Julijonas Urbonas is an artist, designer, researcher, engineer, writer, Vice-Rector for Art at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in Vilnius, and PhD student in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, London.

Since childhood, I have worked in amusement park development. In 2004, I became the head of an amusement park in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and ran it for three years. Having worked in this field — as a designer and engineer but also in ways that are artistic and philosophical — I became fascinated by what in my research I am calling 'gravitational aesthetics'. This experience is unavailable elsewhere, and I became intrigued by this under-developed topic. Since then the topic has been at the core of my creative life, from design/artistic work to scholarly articles. Most recently this interest has matured into my PhD research, in which a unique creative approach of gravitational design is being developed.

My work has been exhibited internationally and received many awards, including the Award of Distinction in Interactive Art, Prix Ars Electronica 2010, one the most prestigious awards in media arts. One of my projects can be found in the permanent collection of the Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM).

Beside my aforementioned research interests/activities, I also explore — through making, experimenting, and writing — experimental aesthetics of technologies and complex dialogues of art/design/technologies/philosophy/science and give lectures on these topics. I live and work in London and Vilnius.

+37061945384 (LT) +44(0)7500142885 (UK)
 
info <AT> julijonasurbonas <DOT> lt    Twitter @Julij0nas

EDUCATION

Since 2007
PhD in Design Interactions, Royal College of Art, London, UK.

2005-2007
PhD in Design/Art Research (temporarily suspended), Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania.

2003-2005
MA in Design (Honours degree with Distinction), Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania.

1999-2003
BA in Visual Design, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Since 2014
Vice-Rector for Art, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius.
Lecturer in Practice-led Art&Design Research, Vilnius Academy of Arts

Since 2007
Freelance Designer / Artist / Lecturer / Researcher

2004-2007
CEO, General Manager of Amusement Park, Poilsio Parkas UAB, Private Stock Company, Klaipeda, Lithuania.

2004
Chief Designer for Design of Amusement Rides, Exgames UAB, Private Stock Company, Palanga, Lithuania.

2003
Designer of amusement park equipment, Poilsio Parkas UAB, Private Stock Company, Klaipeda, Lithuania.

EXHIBITIONS
2014
"A Show as/on (Artistic) Research," Gallery Malonioji, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Oneiric Hotel, Plartforma festival, Klaipėda, Lithuania.
"COMING SOON: real imaginary futures," Bureau Floor, Maastricht, Netherlands. Link.
"What Thinks Me," Taiga, St. Petersburg, Russia.
"Revolving Starsand Shaky Grounds: Constellations of Precarious Knowledge," Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden, Germany.
"Design and Violence," MoMA, New York, USA. Link.
"Standing, Falling, Levitating," solo exhibition, gallery Vartai, Vilnius, Lithuania. Link.

2013
Design Shanghai 2013, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China.
"Oneiric Hotel," Water tower in LX Factory, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon, Portugal.
"Merry Melancholy," Eskilstuna Art Museum, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
"Urban Sounds," House of Electronic Arts, Basel, Switzerland.
"homeMADE, CONSTRUCTING SUBSTITUTE WORLDS," Centre for Contemporary Art Laznia, Gdansk, Poland.

2012
Update_4 Biennial, Zebrastraat, Gent, Belgium.
Rockmore Recital, curated by Valentinas Klimašauskas & Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Neringa restaurant, The 11th Baltic Triennial of International Art, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania.
"Sound Art. Sound as Medium of Art," ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany.

2011
"Open Doors," ZKM, Hauptbahnhof, Morgenstrasse Gallery, Karlsruhe, Germany.
"HUMAN+: the Future of Our Species," Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland.
Japan Media Arts Festival 2010, The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan.

2010
"Teleportation / Prediction," St Etienne Design Biennale 2010, St. Etienne, France.
"Research RCA: New Knowledge," Royal College of Art, London, UK.
Prix Ars Electronica CyberArts Exhibition, Linz, Austria.

2009
"Made in Klaipeda?," Klaipėda Art Exhibition Hall, Klaipeda, Lithuania.
“Talking Doors” - series of interactive art installations in public space, workshops & lectures. Various venues, Vilnius, Lithuania.
ISEA09, Waterfront Hall gallery, Belfast, UK.

2008
”Elswhere,” Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, London, UK.
“Migrating Reality” – new media art exhibition, Berlin, Germany.
“Objects for Arithmomaniacs” - solo exhibition, "Daiktu Viesbutis" design gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania.

2007
“Le Name,” new media art festival & exhibition, Lille & Maubeuge, France.
“ENTER: Interactivity” - new media art festival, Siauliai, Lithuania.

2006
“100% design”- design exhibition, London, UK.
“PlArtforma” - contemporary art festival, Klaipeda, Lithuania.
“Art Now Future Now” - international biennale of contemporary art, Kaunas, Lithuania.

TALKS - lectures/workshops/conferences

2014
Conference, "Gravitational Aesthetics," Panemune Castle, Lithuania.
Workshop, "The Search of the Third Table: Speculative Enactment", Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Lecture, "Speculative Methodology, Staging Philosophy and Transtextuality in Art and Design", Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Lecture-performance, "Nonfiction of Levitation", Space Odyssey - Art Student Days, Vilnius Academy of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Workshop, "Sounding Architectures", Design Biennale 2013, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China.

2013
Lecture, "Gravitational Design, Euthanasia Coaster and Oneiric Hotel," Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
Workshop, "Oneiric Workshop," "Rupert" - centre for Art and Education, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Talk-performance, "Walking on the Wall," festival “Vilnius in Gdansk,” Gdansk, Poland.
Talk-performance, "Nonfiction of Levitation," Kosmica 2013, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City, Mexico.

2012
Lecture, "Designing Death," “IMMORTAL”: Colloquium Update_4, 15 November, Zebrastraat, Ghent, Belgium.
Lecture, “Gravitational Design,” Air castles and smoke clouds, University of the Arts Bremen.
Lecture-performance, “Walking on the wall: design choreography.” Rewriting histories: artists about artists. National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.

2011
Talk, Ministry of Education and Science, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Paper presentation, "Designing Death", The Edge of Our Thinking: Research in Art & Design – conference, Royal College of Art, London, UK.
Talk, Parsons The New School for Design, NYC, USA.
Talk, “Euthanasia Coaster: G-design, Fatal Asethetics and Social Sci-Fi,” Applied Brilliance 2011 – conference, Jackson Hole, USA.
A series of workshops, "Sounding Architectures," Morgenstrasse Gallery, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Lecture, "Talking Doors and Sounding Architectures," The University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe, Germany.
Talk-performance, "Nonfiction of Levitation," Kosmica 4, The Arts Catalyst, London, UK.
Project presentation, "Euthanasia Coaster," Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland.
Lecture, "Alternative Aesthetics," Architecture department, Royal College of Art, London.

2010
Lecture, "G-Design: Vehicular Poetry, Design Choreography, Gravitational Forgery and other design strategies," Design Interactions, Royal College of Art, London.
Project presentation, "Talking Doors," ARS Electronica Festival 2010: Prix Forum Interactive Art, Austria, Linz, http://www.vimeo.com/15318894
Paper presentation, CEPHAD 2010, Conference on philosophy and design research, Danish Design School, Copenhagen, Denmark.

2009
Lecture, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania
Paper presentation, “Gravitational Aesthetics,” ISEA09, The 15th International Symposium on Electronic Art, Belfast, UK.
Presenter/workshop organiser, “Talking Doors,” Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Conducting workshop, “Transgressions,” Vilnius Academy of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Reviewer, HCI 2009, 23rd British Computer Society conference on Human Computer Interaction, Cambridge University, UK.

2008
Lecture-performance,  “Fictional Design and Design Fiction,”  design gallery “Daiktų viešbutis,” Vilnius, Lithuania.

2007
Talk, “Interaktyvaus meno praktika ir teorija” (Interactive Art Practice and Theory), “ENTER_5” media art festival, Šiauliai, Lithuania.
Paper presentation, “Įtarpinto humoro dizainas: ribų ritualas ir ideo-terapija interaktyvioje terpėje” (Mediated Humor Design: boundary ritual and ideo-therapy in interactive media), conference: "Media studies: philosophy, communication, art," Vilnius, Lithuania.
Lecture/presentation, “Multimodal Interaction Design”, KIASMA contemporary art centre, Helsinki, Finland.
Reviewer, a series of reviews of postgraduate art students, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania.

PUBLICATIONS 

2014
Essay-script, The First Ride. In: Rebecca La Marre, ed., Another vixtory Over the Sun. http://anothervictory.net

2013
Article, Gravitational Aesthetics: Design Choreography Part 1. Still Surfaces. In: Eun-Ju Han, ed., Space, no 548, pp. 104-115.
Article, Gravitational Aesthetics: Design Choreography Part 2. Kinetic Surfaces. In: Eun-Ju Han, ed., Space, no 549, pp. 106-113. 
Article, Gravitational Aesthetics: Design Choreography Part 3. Suspended Surfaces. In: Eun-Ju Han, ed., Space, no 550, pp. 110-117.
Article, Gravitational Aesthetics: Design Choreography Part 4. Wearable Surfaces. In: Eun-Ju Han, ed., Space, no 551, pp. 110-118.
Article, Gravitational Aesthetics: Vehicular Poetics Part 1. Storytelling. In: Eun-Ju Han, ed., Space, no 553, pp. 110-117.
Article, Gravitational Aesthetics: Vehicular Poetics Part 2. Imaginary Travelling. In: Eun-Ju Han, ed., Space, no 554, pp. 110-117.
Article, Gravitational Design. In: D. Paul & A. Sick, eds., Rauchwolken und Luftschloesser. Hamburg: Textem-Verlag, pp. 117-128.

2012
Article, Designing death: G-design, fatal Aesthetics, and social science fiction. In: Florian A. Schmidt, ed. The Edge of Our Thinking. London: Royal College of Art, pp. 32-46.

2011
Article, The invention of the pedestrian. In: K. Jakaite, ed. Lithuanian Design. Vilnius: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis.

2010
Essay, The barany chair and g-design. In: C. Griffin, ed.,  ARC magazine. London: Royal College of Art, pp. 44-47.
Edited book, Talking doors. Vilnius: Hotel of Things.
Paper, Gravitational aesthetics. In: P. Galle and H. Hove, eds., Copenhagen working papers on design. Copenhagen: The Danish School Press, pp.175-179.

2009
Paper, Gravitational aesthetics. In: University of Ulster, ISEA09, The 15th International symposium on electronic art, Belfast, UK, 23 August – 1 September 2009.

2008
Article, Wind orchestra. In: V. Michelkevičius et al, eds. Migrating realities. Cologne: KHM, pp. 50-52
Article, Objects for arithmomaniacs. In: V. Michelkevičius, ed., Media culture voices. Vilnius: Mene, pp. 164-172.

2007
Paper,  Įtarpinto humoro dizainas: ribų ritualas ir ideo-terapija interaktyvioje terpėje (Mediated humor design: boundary ritual and ideo-therapy in interactive media) In: V. Michelkevičius, ed., Media studies, Vilnius: Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, pp. 79-95.

AWARDS

2014
Grant of the Research Council of Lithuania.
Grant of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.

2012
Public Prize, New Technological Art Award 2012, Foundation Liedts-Meesen, Gent, Belgium.
Grant of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.

2010
Jury Recommended Work, 14th Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo, Japan.
Young Artist Award, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
Honorary mention in Participative Media, Live 2011 Grand Prix, Turku, Finland.
Award of Distinction in Interactive Art, Prix Ars Electronica 2010, Linz, Austria.
The Royal College of Art Bursary, London, UK.

2009
The Royal College of Art Grant, London, UK.

2008
The Royal College of Art Bursary, London, UK.
The Westerly Trust Grant, London, UK.

2007
The Royal College of Art Bursary, London, UK.
Educational Grant of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
Main Award GRAND PRIX NORDICA, PRIX MOBIUS NORDICA 2007, mediaculture competition, Helsinki, Finland.

2006
Main Award for the best artwork, International Biennale of Contemporary Graphic Art, Kaunas, Lithuania.

2005
Rector’s Award for Design Innovation, Vilnius Academy of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania.

MEDIA APPEARANCES and INTERVIEWS (selected)

TV:
Tadas Jačiauskas, "Standing, Falling, Levitating." In: Durys atsidaro, LRT, 5 April 2014. Link. (Lithuanian)
"Euthanasia Coaster." In: QI - Episode 9, BBC Two, 9 November 2012. Link.
"Euthanasia Coaster." In: TVBS, Taiwan, 29 February 2012. Link.
Aleksandra Repina, "Литовский дизайнер придумал «аттракцион смерти»" (from Russian "A Lithuanian designer has conceived the ride of death"). RUSSIA 5 TV channel, 5 September 2011, http://www.5-tv.ru/news/44869
Dmitry Ogaltsov, "Euthanasia Coaster." In: Piatnitsa, RUSSIA 2 TV channel, 5 August 2011.
Austė Serepinaitė, “Demokratiškos durys”. Delfi TV, 12 June 2009, http://tv.delfi.lt/video/gz40lmKU (Lithuanian)
Austė Serepinaitė, “Skambančios ir dvejojančios durys”. Delfi TV, 12 June 2009, http://tv.delfi.lt/video/j4yDoxGH (Lithuanian)
Skaidrilė Grigaitė, “Kalbančios durys”. In: Panorama, LTV, 12 June 2009 (Lithuanian)
Sigita Inčiūrienė, “Susieti nesusiejamus dalykus”. Šiaulių televizija, 7 April 2007 (Lithuanian)

Radio:
Juliette Kristensen. In: "Paperweight Radio: Domesticating the Modernist Body (S2, Ep3)," Resonance FM, 3 July 2014. Link
Austėja Kuskienė. In: “Ryto allegro”, LR, 17 April 2014. Link (Lithuanian).
Brian O’Neill, Interview. In: Newstalk Radio, Dublin, Ireland, 1 March 2012.
Sarah Meehan Sirk, "Euthanasia Coaster: Interview with the Author." In: "Day 6", CBC Radio One, 28 October 2011, http://www.cbc.ca/day6/blog/2011/10/28/ultimate-rollercoaster
Jay Thomas, "The Jay Thomas Show," Serius/XM Satellite Radio, NYC, USA, 19 October 2011, http://www.jaythomas.com/today-on-the-jay-thomas-show/532-october-19-2011
Thomas Seely, "Art Uncovered – Julijonas Urbonas." Breakthru Radio, NYC, USA, 30 August 2011, http://www.breakthruradio.com/#/post/?dj=thomas&post=699&blog=64&autoplay=1
Jolanta Jurkūnienė, “Naujas požiūris į dizaino mokslo tyrimus.” In: Žinių amžius, LR, 24 February 2010, http://www.lrt.lt/radio/news.php?strid=5086&id=5416816&sid=7704 (Lithuanian)
Auksė Kancerevičiūtė. In: “Ryto allegro”, LR, 26 June 2009 (Lithuanian)

Books, magazines, newspapers, web portals:
Akvilė Eglinskaitė, 2014. "Julijonas Urbonas. Atrakcionų griovėjas." In: KKKC. Link.
Brendan Walker, 2014. "The ultimate thrill ride." In: Science Uncovered, p. 62.
Cameron Bird, 2014. “Dare to Dream.” In: Wired, May 2014.
Clive Parkinson, 2013. "Present-tense." In: C. Parkinson, ed., Mortality: Death and imagination. Manchester: The Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, p. 74-77.
Dovilė Tumpytė, "Julijonas Urbonas: The designer of amusement park in the alternative reality." In: D. Zovienė, ed., Dailė, 2013/1, no. 61, pp. 108-115.
Akvilė Adomaitytė, "Mirties karuselę sukūrusio lietuvio užmojis — pažaboti sapnus", In: Lietuvos Rytas newspaper, December 19, 2012 (Lithuanian), link.
Anna Bates, 2012. "Interview about The Euthanasia Coaster." In: C. Griffin, ed., ARC magazine 16. London: Royal College of Art, pp. 21-23.
Julian Gavaghan, "From HERE to eternity… Take a seat on the euthanasia rollercoaster that promises to literally kill you." In: Dailymail.co.uk, 6 March 2012, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2111051/Euthanasia-Macabre-concept-roller-coaster-thrills--kills-you.html
Tautė Bernotaitė, "The design of closed eyes or how to die with euphoria." In: 370, February 2012 (Lithuanian)
Amy Enchelmeyer, "Sucide by Roller Coaster." In: Discovery.com, 19 September 2011, http://news.discovery.com/tech/euthanasia-sucicide-rollercoaster-ride-110919.html
Pierre Denan, "Euthanasia Coaster", In: Ah AH AH, 2011.
Kavantgarde TV, "Open Doors – ein interaktives Kunstprojekt," http://www.kavantgar.de/?p=6980
Sayre Quevedo, "Julijonas Urbonas Designs For Art, Not For Practicality." In: Turnstylenews.com, 26 August 2011, http://turnstylenews.com/2011/08/26/julijonas-urbonas-designs-for-art-not-for-practicality/
Ekaterina Furceva, "Пик гуманизма" (from Russian "The peak of humanism"). In: Esquire, June 201, pp. 60-61. http://esquire.ru/roller-coaster
Régine Debatty, "The Euthanasia Coaster." In: WMMNA.com, 20 June 2011, http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2011/06/the-euthanasia-coaster.php
John Pavlus, "'Euthanasia Coaster" Would Make Assisted Suicide Fun, At 223 mph." In: Fastcodesign.com, 17 June 2011, http://www.fastcodesign.com/1664089/euthanasia-coaster-would-make-assisted-suicide-fun-at-223-mph
Kevin Holmes, "Euthanasia Coaster: The Roller Coaster Of Death." In: Thecreatorsproject.com, 14 June 2011, http://www.thecreatorsproject.com/blog/ieuthanasia-coasteri-the-roller-coaster-of-death
Paula Rothman, "A montanha-russa da morte" (from Portuguese "The death coaster"). In: Abril.com, 1 June 2011, http://info.abril.com.br/infograficos/montanha/
Siân Disson, "The ride of your life..." In: World Architecture News, 9 May 2011, http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=16642
Daniel Fernández Pascual, "Euthanasia Coaster." In: Deconcrete.org, 5 May 2011, http://www.deconcrete.org/2011/04/05/euthanasia-coaster/
Cormac Sheridan, "Human+: forecasting our future." In: Newscientist.com, 15 April 2011, http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2011/04/human-forecasting-our-future.html
Jurij Dobriakov, “Julijonas Urbonas: mąstantis daiktais.” In: Artnews.lt, 20 June 2010, http://www.artnews.lt/julijonas-urbonas-mastantis-daiktais-6501 (Lithuanian)
Darjo Hrib, “Counting Chair.” In: Playboy Slovenia, August 2010.
Anna-Anna Soeters, “Objects for Arithmomaniacs”. In: Linda magazine, July 2010.
Aistė Kisarauskaitė, “Stotelė: už “Kalbančių durų.” In: Šiaurės Atėnai, 13 November 2009, nr. 964, http://www.culture.lt/satenai/?leid_id=963&kas=straipsnis&st_id=17173 (Lithuanian)
Toma Jonuškaitė, “Varstomų durų koncertas.” In: CityOut, 26 August 2009, http://www.cityout.lt/menas/articles/Varstomu_duru_koncertas_interviu (Lithuanian)
Inga Norkė, “Futuristinė buitis.” In: Pravda, May 2009 nr. 5309 (Lithuanian)
Ana Siman, “Kam dizainui mokslas?.” In: Deko, April 2008 http://gyvenimas.delfi.lt/career/article.php?id=17901482 (Lithuanian)
Sigita Inčiūrienė, “Susieti nesusiejamus dalykus.” In: Park@s, Literatūra ir menas, 29 June 2007 nr. 3149 , http://www.culture.lt/lmenas/?leid_id=3149&kas=straipsnis&st_id=11095 (Lithuanian)