Science and Art


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This research has established that a number of multidisciplinary research teams working collaboratively in the development of complex and interactive structures combining specialist science and art based knowledge are able to produce new products. This research has confronted the educational politics of academic insularity and in that process begun to establish a different culture within design at Nottingham Trent University that is supportive and constructive towards students from both the arts & sciences. A range of projects have been designed, manufactured and publicly exhibited; including the muscle machine: a six-legged three-metre diameter robot and a two metre high interactive 'sculptured snake'. The value, increased understanding and social impact across a range of disciplines led to several new ways of delivering the theoretical. This approach has also nurtured a practical understanding of scientific and artistic communities in both the academic and public domains. An intrinsic part of the process was the relationship to multidisciplinary working. The theoretical aspects of taught programmes were correlated, ensuring parity in the teaching of mixed groups of art and science based students. The authors argue that academics need to challenge their pre-conceptions and begin collaborating with other disciplines. These actions can develop connections and potential associations that can proffer diverse and exciting ideas leading to new developments, pioneering programmes and new values.