Meetings between MA students from CSM and Scientists at the John Innes
Plant Science Lab
During Green week in February, plant scientist Enrico Coen from the John Innes Plant Science Centre in Norwich bought his team down to CSM where students from MA Industrial Design, Art & Science, Communication Design and MA Design Jewellery gave presentations about their research practice. After lunch the students led Enrico’s team on a tour of college workshops and studios to reveal the range of processes and technologies employed in the realization of ideas and gave insights into potential synergies between our respective cultures. The interchange of ideas did much to break down stereotypical views of how we work, what opportunities exist for risk, improvisation and experiment.
To extend the dialogue, Professor Rob Kesseler, Chair of Arts Design and Science took the students to visit Enrico’s lab in Norwich. His team introduced how they were exploring flower development through genetic analysis using computational modeling, micro-analysis and genetic modification. Highlight of the day was a presentation from recent CSM Phd graduate Jane Scott who had the scientists whooping with excitement when she revealed how moisture applied to her knitted fabrics caused a reaction in the fibres that made the flat surfaces rise up and twist to form new shapes. This seemed to echo perfectly the way that the microtubules present in each plant cell twist and arrange themselves during the development of the plant.
What became evident from the two days of exchange was the realization that deeper understanding across disciplines could open up meaningful opportunities to extend knowledge at the cutting edge of our disciplines.