Maker with a Mission Spotlight: Tina Gorjanc

By Esther Ellard

How do you describe yourself:
I am researcher and designer interested in the ethical and cultural implications/questions that will be generated by implementing new technologies into our commercial market and everyday life. My focus is to generate critical debate around the problematics I am exposing and inform/empower the general public to become actors of change themselves.

Can you describe your practice:
I am intrigued by new technologies that are being developed around the globe and am curious how as a society we will adapt to them as well as how the market forces will shape our behaviour towards them.

I aim to produce work that summaries a wide and challenging scientific research into a simplified design output that can reach and engage a wider audience. The reason I decided to persuade a design/makers career which is so closely linked to science and technology mainly derives from my passion for drawing and discovering the biological matter and organisms. I started to express my analysis of the current driver in our society by putting the biological body in different contexts and by doing so I discovered different mediums that have the ability to change our perception of its materiality. Critical design was the branch of design that permitted me to develop concepts with which I attempt to reinvent speculative products and push the boundaries of our current mindset.

What have you been working on during your time on the Makers with a Mission residency:
The focus of my work while on the Makerversity’s Makers with a Mission program was to produce a larger design output for which I got commissioned by the Science Gallery London for their opening in end of January 2019. As the theme of the exhibition is Spare Parts, my The self-donor workshop project is trying to expose the reality behind the utopian scenarios some scientific institutions are trying to promote. The project will expose both sides of the possible futures when it comes to a potential abundance of transfer organs as a result of the advances in bioprinting.
Within this project, I am redesigning the educational torso model that is commonly used in biology classes across primary and high schools. The new biological torso will showcase a much wider selection of organs, pinpointing some of the true facts of being able to engineer human organs on demand. However, the organs will also be branded exposing the institutions that are currently working on their specific research/development. By packaging them like products, the project will try to provoke a debate regarding the possible monetization and commercialization of our biological self that this technology might bring.

As part of my stay at Makervesrity I also got the opportunity to be involved in the Hot Shop 11 organised by Ecco Leather on one of their sites in Dongen, Netherlands. It is an amazing 4-day event where I had the opportunity to visit and be informed about the latest industrial machinery and its capabilities to produce innovation in the leather making sector.

As part of the experience, I was also able to introduce myself to a variety of different creatives ranging from freelancers to in-house designers for Nike, Burberry, Rick Owens, etc. All the participants also got the chance to design a new innovative variation of leather by experimenting and using the materials and machines given to us by Ecco. An amazing inspirational opportunity by day and so much fun by night glamping together with everyone.

What is most useful/valuable thing about being at Makerversity:
Having an unlimited availability of the different workshops and an allocated desk within a communal area has enabled me to connect with inspiring people – either the members or employees, which I believe is the best feature of Makervesity. Furthermore, attending the Makerversity talks, workshops and events gave me the opportunity to learn from other makers which have greatly benefited my growth as a designer.

Have there been any challenges you faced during your time here:

I do not mean to sounds cliche, but it is true that when it comes to my residency at Makerversity it has run quite smoothly. The added bonus was to get new projects in as well as becoming involved in interesting work and opportunities from different organizations and other designers.

What’s next!?
Hopefully being able to extend my stay at Makerversity as I find it such an inspiring and proactive environment.

If someone asked you now whether they should apply what insight could you offer them:
Definitely, do it as I believe it can benefit such a vast variety of personalities and you can tailor make the experience based on the level of involvement you are looking for.


Find out more about our Makers with a Mission Programme and apply here

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Posted By Esther Ellard