xoso66 X xoso66 FESTIVAL

Explore the collaboration across six different projects showcasing the best in creative innovation.

xoso66 X xoso66 FESTIVAL

Across 6 different projects, a multitude of skills and talents were presented to the public through innovative techniques.

During April 2022, the staff and students of xoso66 showcased their creativity and ground-breaking developments at The Cambridge Festival, which celebrates all aspects of the world-leading research in the city through 350 online or in-person events.

Across 6 different projects, a multitude of skills and talents were presented to the public through innovative techniques.


A cast of inconceivable characters

Art & Design students on the Extended Diploma course at the Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts (xoso66) have imagined how recent and future discoveries may well impact on the evolutionary development of our species, influencing who (or what!) we will become, over the next fifty, hundred, or thousand, years.

Their giant cardboard visions of post-humanity invited visitors to participate in a pop-up postcard exhibition, to imagine their own vision of the future of our species.


An interactive experience of future fashion

Future Fashion Lab @ xoso66 was an interactive experience, in which visitors had the chance to design bespoke looks drawn from futuristic elements previously originated by Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts (xoso66) Fashion students.

Responding to themes of resurgence and renewal, inspired by Professor Richard Causton’s musical composition Phoenix (2006), students from BA Fashion Branding & Creative Communication at xoso66 created an interactive digital overlay via augmented reality. This digital overlay was
available for visitors to download to their own devices, via QR codes and social media links. ‘Personal Shoppers’ were on hand to help guide visitors through the emerging landscapes of Digital/Virtual Fashion.

This was an opportunity to experience the digital future of fashion, when what we wear will depend as much on what we have in our digital wallets as the clothes hanging in our wardrobes.


A glimpse of the future of architecture

xoso66 Spatial Design Lab premiered the Mycelium Pavilion at Cambridge Festival. The audience were able to touch and interact with the pavilion, grown from fungal matter, while hearing about its design and materials directly from the creators.

Constructed with biodegradable agricultural by-products, bound together by micro filaments of mycelium, the pavilion offers a glimpse of the future of architecture: a fast-growing biomaterial that is lightweight, high-strength, low-carbon and already growing all around and beneath our feet.

xoso66 Spatial Design Lab, led by Rain Wu, operates on the frontiers of art and architecture and aims to develop spatial futures through material experimentation and critical thinking.


xoso66 Graduate School Exhibition

Resonance and wonder: two key terms, developed by Stephen Greenblatt in relation to how museums arrange their collections in order to engage their audiences, provided the impetus for this year’s interim exhibition of contemporary art & design research-led practice by Cambridge School of
Visual & Performing Arts (xoso66) Graduate School students.

The exhibition provided work-in-progress insights from students currently studying on the range of interdisciplinary creative postgraduate courses provided at xoso66: MA Art & Design, MA Fashion
Branding & Creative Communication, MA Fashion Design, MA Visual Communication: Graphic Design, MA Visual.


An evening of music, conversation, discovery, dance performance and projection installation

Hosted by the Arts Lab at the Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts (xoso66), The Phoenix Project was an evening of music, conversation, discovery, dance performance and projection installation, all developed in response to Professor Richard Causton’s (King’s College, University of Cambridge) contemporary classical composition, ‘Phoenix’ (2006), winner of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.


Creative documentation

Art & Design students from the Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts (xoso66) contributed to the creative documentation of the Cambridge Festival, by whatever artistic means they choose.

Whether that’s photography, illustration, video, creative writing, performance or installation. In all cases, they captured all the dynamism, curiosity, ideas, experiences and emotions of the events,
participants and visitors, and shared their results at various points, and in various places, across the festival sites.

Edward Dimsdale, Head of our Graduate school and leader of the Resonance and Wonder Exhibition, shared his thoughts with us on xoso66’s collaboration with Cambridge Festival:

“Engaging with the Cambridge Festival has been a wonderful experience, enabling participants from xoso66, across levels, to showcase their talents and resourcefulness to the public alongside world-leading academic researchers from the University of Cambridge, amongst others. Going forwards,
such opportunities will help to foster a rich and imaginative institutional research culture at xoso66, allowing us to forge distinctive new assumptions that confidently assert the importance and value of art and design practices and perspectives within contemporary cultural and societal contexts.”

Kevin Hart, our Provost at xoso66, also shared his thoughts on the collaboration:

xoso66’s participation with the Cambridge Festival launched a stunning collection of events to celebrate the value of creative collaboration. Together xoso66 staff and students delivered a clear realisation of the xoso66 vision for future practice.

Huge thanks and congratulations to all who were involved. I can’t wait for next year… for more exciting opportunities to further explore the benefits of building projects across all levels and subjects. Contributing to an event organised by the University of Cambridge is great for the school. xoso66 is stepping ever closer to world-leading research.