​​Olivia Kotsifa

After having practiced as an architect in Athens and Barcelona, Olivia joined the Cardiff School of Art and Design academic team lecturing at undergraduate and postgraduate level and researching in the fields of Digital Fabrication and interdisciplinary creative projects. 

The 7 years of being a Senior Lecturer in Cardiff Metropolitan University U.K., she has led and taught the Interior Architecture course, Architectural Design and Technology, Product Design, Maker and has offered multidisciplinary projects to students across the 7 courses of the Cardiff School of Art and Design. The latter mainly involved Fab Lab based projects mixing traditional making with high end technologies as well as a bespoke mini-Fab Academy course for the School of Art and Design. 

Olivia was offered a management post while at the University, to finalise the design and to fully implement  1/3 of the new  Undergraduate curriculum in the School of Art and Design (8 courses). 

She has organised and  led educational trips and student projects in the UK, in India and in Berlin and has curated various student exhibitions. 

 

Olivia has graduated from Fab Academy 6 month Course and with the help of the Head of Research in CSAD and Director of Enterprise of the University she brought Fab Lab Cardiff in 2011. 

Together with her team, she has set up Fab Lab Cardiff to be an academic research hub and an educational space in the intersection of traditional making skills with new technologies (programming, electronics and digital fabrication) for artists and designers. 

 

Her current research interests and practice is the co-design and co-fabrication of future workspaces and educational spaces. 

While being a creative digital nomad,  she is part of the Decode Fab Lab team in Athens - Greece, as an international network and project facilitator and also involved in event planning, educational workshops and design when in Greece.  

 

Follow her art/design thoughts while travelling here: www.stiwdioeverywhere.com 

CURRENT POSITION

Freelance architect - designer - researcher

co-founder of Stiwdio Everywhere, a location independent creative digital nomad art + design studio

Designer, Educator and in charge of international network, relations in Decode Fab Lab,  Athens 

QUALIFICATIONS
2014: Fab Academy Diploma, Fab Foundation
2014: FHEA Higher Education Academy Fellowship, U.K.
2005-2006: MSc Energy Efficient Buildings Oxford Brookes University.
Thesis: Outdoor thermal comfort in urban areas: case study, improving design scenarios and simulation of Ermou street, Athens, Greece. Supervisor Prof. Michael Humphreys, Prof Fergus Nicol. Simulation tools for case study: M. Santamouris' Environmental Physics Lab in Athens, Greece.
2002-2005: Diploma in Architecture, RIBA Part 2 Oxford Brookes University
Thesis: Nomadic Olympic Village for the athletes of the future. Supervisors: Ben Stringer, Prof. David Green, Peter Barber
1998-2001: BA Hons Architecture, Oxford Brookes University
Thesis: Energy efficient buildings and case studies. Supervisor Prof. Susan Roaf
WORK EXPERIENCE
2006-now: Freelance architect
Architectural designs and realisation projects. 
2016-now: Stiwdioeverywhere art/design/technology practice and educational work in Europe, Central America and Asia
Lectures, workshops, conference presentations, co-production of a community based interactive digital musical instrument using electronics and digital fabrication in various Fab Labs in South America.
2012-now: Fab Lab mentor, consultation. 
Supernode in Wales as Fab Lab Cardiff is the first Welsh Lab. Mentor of some new Labs and makerspaces in the UK and in Europe and appointed consultant in specific operational areas. 
2009-2017: Senior Lecturer in Cardiff Metropolitan University.                                              
Lecturer in Architectural Design and Technology , Programme Leader and Lecturer in Interior Architecture,  Lecturer in Product Design, Lecturer in Artist Designer Maker course, in Constellation [theory, essays and dissertation supervision across all art and design courses in all UG levels] and in Field [multidisciplinary project based] module across all student years and courses within the School of Art and Design. Lecturer in MA and MDes postgraduate courses. During this time, apart from teaching part of my role was to provide pastoral care to students, write and deliver new briefs and material each year, arrange live projects, curate student exhibitions, contribute to the research and enterprise activities of the University  
2012-2014: Manager of Field Module System in the Cardiff School of Art and Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University                                                                                                                  
Role included: Final design and implementation of 1/3 of the Undergraduate curriculum and co-ordination of staff teams for the School’s 8 courses (approx 750 students/academic year). Had to ensure that all courses' content and delivery complied to the quality standards and regulations. Leading and development of internal and external networks, academic leadership to staff working within each programme, contributing to the development of teams and individuals, act as a personal mentor to peers and colleagues, and provide pastoral care. Lead, supervise and support academic teams, resolve problems, making decisions, provide advice and spot opportunities for strategic development of new areas of activity. 
2011: Co-founder of Fab Lab Cardiff and Fab Lab Cardiff Manager [2011-12].
During my research time at Cardiff School of Art and Design, I was involved in the Fab Lab's spatial design, its business plan together with a team of specialists, machines, space organisation, integration within the School through seminars to staff and students, local community, local schools and industry, global network activities, research and enterprise projects, teaching. I was also part of the Fab Lab's Steering committee and the Fab Lab's Operational Group until Aug 2017. 
2008-9: Tombazis and Associate Architects, Athens Greece --www.meletitiki.gr--
Working mainly for the “Blue City” project, in Oman. Phase 1 of the project provided 5.5km of mixed-use accommodation.
2008: Architectonica- Architecture and Design Foundation Course Athens, Greece.
Lecturer in various scale projects
2007-8: E.M.B.T. Arquitectes Associats, Enric Miralles, Benedetta Tagliabue, Barcelona --www.mirallestagliabue.com--
Main projects: competitions, a refurbishment of a textile plant in Barcelona and its transformation into residential housing and the Spanish pavilion for the Shanghai Expo 2010 (competition 1st prize)
2007: RPSR Arquitectes, Barcelona 
Hotel refurbishment in Costa Brava, Spain
RESEARCH AND ENTERPRISE ACTIVITIES
LAC: Linux Audio Conference, Stanford, U.S.A paper: GameILan Co-designing and co-creating an orchestra of digital musical instruments within the Fab Lab network, 2019
 
Fab City Summit, Fab City Conference 2018, La Villette, Paris, France: How to make almost anything while travelling and the impact in today's cities. 
European Art Science Technology Network Digital Creation [EASTN-DC]: 4-year project – part of the UK partner team until 2017, (Creative Europe Culture sub programme ) http://www.eastn.eu/
Student Experience Fund 2016: in collaboration with the Outdoor Learning Centre, School of Education Cardiff Metropolitan University
ArtWorks Cymru Seed Fund 2 (Prof. Wendy Keay-Bright leading the project) 2016
Get Started Fund 2015 (collaboration with MuniArts Centre and Prof. Wendy Keay-Bright)
European Art Science Technology Network [EASTN]: 2 year project – 6 partners - part of the UK partner team, 2014-16 (Creative Europe) http://www.eastn.eu/eastn-2014-2015
Exhibition curation for the European Art Science and Technology showcase of work (from 20 European Artists) M.A.D.E. gallery, Cardiff and CF24 Project 2015, Cardiff
Secret Garden Interactive sound-light Installation and workshop: Miso Music Festival 2015, Belem, Lisbon 2015
Santander fund 2014 (Boston MA International Fab Lab conference)
Short Term Mobility Fund 2014: Staff and student educational trip in India and collaboration with local artists-designers
40th ICMC and 11th SMC Conference 2014: Digitally Fabricated Musical Instruments [workshop] in STEGI, Athens, Greece.
Barcelona International Fab Lab conference (Fab10): presentation of Fab Lab Cardiff, 2014.
EASTN Artist in Residence in Ionian University 2014: Interactive, digitally fabricated maypole design, co-design and co-creation of parts with 25 local kids (age 4-15), performance in the village square.
EASTN workshop for kids 2014: digitally fabricated blocks and stamps for block printing.
Fab Lab Specialist in the A4B Academics for Business project [Micro Enterprise and Emergent Technologies Lab “Meet Lab” http://meetlab.co.uk] : part of the academic team in the A4B Scheme https://digitalsocial.eu/de/project/457/a4b-meet-lab
Object Sandbox: 3d printed Augmented Ney: a collaboration between Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos [CSAD], Antony Mace [freelance product designer, John O’Connell [Cardiff University]. Involved in 3d printing and interaction design. The Ney was exhibited in the London Design Festival 2014 among other events. 
Santander fund 2013 (collaboration with Porto School of Architecture and Fab Lab Porto)
Organised Sound Journal: Special Issue Article: My content/My Space/ My Music, 2012
ATINER 2nd Annual International Conference of Visual and Performing Arts – paper: Music and Architectural Design for a snowpark event, 2011
SMC Sound and Music Computing Conference – paper: From Snow [to space to movement] to Sound, 2011
Strategic Insight Programme fund – Fab Lab Barcelona, 2011
Spanish Pavilion for the international World expo in Shanghai [competition 1st prize] 2010. The architects’ team’s efforts and drawings have been published in various occasions.
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS / visiting LECTURES 
Jan 2019   Future of work : Future workspaces co-designed and fabricated in Ljubljana , Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory
Nov 2018   Culture 2030: Cultural impacts of Fab Lab work in resilient cities. Elefsis 2021, Elefsina, Greece
July 2018  How to make almost anything while travelling? Fab 14: Fab Lab Distributed Mobility, Fab Lab du Pensio, France 
May 2018  Social and spatial impact using bits, atoms and co-design methodologies. Universidad Nacional de Colombia,  Medellin,  Colombia
May 2018  Could new ways of collaborative engagement help to co-create our public spaces? Fab  Lab  Lima,  Lima,  Peru
April 2018  Co-design, co-production to help us spend more time outdoors. Fab Lab Universidad de Chile, Santiago,  Chile
May 2017  The intersection between the two networks: Fab Lab and Digital Nomad. Dojo, Bali, Indonesia
Jan 2017  Digital technologies, traditional skills. The Fab Lab approach. ISDi, Design University Havana, Cuba
Feb 2017  New ways for co-production of public space structures. Fab  Lab  Impact, Mexico  City,  Mexico
INTERESTS
Music and musical instruments, creative workshop delivery for collective outcomes, art exhibitions, outdoor living and working, wind surfing, skiing, volleyball (various national and international trophies), travelling. 
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