PDC 2014 Art

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We are excited to announce that we have received a variety of interesting art installations that will be hosted at the PDC2014. Below are some short descriptions of what awaits you.


ADA a self-forming artwork, participants animated under destruction sculpture, a post-industrial „creature“, resembling a molecular hybrid from nanobiotechnology.

ADA: Analog Interactive Installation

ADA is filled with helium, floating freely in room; she is a membrane-like globe, spiked with charcoals that leave marks on the walls, ceilings and floors.
However hard the participant tries to control ADA, to drive her, he would notice very soon, that ADA is an independent performer. It is a movement experienced visually, which like a computer makes an unforeseeable output after entering a command.

Artist: Karina Smigla-Bobinski

Deconstructed and reconstructed packaging materials create an installation of plastic netting; suspended and piled-up boxes lit by ultra-violet and LED lighting.

“Boxstillation” and the War on Packaging

Post- World War text, Cargo (DF), parodies names of everyday commodities, as text cues prompt the participation of a comedian, the Merry Prankster, in a satire of the contemporary “shopping experience”. An urban soundscape of random African suburban sounds forms the auditory backdrop to the comedian’s humor and actions. The performance, and documentation thereof, including any subsequent interactions, is recorded and played back with the installation. Through humor, observation (and hopefully participation in a mock shopping experience) the observers experience and question their role in either contributing to packaging waste or consider taking a stand as conscientious consumers. It is through consumer participation that the global populace determines the levels of pollution and environmental degradation of their home, planet Earth. Wake up and see the garbage!

Artist: Kay Cowley


Timbre of the tones is an interactive sound installation inspired by the Namibian landscape. 

Breathing with Timbre of the Tones

This handcrafted sound installation will mainly be built with metal, as well containing sand of different colors, found in the host country Namibia. Through the use of a bow and striking sticks, sounds and tones will arise when participants strike the installation. At the same time patterns in the sand will create an optical and acoustic platform.

Artists: Martin Spühler, Beate Zorn


The HERD exhibition area at the 13th Participatory Design Conference (PDC) will form part of the National Wool Campaign campaign, by exploring participants’ interaction with recycled wool.

From Sheep to Product: 

A Design Exploration into the Benefit of Collective Creativity in Upcycling Waste and Generating Value

The National Wool Campaign, also known as HERD, was initiated by the FABlab to regenerate the local wool industry in Namibia. Hundreds of tons of wool are discarded annually due to a lack of perceived value and application. The campaign aims to harness collective creativity across a multi-helix platform, with the aim of adding value and creating a need for the waste.

Artist: Kirstin Wiedow


In this installation an instrumented tree detects and records videos of participants hugging a tree. These hugs are displayed locally as a video collage and are shared with other Hug@tree installations around the world, creating a global shared embrace of nature.

Hug a Tree in Africa

A healthy and sustainable relationship between humans and the built and surrounding natural environment requires a deep rethinking of concepts and models. In this context the exploration of new forms of expression enabled by emerging technologies plays an important role. Through the Hug a Tree in Africa installation we are addressing artistic, scientific and technological aspects of the challenge of connecting people and places. This will promote a healthier and more sustainable relationship between humans and the natural environment.

Artists: Mónica Mendes, Pedro Ângelo, Nuno Correia, Valentina Nisi, Nuno Nunes, Donovan Costa

The installation will bring together live action performances along with filmed images, as well as involving audience interaction. Ultimately, it will be tackling the issue of gender based violence, using art in a cohesive and illuminating manner.  


I Rock Woman/Woman Beats Drum Installation

We propose an art installation that brings together different mediums, an installation that focuses art as a necessary and vital point for social change. A key element in our session is the use of space as a medium of performance in a manner that does not cause division between the art piece and its audience.

Artists: Junelle Stroh, Blessing Mbonambi, Mari-Louise Labuschagne


The author of this paper, along with parents and teachers of Pashukeni pre-primary school in Soweto, Windhoek, will plan and produce a mural for the kindergarten.  

Participatory Mural at Pashukeni Pre-Primary School

As part of the project the participants at the 13th Participatory Design Conference in Windhoek will collaborate to paint a table for the children at the school, and a visit to Pashukeni will be arranged for any interested participants. A poster and video segment will be presented at the conference to illustrate the process of the mural.

Artist: John M. Kalunda



If you take the cube and shake it than the cube starts to tell a story. If a user wants to have more information from the cube they have to go to the “Magic Mirror” and place the cube in front of the mirror. The Mirror reads the unique RFID and displays more information such as images, text, animations, movies or augmented reality applications.

Artists: Juergen Sieck


A prayer flag installation will be created to remind passersby of the ideal for which we achieved Independence: Equality. 


Prayer Flags: Non-Violence and Equality in a Connected Society

The flags will be painted and printed collaboratively, using simple cardboard blocks and brushes with fabric paint. Participants will be encouraged to take part in this activity. After completion it is intended that the prayer flag installation will hang across Independence Avenue in Windhoek. We encourage participants to engage with their communities through art to promote peaceful solutions and connectivity.

Artists: Nicky Marais, Kim Modise, Helena Hangula



The notion of travelling to open doors onto different perspectives is an antidote to living, working and socializing in spaces mediated by technologically designed artifacts. Interfaces have become ubiquitous and relationships and styles of communication have changed in keeping with this ever-present trend. 


Quest for Fire, Water, Earth and Air
An interaction design bus and art installation reflecting climate change concerns through human and elemental connectedness

The Bachelors in Technology design students, from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, have shared their concerns through their design research problems in exactly these areas. Questions regarding water safety, food security, air quality, sewerage management, marginalisation of people with disability, cultural specificity being erased by generic digital content arose; it became clear that the fragile threads connecting the ecosystem to the human system need nurturing. From an internal landscape to an external one, these students apply themselves creatively and intellectually in order to tackle real problems pro-actively; to talk less and do more. To this end, a sizable art installation piece has been conceptualized and constructed which will be unveiled with an accompanying performance piece at the 13th Participatory Design Conference (PDC) in Namibia, in October 2014.

Artists: Alettia V. Chisin, Johan van Niekerk, Mugendi K. M. M’Rithaa, and Bachelors in Technology design students, from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology



Radio Healer is a performance project in residence at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. During Radio Healer performances, indigenous electronic tools (many of which are created from salvaged materials and hacked Nintendo Wii Remotes) are performed together with traditional indigenous instruments. 

Radio Healer: Hacking the Wii Remote to Perform Indigenous Re-Imagined Ceremony

The convergence of traditional and contemporary indigenous instruments demonstrates value-laden tensions between notions of what is considered traditional and contemporary. At the same time Radio Healer illustrates that despite these tensions, traditional and contemporary technology can connect to each other in useful and meaningful ways (Figure 1). By creating this rivaling complexity, Radio Healer provides an indigenous ground for inclusive public dialogues. Following performances, project artists facilitate dialogues that provide opportunities for audience interpretations of the performance, which often unpack Radio Healer as a metaphor for various lived experiences within the contexts of place, connected-knowledge, culture, relationships, and pervasive media.

Artists: Cristóbal Martinez, Randy Kemp, Raven Kemp, Joe French, Robert Esler


The e-Baobab is an innovative interactive art installation which offers participants a novel, yet traditional communication platform.   

The e-Baobab: Connecting citizens on various matters

A hand-crafted tree, whose core constitutes of recycled materials, provides the context for various communication tools, such as black- and white-boards, as well as digital displays and signage. Participants can interact with the e-tree in various ways through personal inscriptions, viewing displays, and connecting with provided e-services.

Artists: Elia Theophilus, Beate Zorn, Naska Goagoses, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Michel Onwordi


The overall theme of the installation is connection and its ever changing dynamics. Apart from revisiting some African indigenous and modern forms of connection, we also ask the question, weather we, human beings, are still connected?


The Journey of Connection: Reflecting on the paths and patterns of human connection

This is the fundamental question which we hope our process will answer. The idea is to create an experiential and experimental collection of visual and performing arts material to enable critical engagement on the subject matter.

Artists: Jacques S. Mushaandja, Nambowa Malua, Dimitri Karon



The River of Life art piece is an installation, stimulating participants to immerse in the context of the Kavango Riverine system and co-create the art piece from within.

The River of Life Art Piece

The context installation consists of a set of two-dimensional displays, that are arranged in such a way that they create the feeling of being “surrounded” or even of being within the Kavango setting. The context consists of printed photographs, digital images and a centerpiece, which is a 10m long painting created by rural kids from the area of Rundu in Namibia. A traditional boat, logs, and baskets with indigenous natural objects will be placed at the center. A local person will be engaged in activities and invite participants to co-create the River of Life art piece. We expect the participants to be influenced by the created context, which is enhanced by sound, smell and an interactive digital system. It is anticipated that participants will contribute in their own original manner to the installation based on their own inspirations.

Artists: Hangula P. Werner, Corris Kaapehi, Foibe Amundaba, Maria Johannes, Fernando Filipe

The installation, Chalklines, consists of moveable modular units which can be rearranged by participants within a demarcated space.  

The Skyline Theatre

This installation at the 13th Participatory Design Conference (PDC) is based on a site-specific project to establish a space in Windhoek, Namibia, devoted to outdoor performance and the display of outdoor sculptures. For this purpose we designed an amphitheatre space called “The Skyline Theatre”. The PDC installation, (“Chalklines”) is an adapted version that consists of moveable modular units which can be rearranged by participants within a demarcated space. The units are fitted with chalk bases, which make marks on the space below and thus trace the actions and choices of participants. The units can be used as seating, to form plinths or even as part of a performance. It is hoped that this installation will create a space that collapses the conventional boundaries between audience and actor, viewer and artwork. The final artistic product of this participatory project will essentially be the line drawing that evolves out of the movement of the units on the platform.

Artists: Kathryn Müller, Helen Harris, Vanessa Ruhlig


A Virtual Welcome Guide (VWG) that interacts with the visitors of an exhibition. 

Virtual Welcome Guide for Interactive Museums

If the visitor enters the exhibition, the VWG, shown on a screen, welcomes the guest. The eyes of the VWG follow the guest. If the visitor leaves too fast, the VWG tells him/her to come back. If the visitor is interested in the artefacts shown at the exhibition the VWG indicates a gesture of approval. The purpose of the presented installation is to enhance the interest of visitors in exhibitions by feeling connected through an interactive design. A Kinect sensor is used for tracking the visitor. The visitors’ position triggers predefined video sequences. Initial testing has revealed that the user feels naturally connected with the media actor.

Artists: Oliver Weede, Simon H. Muchinenyika, Hippolyte N. Muyingi


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