<concept design + interactive art>
Winner of the iF Concept Award 2010, UK based Canadian designer, Vanessa Harden (b.1980) graduated from the Ontario College of Art in Toronto with her BDes in jewellery and metalsmithing. She has since been linked to various educational institutes, such as the MIT Media Lab, and Hexagram Labs at Concordia University. Vanessa recently obtained her Masters degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London.
Her work explores mainstream design processes by applying these to niche groups. Her projects identify areas within subcultures that can be explored through design, and enable the creation of instruments inspired by the unique behaviours of each specific group. These artifacts enhance social interaction and serve as metaphors, exposing the broader subtleties of human social conventions. Her practice questions the role design plays in the lives of those who live on the fringe of society.