Noemie Soula

Noemie Soula MA

Design Researcher


Summary

I am a design research assistant at Lab4Living, a research group with a focus on bringing Design-led research and creative practices to fields of health and wellbeing. Our work spans a range of health contexts and key life transitions and is using of creativity, making skill and interventions to impact people's life.

Engaging with bioethics and medico-social issues, my approach is collaborative and speculative, mixing life science, film, storytelling, and design. I exploring what it means to be humans and how we relate to each other using non-conventional approach. My aim is to activate debates around socio-medico context and to push the boundaries of our expectations about our future health.

About

After completing my master MA Material Futures at Central Saint Martins in 2018, I joined Lab4Living as a research assistant in 2019.

My MA graduation project entitled “Matter of Fat” explored human fat from many perspectives and I created a speculative scenario where fat is harvested for its stem cells and monetary value. My artistic practice is research-driven and explores biotechnologies, biology, and the human body. I am investigating the world through interdisciplinary approaches with active collaborations with scientists. Creating sculpture in silicone rubber, perplex, and pigments combined with photography and video to build narratives, I am seeking to engage the audience in current bioethical, bio-political, and bio-social discussions.

Playing with the visceral and the liminality between reality and fiction, the created artworks, physical or digital, tend to act as a wake-up call for the audience and stimulate their imagination.

Lab4Living is based on a collaborative community of researchers in design, healthcare, and creative practices and is part of Sheffield Hallam University. As a research assistant, my role is to support my colleagues in their research and project by facilitating workshops, helping with exhibitions, talks and presentations as well as organising a creative programme enabling networking and dissemination.

Alongside those activities, I have developed and led projects in the Art&Science and Art&Health fields. Among them, "Mythical Living Data: an inquiry into the future of data" (2022) was a project funded by Da Vinci Lab mixing art and synthetic biology. Mixing legend with science by examining the concept of chimeras to investigate how our changing environment can interact and change our DNA, the project investigates the blurring lines between emerging biotechnology, genetics engineering, and what is human and non-human.

Another project, in the field of Art&Health, "Handle (me) With Care" (2020-2022) is an interdisciplinary research project exploring the movements during dressing rituals, revealing the choreography between people with reduced mobility and their caregiver. The project involved two dancers and a choreographer who I worked closely with. Our exchange led to translating my study and observations of handling and dressing into a set of choreographies.

Even if all of my time on my contract is dedicated to research, I intervene as a external client and design a brief related to my research and bio-design for the 1st year students in MA Design (combined) at Sheffield Hallam University.

Research

Exhibitions:

2022 - No Bounds Festival, Mythical Living Data, Exhibition curated by Amy Carter-Gordon, Moore St Electrical Substation, Sheffield, UK, 15-16 Oct

2021 - Epidermotopia, Raw/à vif or the unnatural desire to design a human, exhibition curated by COLLECTIVES, Plateforme, Paris, France, 10-26 Sept

2020 - Raw/à vif or the unnatural desire to design a human, Solo exhibition curated by Unbore, GAD, Venice, Italy, 21 Feb - 8 Mar

Conferences:

2021 - Conference speaker, BEYOND BEINGS for the conference “Another End is Possible” at the NEW NOW festival, Essen, Germany, Sept

2021 - Conference speaker, Handle(me) with care, SHU Creating Knowledge Conference "Borderless Research?"

2021 - Conference speaker, Handle(me) with care, SDEA conference, online program, May

Review Article: Another End is Possible – NEW NOW, Festival for Digital Arts, UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein, ESSEN, Germany, 27th August 2021–03 October 2021

https://lab4living.org.uk/projects/raw-a-vif/

https://lab4living.org.uk/news/noemie-soula-at-new-now-festival/

Publications

Journal articles

Soula, N. (2022). Another End is Possible – NEW NOW, Festival for Digital Arts, UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein, ESSEN, Germany, 27th August 2021–03 October 2021. Design for Health, 5 (3), 346-353. http://doi.org/10.1080/24735132.2022.2045136

Performances

Koski, K., Soula, N., van Veen, A., & Harris, A. (2021). Clinical Dinner: A Virtual Citizen Surgery Training Session. Making and Doing session

Media

Koski, K., Soula, N., Van Veen, A., & Harris, A. (2021). Lunchtime Surgery Class. [Film]. Semi-Finalist at BIDEODROMO International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Bilbao

Other activities

Reviewer at Leonardo Journal: https://leonardo.info/network/34301

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