In 2008 the exhibition Design4Science was shown at the Nobel Museum. In a colourful and different exhibit, pictures and models where shown, used by designers and scientists to make the invisible visible: the hidden world of molecular biology. Science has never been more beautiful.
"We need images to think" -Aristotle
With drawings, models, photographs, and other artistic expressions researchers and designers create an image of science. Pictures document the hypotheses of researchers and are used to predict the results of ongoing experiments. Sometimes a researcher quickly scribbles a drawing or makes a simple stick model to explain their results for a colleague. Other illustrations and models are professionally made by skillfull designers to be published in journals and used in seminars.
The images and models on display at the Nobel Museum show the realm of molecular biology; they have helped make the invisible visible. The smallest building blocks in our cells display enormous variation and complexity. To illustrate and explain these molecules, designers have created an explosion of colours and shapes. The breakthroughs of molecular biology, awarded with the Nobel Prize, become truly beatiful science.
Several of the leading designers in the UK – Andy Altman, Daniel Borwn, Paul Cocksedge – are represented in the exhibition, as well as prize awarded contributions from well known design schools as Edinburgh College of Art and Sunderland University. In one part of the exhibit we also show how the designers and artists of the 1950's wanted to bring science to the people, with the help of playful fabrics and wallpapers, based on scientific discoveries.
Design4Science has been produced by a designer who have worked closely with modern molecular biology: Shirely Wheeler, now Head of Design at the School of Art, Design, Media & Culture; Sunderland University. The science behind the images and models are from Cambrudge; no less than twelve Nobel Laureates have worked at the molecular biology lab at Cambrudge.
The project has received support from Wellcome Trust and the Nobel Museum is able to show Design4Science thanks to a cooperation with Kia Motors. The exhibition was previously shown at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK.