The nationwide NOBELini scheme welcomed applications from a broad spectrum of designers and scientists. 60 applicants (30 science, 30 design) were shortlisted to participate in a speed-dating event at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre in May 2009. Participants specified collaborative preferences and 30 scientist-designer pairs were devised.
Pairs were given until September 2009 to brainstorm and devise proposals for designs, which celebrate and/or communicate science across 4 themes: stem cells, energy and recycling, synthetic and systems biology and imaging. A total of 24 proposals were subsequently reviewed and graded by an international jury of professional designers and scientists.
The three most highly scoring proposals were awarded prizes of £2000 to develop their designs. Design prototypes were exhibited at the Dana Centre in February 2010. The exhibition launched on Wednesday 10th February 2010 with a speech from Sir Tim Hunt, who participated in the sibling project, Nobel Textiles and Professor Amanda Fisher (Director, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre), Fabrics of Life project pioneer.
(Photos by David Nelson)
Evaluation and Feedback
Public feedback was collated from responses provided by exhibition visitors. 100% of respondents enjoyed the exhibition and 80% said they were stimulated to learn about the science behind the design work. Half of the respondents specifically requested to be kept informed of future developments and/or projects of this nature.
What did visitors like?
“Presence of collaborators to explain work”
“Layout and explanation”
“Exploration of scientific concepts in a new light”
“Integration of imagination”
“The way science-design is developing”
“Laid back atmosphere, good event networking with scientists/artists”
What did visitors not like?
“Lengthy explanations; short summary better”
“More lay-friendly explanations”
“Exhibits needed more obvious explanation”
“Lack of info on the website”
“Too small a place”
As part of the exhibition and playing on the Valentine theme, organisers Carole Collet (Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design) and Brona McVittie (MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) initiated the first in a series of SEED-dating events to bring scientists and artists together. Our first event on Thursday 11th February 2010 at the Dana Centre explored what designers would create were anything scientifically possible. Read more here…