Nassia Inglessis, is an Artist, Engineer and Designer based in London and Athens. She founded Studio INI as an experimental practice that couples rigorous design and scientific research with public engagement in immersive and experiential installations.
To her, the augmented reality is a material one; an augmented materiality that seeks to address our need for transformation. A capacity to transform that we are akin to in nature and addicted to in our updatable digital realm, but that we are yet still missing in the ‘static’ architecture of our physical creations.
The past body of work of her practice, Studio INI, has included erecting a 17m long flexing wall of recycled plastic and spring steel that deconstructs upon the human’s presence and command in Disobedience - first exhibited in the heart of London, Somerset House, continuing its journey to India, the Middle East and across the globe to challenge the static constructs in both physical and cultural architecture across nations; crafting material lenses by co-opting automated with hand-driven pneumatic manipulations of molten glass to transform space via light caustics in the Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A - London and designing dynamic physical megaphones at architectural scale that can convert an urban environment of steel, concrete, rubber, and glass into a malleable canopy. A canopy that transforms to create a space unique to each individual amplifying and reasonating their imprint through the vastness of New York City’s landscape.
With a human centric approach, Nassia explores matter in the context of cognition to provoke new perceptions, experiences and prototypes of behaviour. Her research manifests through Studio INI’s interactive installation pieces that act as an alternative platform of live experimentation and direct provocation, as part of a continuous human feedback loop of study. This practice is in line with Nassia’s belief that a crucial purpose of design is to contextualise scientific and empirical research so as to challenge predefined ideals and inspire new perspectives and prototypes of behaviour where nature, humans and their creations can ‘collide’ in synergy.
Her starting point is never a material, a form or technique, but instead a cognitive experience or interaction. She is motivated by the possibility of creating novel perceptions within the physical realm as experienced through the full palette of our senses. Exploring the properties and stretching the limits of materials and structures through digital and computational tools, has become a key component in her process and the studio’s projects. But in her entirely human -actuated creations, that have no final or definite form, the driving force of Nassia’s work is understanding how people can stretch the limits and boundaries of her projects even further, sometimes in completely unexpected ways.
With a technical foundation in Engineering Science - MEng Honours Oxford University - and training in art & design - The Royal College of Art, Imperial College London & MIT Media Lab - Nassia is naturally driven to address, with her team of designers in Studio INI, technology in its etymological aspect of τέχνη (art /skill) and λογία (reason/science). Her motivation is to design at the forefront of science and engage through art, across the working themes of matter, mind and nature.
Nassia focuses the research of Studio INI in developing new platforms of material and structural logic. In this process Nassia and her team craft traditional matter through computation, automation and digital fabrication. In Studio INI though digital and computational tools are used to embed new capability in matter, rather than overlay content onto its static state. Her research attempts to step away from digital augmentations, away from simulations experienced via a headset or intangible layers and delve into material augmentations instead, that connect the physical world we create directly to human perception and response. By integrating the human as an element of all its designs and evoking natural and embodied interactions, Studio INI hopes to redefine how we design and build with matter the architecture of our physical environment to render it an integral part of nature’s ecosystem and not in conflict with it.
In this research effort Studio INI practices across disciplines of computation, material science, neuroscience, engineering, design, architecture and biology. Its multidisciplinary work is enabled by frequent collaborations with academics, researchers and scientists, driven by their common passion to engage, provoke and inspire through the real-time visceral feedback of our designed experiences.
In the Studio INI’s Augmented Materiality our physical creations become one more dynamic element of nature’s ecosystem that takes form alongside and as a result of the needs and functions of all its other elements. In this way what we design , architect and build becomes an integral, and not an imposed, part of the construction of an ever evolving physical reality through which we experience and discover the world.
Studio INI is represented by PACE Gallery, its Pace X division.
A/D/O by MINI–BMW, NYCxDesign
2019 – New York, US
London Design Biennale, Somerset House
2018 – London, UK
London Design Festival, Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
2017 – London, UK