Positive developments take shape when artistic minds and scientific minds converge. The EU-funded STUDIOLAB (StudioLab - A new European platform for creative interactions between art and science) project merged a research lab with an artist's studio to gain from the hybrid intersection of art and science. Bringing together key players in scientific research with centres of excellence in the arts and experimental design, it piloted 112 activities featuring exhibitions, workshops, business ideas and science-led artwork. These were presented often in combination under three themes – the future of social interaction, the future of water and synthetic biology – to enlighten and engage European citizens. After bringing artists, designers, architects, engineers, biologists, scientists and even policymakers together, the project successfully created new ideas in education, public engagement, culture and business. For example, one project result involved an 'e-book on arts, humanities and complex networks', while another represented a 'workshop on performing arts, humour and science fiction'. In yet another such initiative titled Blueprints for the Unknown, the specific project team explored the contrast between the drive to engineer life and the actual world in which we live. This was achieved through experiments and scenarios based on design as a tool for debate. Also noteworthy was the Fluoride Station project that represents a laboratory for mathematical experimentation focusing on games for children and teenagers. The lab became a place for 'prototyping', where collaborations between artists, designers and scientists gave way to new commercial, educational or social products. With respect to education, the different collaborative projects involving students comprised numerous topics such as biotechnology, space, DNA and science fiction, always engaging participants through creativity and art. This approach to marrying art and science has undoubtedly brought Europeans closer to understanding the world we live in and to embracing science in an innovative way. Beyond education, the impact on the younger generation to engage in science careers could in the long run help European innovation and competitiveness.
Art, science, creative interactions, social interaction, synthetic biology