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Christopher Kaltenbach

Rank: Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Design

Qualifications: Master of Design, National Institute of Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia; Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Studio, College of Fine Arts, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Initial NSCAD Appointment: 2009

Kaltenbach is Associate Professor of interdisciplinary design in the Master of Design and Division of Design Programs. He is a designer and writer who has worked in interdisciplinary roles in design and design education for over 20 years in Australia, Canada, Japan, Macau and the United States.

He is the founding director of the interdisciplinary design studio actionfindcopypaste. Clients include the French outdoor luxury clothing company Aigle, the Japanese beverage producer Kirin, the Japanese condominium real estate company Mitsubishi Jisho and the University of New Mexico Art Museum (U.S.A.).

His critical writing appears in the book Insectum published by NSCAD University and in the book Stories from the Camera published by UNM Press, as well as in the Dutch architecture magazine MARK and the Australian design magazine AR. He has covered the work of Naoto Fukasawa, Tokujin Yoshioka, Ross Lovegrove and projects such as the Environmental Energy Innovation Building by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto’s design lab (Atelier Bow Wow) at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kengo Kuma’s Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre and Fumie Shibata’s 9h Capsule Hotel.

In 2014, at the start of a PhD degree at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) in the Architecture Research Stream, Expanded Field, Kaltenbach established an independent research lab, Kaltenbach lab at NSCAD University. This research initiative examines how design can support and promote the use of insects in biotechnology, food production and as pets. His recent activities include the construction of a semi-permanent architecture installation on the campus of NSCAD University for the purpose of raising insects, instructing students and sharing research with the public.

In March 2016 the first incarnation of a shop dedicated to insect based products and the promotion of advance commercial uses of them was developed. Located in a twenty-one square meter space in Tokyo, he opened a pop-up shop.

As the pop-up shop did not sell anything, it asked people to share their personal experience and feelings about insects. People sampled insect food and played with beetles. They could learn something new about insects from reading posters on display, e.g. biotechnology, biomimicry, entomophagy, etc. PhD students in entomology were invited to speak on their research, and spend time in the shop answering questions and sharing their knowledge with the public. The shop provided a platform to chat with people about a future with insects and about the potential of a shop in Asia dedicated to all things new, beautiful and delicious about insects.

Last year NSCAD University published the book Insectum showcasing seventeen projects by students from a design course Kaltenbach taught. These projects demonstrate how a particular design research method, developed by Kaltenbach, can facilitate a wide range of design outcomes based on using advanced scientific research on the chemical extractions of insects for the purpose of creating new materials, energy and pharmacological compounds, to name a few.