and the shape of things to come in architecture and art in the post-pandemic world.

Episode 3: Aniruddh Mehta X Julius Wiedemann
A Rule called Freedom

Aniruddh Mehta (L) X Julius Wiedemann (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Aniruddh Mehta (L) X Julius Wiedemann (R)Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

Graphic designer Aniruddh Mehta , the founder of Mumbai-based Studio Bigfat, in conversation with senior design editor of TASCHEN publishing house, Julius Wiedemann from Brazil, on decoding the rules of randomisation in creativity.

In the hour-long conversation, the two walk each other through their respective worlds, its overlaps and anomalies. They examine creative paradoxes such as the said and unsaid, chaos and cohesion, legibility and illegibility, and comfort and curiosity.

Episode 4: Studio Formafantasma X Asim Waqif
The Subtext of Context

Lara Lesmes, Fredrik Hellberg (L) X Takashi Kudo (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin (L) X Asim Waqif (R) Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

Product designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Studio Formafantasma from Amsterdam in dialogue with New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif discuss pushing the dominant narrative beyond labels and ‘specialisations’.

Experimentation around materiality, context and waste cycles from cities are deeply rooted in the works of Andrea, Simone, and Asim Waqif. During the 50-minute conversation, the three exchange ideas on forestry and the processes of timber extraction, relating it to a resource beyond a commodity to be obtained. Other topics of the discussion include values of a human-centred versus a planet-centred approach in design, the reality of sustainability in urban cities, and exploration around new materials as the shape of things to come.

Episode 5: David Gloster X Odile Decq
The Matrix of Learning

David Gloster (L) X Odile Decq (R) | Cross Border Conversations | David Gloster X Odile Decq | STIR X LOCO Design
David Gloster (L) X Odile Decq (R) Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

David Gloster, Director of Education at RIBA London, in dialogue with architect Odile Decq of Paris-based firm Studio Odile Decq, exchange the joys and perils of education in architecture.The two, who have been instrumental in shaping the course of architectural education over the last 20 years, revisit their roots and contemplate the meaning of architecture in the one-hour episode.

Gloster talks about his curiosity for the primitive; Decq recollect the time she had joined architectural school against her father’s will.The two share their visions of architectural education in the post-pandemic world as well as thoughts on architecture and its social construct, overlaps of art and technology in the built space, and profession and pursuit of passion.

Episode 6: Frank Stephenson X Gul Panag
The Fast and the Curious

Frank Stephenson (L) X Gul Panag (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Frank Stephenson (L) X Gul Panag (R)Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

London-based automobile designer Frank Stephenson and actor, aviator, rider and adventurer Gul Panag from India exchange their romance with mean machines in this episode.

In the 50-minute conversation, Stephenson, who has mastered the art of automotive design for the past three decades with revolutionary works at Maserati, Ferrari, Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Mini, elaborates his recent pursuits in air travel.Panag, who is a licensed pilot and also a trained rider, deliberates on the paradigm shift that technology and design innovation are rendering to the aviation and automobile industry and how they are likely to shape the experience of users in the years to come.

Episode 7: Shiva Nallaperumal X Tim Molloy
Art of the Amorphous

 Shiva Nallaperumal (L) X Tim Molloy (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Shiva Nallaperumal (L) X Tim Molloy (R)Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

Mumbai-based type designer and visual artist Shiva Nallaperumal, and illustrator and comic book artist Tim Molloy from Melbourne, discuss the play of characters and avatars in programmed and fictional realities within their practices.

Molloy shares early influences that led him to embark on a life-long journey in search of meaning; Nallaperumal recollects a story from his college days that made him choose type design over animation. In the 60-minute conversation, they walk through each other’s creative journeys and examine why each pursued the path that demanded painstakingly repetitive processes and working round the clock.

Episode 8: Morag Myerscough X Neil Harbisson
Colour Files: Science and Sentience

Morag Myerscough (L) X Neil Harbisson (R)  | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Morag Myerscough (L) X Neil Harbisson (R) Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

In this episode, London-based artist Morag Myerscough and cyborg artist and activist Neil Harbisson from Barcelona unpack mysteries around colour consciousness that transcend dominant perceptions and natural human abilities.

As the world’s first human cyborg, Harbisson, whose head-implanted antenna makes him listen to colours, shares that he had a greyscale childhood, yet not sad. Myerscough, whose eclectic breadth of work spans public installations, hospitals and cafes, points out that colours should not be compartmentalised around a certain emotion and they should be left open to interpretation and intuitive experimentation. In the 50-minute conversation, the two also discuss technology's role in their creative practices, and candidly exchange how each would like to conceptualise a space for the other and what colours would constitute their palette.

Episode 9: Maarten Baas X Thukral and Tagra
Magic between Forces

Maarten Baas (L) X Sumir Tagra and Jiten Thukral of Thukral and Tagra (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Maarten Baas (L) X Sumir Tagra and Jiten Thukral of Thukral and Tagra (R) Image Credit: Kenton Thatcher; Courtesy of Thukral and Tagra studio

One of the most influential Dutch designers, Maarten Baas, and the experimental Indian artists Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra of Thukral and Tagra indulge in a candid conversation on the boundaries that creatives attempt to break for themselves and their world of creativity.

Baas feels the magic lies in working between the defined rules while Thukral and Tagra believe in the importance of flexibility to maneuver and transcend with new discourses with tenacity.

Episode 10: Edmund Sumner X Vladimir Belogolovsky
Adventures in the Arbitrary

Edmund Sumner (L) X Vladimir Belogolovsky (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Edmund Sumner (L) X Vladimir Belogolovsky (R)Image Credit: (L) ©Jae W V Kim, Courtesy of Edmund Sumner; (R) Courtesy of Vladimir Belogolovsky

London-based architectural photographer Edmund Sumner and critic and curator Vladimir Belogolovsky from New York discuss the nuances of storytelling with two different mediums in this episode.

Belogolovsky and Sumner talk about their practices and the peculiar overlaps: while one uses photography as a medium, the other uses words to bring forth the expression that architecture seeks to convey or fail in some contexts. The 60-minute conversation dives into their journeys, revealing what they set out to do in the first place, where they see themselves now, and where they are headed.

Episode 11: Pradip Krishen X Prof. Anne Feenstra
The Landscape of Fragility and Fortitude

Pradip Krishen (L) X Prof. Anne Feenstra (R) | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Pradip Krishen (L) X Prof. Anne Feenstra (R)Image Credit: Courtesy of the speakers

Notable environmentalist, National Award-winning filmmaker and habitat expert Pradip Krishen with Prof. Anne Feenstra, architect and former Dean of Architecture at CEPT, Ahmedabad exchange joys of exploring untamed landscapes and the modest art of giving these a new life. The two recollect fond memories and unforgettable lessons that affirm their trust in the power of modesty, endurance, interconnectedness and ownership.

Krishen, who is known to have rewilded several degraded landscapes across Central India, raises a pertinent concern that landscape in this country is misunderstood as a quick external process of ‘greening’. Feenstra argues that an architect needs to be a good listener and that before getting down to drawing even a line on paper, interventions on a project should begin with extensive observations of the landscape and the local life.

Episode 12: Bijoy Jain X Iwan Baan
Between Folds of the Palimpsest

Bijoy Jain (L) X Iwan Baan (R)  | Cross Border Conversations | STIRworld
Bijoy Jain (L) X Iwan Baan (R)Image Credit: Pravin Talan; Jonas Eriksson

Two of the most sought-after professionals from the field of architecture – Bijoy Jain, founder of Studio Mumbai, and Dutch photographer Iwan Baan - share thoughts on travel and stillness as part of the same continuum.

While Baan’s photography visits urbanscapes as a synthesis of people, landscape and spirit, Jain's practice creates spaces with local resources and Indian craftsmanship, establishing a universal language of architecture. The intimate conversation journeys across distant landscapes and ideas, touching upon the said and unsaid nuances of creative collaboration.

Watch this space and tune into our social media channels for more updates.

LOCO Design: Shape of things to come
Steered by values of leadership and integrity, LOCO Design strives to create aesthetic innovation with a creative essence enriched by design values, master artisans and technical expertise, contributing to a responsible future.
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