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Dr Ulrike Oberlack

Course Co-ordinator, MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery); Academic Co-ordinator, Collaboration Central Saint Martins x Tokyo Institute of Technology
Central Saint Martins
Person Type
Ulrike  Oberlack


My practice-based research has been focussed on light as a non-material medium in relationship to the body. Developed initially during my MA Design: Jewellery studies at Central Saint Martins, this research evolved into a wide-ranging PhD and post-PhD project in collaboration with practitioners from diverse fields: science, technology, choreography, performance, photography and video capture.

Recently my research interests have developed into a wider focus on how science & technology and art & design can collaborate and learn from and with each other in order to create a transformational hybrid space. This hybrid space contributes to addressing current and future issues in societies across the globe and to envisaging how to move towards inclusive, equitable and sustainable futures.

Artists and designers from Central Saint Martins and scientists, technologists and linguists from Tokyo Institute of Technology have been engaged in a collaboration over the past three years. This collaboration has now moved to the next stage by founding the collaborative STADHI (Science, Technology, Art, Design Hybrid Innovation) Lab, funded by Tokyo Institute of Technology. As one the members of the STADHI Lab and academic co-ordinators for Central Saint Martins I contribute to a range of projects within the STADHI lab.

Light as a non-material medium still plays a central role in this wider research. Its potential to engage participants in hybrid workshops in a sensuous, playful way as a method of exploration and reflection and light as a medium has high potential for collaborations across a wide field science and technology.

My interest in the transformational potential of design research and processes is often structured or informed by my specialist knowledge in how (cultures of) organisations or institutions can change and be changed. I exhibit my work internationally and have co-founded a design strategy partnership which informs my teaching and research practice.