Online Event Talk

Design for a Changing World: The Xenobot

Join designer Josh Bongard and Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, Paola Antonelli as they discuss the design of a new kind of living robot, the Xenobot.

This talk is the second in the digital series Design for a Changing World.

What to expect

The unprecedented events over the last 12 months have created a new world, one that is defined by social, ecological, and economic uncertainty.

This new digital talk series will invite leading designers and thinkers to explore three nominated projects from the current exhibition Beazley Designs of the Year 2020 to explore how design can help find new directions in this shifting landscape.

Join Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, Paola Antonelli, and computer scientist Josh Bongard as they discuss the design of the Xenobot, a one-of-a-kind organism that is both a living thing made of living cells and a machine programmed to express certain behaviours.

AI methods automatically design diverse candidate lifeforms in simulation (top row) to perform some desired function, and transferable designs are then created using a cell-based construction toolkit to realise living systems (bottom row) with the predicted behaviours.

The traces carved by a swarm of these organisms as they move through a field of particulate matter.

The traces carved by a swarm of these organisms as they move through and collectively aggregate particulate matter.

An organism moves through a field of particulate matter.

Five red-cyan designs are initially placed amid a 15×15 lattice of the yellow debris, in simulation.

A side view of the designs from the previous image behaving in simulation.

Booking information

Adult: £5
Members: Free

Save when you buy the Series Pass to join all three of the Design for a Changing World online talks including The Ouroboros Steak, The Xenobot and Lil Miquela.

Series Pass: £12

This is an online-only event. You will receive instructions on how to join the talk in your booking confirmation email.

Speakers

Josh Bongard

Josh Bongard is the Veinott Professor of Computer Science at the University of Vermont. He runs the Morphology, Evolution & Cognition Laboratory, which focuses on automated design of crowdsourced, soft-bodied and biological robots using evolutionary algorithms. He is the co-author of the book How the Body Shapes the Way We Think.

Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator at The Museum of Modern Art in the Department of Architecture & Design, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. In collaboration with critic Alice Rawsthorn, Antonelli is currently working on @design.emergency, an Instagram and book project on the role of design in building a better future for all.

The Exhibition

Beazley Designs of the Year 2020

Explore the best designs across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design, nominated by design experts and the public.

As a specialist insurer, Beazley is well placed to understand the value of good design. It sees first-hand the consequences when things go wrong and its products and services are expertly designed to help people and businesses when they most need help.

Buy the catalogue