DATS ’10 to commemorate international celebration of
Designers Bob Staples and Barbara Charles pictured at the renowned Eames Office, where they co-created films, furniture, graphics and museum exhibits. At DATS’10, Staples and Charles will lead the celebration of “Powers of Ten,” screening the landmark film and reflecting on influences of their famous predecessors. (photo courtesy Center for Design Innovation)
The Design Art & Technology Symposium 2010 or DATS ’10, will focus on sustainable food and the international celebration of Charles and Ray Eames’ groundbreaking film “The Powers of 10” during its three-day expo at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem Oct. 9-11.
In celebration of the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon of Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10), the event sponsor — the Center for Design Innovation — will host a series of lectures and events Sunday to honor the Eames’ monumental contribution to contemporary design.
Former Eames employees Barbara Charles and Bob Staples will give a lecture at 10 a.m. at Reynolds Place at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts (MRCA). Charles and Staples’ lecture will be followed by the panel discussion Eames Designs Then and Now. Afterwards, participants will enjoy a “Powers of 10” indoor picnic, to commemorate the opening scene of the short film. The event will include 10 original performances to celebrate the Eames film.
The indoor picnic connects to the overarching theme of DATS ’10 — sustainable food. Stokes CORE, a community nonprofit dedicated to economic development, will participate in DATS ’10. Tony McGee, executive director of Stokes Core, said the group’s mission is to help rural commodities across the state convert from commodity crops like tobacco to value-added commodities like biodiesel and purple sweet potatoes.
Currently, McGee is working with Stokes County farmers who have developed a purple sweet potato, which is common in southeast Asia but rare in North America. McGee will participate in the DATS Mashup on Saturday at MRCA from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“Four cooking teams each consisting of a professional chef and refugee-immigrant will present and discuss their joint creations using the Stokes purple sweet potato as their point of inspiration,” according to the DATS ’10 website. “Each team will face language, tradition and cultural barriers as they work to communicate, collaborate, and create a great new recipe.”
McGee and Stokes CORE have also developed a local food brand — Land of the Saura — to create and sustain economic development in Stokes County. Believe it or not, design innovation and the purple sweet potato go hand in hand, McGee said.
“Design innovation can really impact the rural community,” McGee said. “Design isn’t all about computers and medical technology — that’s only part of the story. There’s a real grounded aspect to things all around us — a fresh perspective on how to promote new products and new markets.
It’s all part of a design process that can be beneficial to our communities in a post-tobacco economy.”
The goal of the Land of the Saura brand is to become a local Newman’s Own, McGee said. “We’re donating a portion of sales to the Land of Saura Foundation, so when you buy a product, you’re not just supporting local farmers you’re investing in the future of the area,” McGee said. “That can be a valuable and compelling value-add to the end buyer. It really helps complete the circle.”
Local gourmet cook Margaret Norfleet Neff will also be supplying food for DATS ’10.
“We’re considering food as a material for design,” Center for Design Innovation Director Carol Strohecker said.
The annual symposium offers a showcase for the work of CDI. This year, the center will unveil its motion-capture technology that can create animated characters that react to changes in their environment. Other applications of the technology include physical therapy for dancers, athletes and elderly people as well as video games and filmmaking. The center will also promote its development of three-dimensional modeling software that allows users to generate virtual prototypes and test them before investing a lot of money in a flawed prototype.
“We will be developing research programs around those two core programs and we’ll be creating new educational programs so students can learn these techniques and displaced workers can take advantage of workshops,” Strohecker said.
Part of the center’s overall mission is to help shift the local economy from manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy, Strohecker said, and the annual DATS symposium creates a meaningful dialogue on the creative sector how it can speed that transformation.
Seth Riskin, manager of holography and spatial imaging and emerging technologies initiatives at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, said it takes a broad vision to develop the industries of the future and that’s what DATS ’10 is all about.
“The conference is about inspiring a school of thought,” Riskin said.
“The purpose is to take broad concepts like sustainable food and ideas in ‘The Powers of 10’ and bring that down to earth and into people’s lives.”
DATS ’10 will be held at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem Oct. 9-11. For further info, visit: 2010.datstriad.org/wordpress