Course Offerings

Prof. Dr. Patricia Ribault


Brain Roads 2: Exploring and representing neuroplasticity (block seminar + workshop)

Brain Roads 2: exploring and representing neuroplasticity.

Block Seminar / Workshop in Berlin (November 1st – 3rd)

Like the sculptor with marble, neurosurgeons dialogue with the brain they operate on, they explore its inner plasticity, both physically and digitally. On the one hand, there is the analog experience of the practitioners, anchored in their savoir-faire, their fine-tuned mastery and even their intuition. On the other hand, there is the knowledge and perception delegated to digital devices, with their technical rationality, norms, precision, efficiency, and also their limits, as the situations they come across can be of unlimited complexity.

Mapping and representing “brain roads” can be achieved in different ways: through real-time dialogue with awake patients during surgery for example, as well as through various imaging devices and methods, which help the neurosurgeons extend their senses and their knowledge of the cerebral anatomy and activity.

Brain Roads is an interdisciplinary French-German project for visualization and interactive exploration of the brain. It brings together designers, engineers and researchers in neurosurgery and humanities. Its ambition is to develop visual representations and interactive tools for exploring the white matter of the human brain. It is part of the research project “Adaptive Digital Twin” (of the group “Cutting” at the Cluster of Excellence “Matters of Activity. Image, Space, Material” (MoA) (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

We wish to bridge the analog and the digital in a cooperation regime between the specific knowledge of some outstanding neurosurgeons, which we will try to translate into visual forms, and new representations of brain models which allows us to explore dense, digitalized matter, and to visualize its changes of state, but also its zones of uncertainty.

For more information on previous iterations of the Brain Roads’ project:


Program of the block seminar:
Like in 2022—2023, this seminar will be conducted in partnership with the Cluster MoA and the department of graphic and digital design at École Supérieure d’Art et de Design in Reims (France), together with Olaf Avenati.

We will focus on French neurosurgeon Hugues Duffau, who is Professor and Chairman at the Department of Neurosurgery of the Gui de Chauliac Hospital in Montpellier and Director of the Team “Brain plasticity, Human stem cells and Glial tumors” at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM). We will also discover the way neurosurgery is being practiced at the Charité – Universitätmedizin Berlin and possibly attend a live stream neurosurgery on site (tbc).


Our objectives as a group will be to represent the concept of neuroplasticity. For this, we will meet with Prof. Duffau in Berlin during a 3-day workshop between November 1st and November 3rd. We will dialogue with him, as well as with the group of 12 students from KHB and Esad Reims who attended an awake surgery in January 2023, and produced a series of drawings, sketches, diagrams, representations of his activity. On November 2nd, a symposium will be organized at the Tier Anatomisches Theater around Duffau, with other researchers from the research group Cutting (MoA), as well as the presentation of a selection of projects from the Brain Roads 1 seminar. After the workshop, 3 follow-up sessions will be organized online with Olaf Avenati and Patricia Ribault to produce your own representations of the concept of neuroplasticity at the end of the Winter Semester.

Two preparatory sessions will be organized in presence and online for you to get familiar with Duffau’s work and with the milieu of neurosurgery, and to explain in detail what is expected of you.

• The seminar is in English, limited to 10 participants in their second period of studies (from 6th semester on).

• All students are expected to participate in the 3-day workshop in Berlin and to present their findings at the end of the semester.

- 20/10 and 27/10 from 10 to 13.00.

- 01/11 to 03/11 from 10 to 18.00.

- 3 follow-up sessions: approx. once a month, to be determined with the group.

• Place: Room 1.08, Cluster MoA, TA T, online (

- Credits: 4

20th October, 10 to 13.00 (KHB, room 1.08): Presentation of the workshop by Patricia Ribault

27th October, 10 to 13.00 (online): Meeting with Olaf Avenati and his students

01 - 03 November, 10 to 18.00: Workshop at MoA and TA T

November 2023—February 2024: 3 Follow-up sessions (online or KHB) with Olaf Avenati and Patricia Ribault

February 2023: Final presentation at the Cluster MoA (tbc)

February 2023: Final presentation at the Cluster MoA (tbc)

Subject group: Theorie und Geschichte / Design theorie

Semester: Winter term 2023 / 2024

When: See above

Exam performance: Presentation

Course language: English

Semester: Winter term 2023 / 2024

Place: Room 1.08, Cluster MoA, TA T, online

Admins: Prof. Dr. Patricia Ribault

Wintersemester 2023/2024

2. Studienabschnitt

Location : n.n.

Number of participants : 0 (0)

Hours/week : 3

Credit Points : 4