Art can remarkably help scientific research to broaden its horizons: as a source of ideas, a novel approach to problems, an alternative method of work, and an effective process of engagement. How does it actually happen? Here are 4 european best practices that stand out for the application of the interdisciplinary concept from STEM to STEAM. 

1. Min the Fungi – Niche / Zweisamkeit

The Institute of Biotechnology works with Berlin citizens, artists and designers to develop new ideas and technologies for mushroom and lichen-based materials of the future.

Niche, by Fara Peluso, is a hybrid installation and living sculpture, which explores co-existence between fungi and algae microorganisms.
The sculpture Zweisamkeit combines an oak wood topography and several layers of biomaterial representing form in metamorphosis. It reflects on human development of the landscape, focusing on how we have defined and shaped our natural surroundings, but are in turn shaped by biological forces in the environment.

2. Regenerative Reliquary

Leveraging the intelligence of human stem cells, Amy Karle created “Regenerative Reliquary”, a bioprinted scaffold in the shape of a human hand design 3D printed in a biodegradable pegda hydrogel that disintegrates over time. The sculpture is installed in a bioreactor, with the intention that human Mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs from an adult donor) seeded onto that design will eventually grow into tissue and mineralize into bone along that scaffold. Currently this is an artwork, but if this application was developed it would have many potential healthcare benefits.

3. Critical persistent rhythmic

Roberto Pugliese wanted to draw attention to the global deforestation issue and his work combines science and sound, kinetic and programmed art.

The installation is made ​​on the trunk of a hollow tree on which were set solenoids which energised by an electric current, produce a loud “click”. The software that manages the playback of the pulses is connected to a website from which, real time, statistics are downloaded on the state of global deforestation. The downloaded data is then translated into pulses to be distributed in time to the various solenoids. According to the statistics, every “click” produced by a solenoid represents the felling of a tree. This creates a dense, textured and insistent sound, a biomechanical graft that “screams” desperate for help and establishes an active relationship between the work and the audience, who is totally immersed in perceptive worlds that accompany him into a sensory experience.


Alma is far more than a pH sensor. First of all, is a collaborative project co-created by many different professionals (like the artist Giulia Tommasello, material scientists, medical anthropologists, interaction designers, clothing designers, fashion designers) which based their work on data on stigma and taboos around intimate female health.

The result are four working prototypes of inclusive underwear that have an embedded, wearable biosensor for the non-invasive diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis. The prototype even has wireless communication that can potentially allow a female to access her own information, to know better her body and feel encouraged to seek appropriate help when needed.

Written by Sineglossa