Biodyes Interface Conference October 21 2020

We were delighted to take part in this pioneering conference sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry and organised by Jenny Oliver of Kentish Dyes.

The word Interface in the title is apt. It brought together people from craft dyeing and applied textile science. Very stimulating. We gave a short talk and a poster explaining our investigations into dyeing weld on wool.

Natures Rainbow kiosk at Biodyes Interface Conference

Natures Rainbow kiosk at Biodyes Interface Conference

Whilst the live presentations are now over, you can still access the exhibition kiosks of the presenters and others until 3 November 2020. This includes speaker presentations in many cases. There should also be a recording of today’s events*. A highlight for me was learning about Biocolour which is a multidisciplinary and international applied research project from Finland.  If natural dyes are to become mainstream it will be because of projects like this one.

Most of the speakers have a kiosk. Ours is NaturesRainbow. Others include the Mulberry Dyer (Debbie Bamford), Mamies Schoolhouse (Mel Sweetnam), The Cosmic Egg (Mar’yana Svarnyk) and Dorset Wool (Jo Nash). Some of us will be visiting again over the next few days and you can talk to us ‘in person’.

One unusual feature of the event is that it is held in Virbela, a virtual conference environment.

To access the Biodyes Interface Conference Suite you need to use a code which was emailed on Sunday 18 October to everyone who registered through eventbrite. If you did not register it is still possible to enter – using Private Team Suite Code: Go2RSCTS. Up to 80 people can be in the world at the same time. So if you can’t get in it will be because the space is full, so try again later.

Ashley and I aim to be in our kiosk in the Biodyes Interface Conference as follows:

Sunday 25 October 10pm – 12am (midnight)  (GMT) 
Sorry we are really tired tonight but we will be in tomorrow:

Monday 26 October 8-9pm GMT

We will also be available from Mon 26 October to Mon 2 November at times depending on demand. Message us through the website or social media if you would like to meet up.

Some thoughts and tips on Virbela

Some people may struggle with the learning curve of the ‘virtual’ side of things (easier if you have played online games). But once you get familiar with it, the potential is massive. I think
this event is just a taster for a future bigger event.

To access the Biodyes Interface Conference, go into Virbela Open Campus. Create an account and download the  software. (Don’t be put off by the mention of pricing – open campus is free and so is the software download and access to the Biodyes conference). The application downloads on most modern laptops and desktop computers. It’s best if you have a headset (even a cheap one will do) but no webcam is required. Once downloaded, you need to create your own avatar (to represent you in the world). It can be disconcerting when you first go in. Most of us were moving about rather awkwardly to start with. Practice first in the public campus. There are ‘concierges’ on hand all the time to help you. You can walk around the public areas of the virtual conference centre at any time of day (or night!). You can teleport to different locations with a GOTO command. You can communicate by chat if you don’t have a microphone on your computer. Older computers may have problems and it may help to temporarily remove any very active anti-virus or internet security. You can uninstall Virbela and replace your security software afterwards.

*There were some technical glitches at the start of the day (my talk was one of the casualties) but this was again due to the steep learning curve of the new environment. Do persevere. The event is worth it!

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