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The Cube, together with the Creative Industries Faculty, the Australian Research Centre in Additive Biomanufacturing, the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, in association with the UTAS Creative Exchange Institute will be hosting the one day symposium, Critical Connections: Art, Design, and STEM.

Led by a cross-disciplinary group of national and international speakers, Critical Connections invites discussion on the motivations, challenges and opportunities for inter- and trans-disciplinary practices across Art, Design, and STEM, through four overarching themes: Research, Learning & Teaching, Ethics, and Cultural Engagement.


8.30am – 9.15am Registration, refreshments on arrival

9.15am – 9.30am Welcome: Svenja Kratz (University of Tasmania) and Jacina Leong (The Cube)

9.30am – 10.30am Keynote: Oron Catts (SymbioticA)

10.35am – 11.50am Panel 1 - Interdisciplinary Research
This session examines the value of interdisciplinary research across science, the creative arts and design. Using examples of current research projects underway at QUT and UTAS that draw on skill from the creative industries and STEM disciplines, the speakers provide insight into different approaches to facilitating multi, inter and trans disciplinary research with a particular focus on how university research can effectively link to and ultimately communicate with, and positively impact industry, education and the wider community.

Chair: Svenja Kratz

Panel: Dietmar W. Hutmacher (Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation), Jaz Choi (QUT), Kit Wise (University of Tasmania).

11.50am – 12.50pm Lunch

12.50pm – 2.05pm Panel 2 - Learning and Teaching Across Disciplines
Collaboration across disciplines and exposure to different ways of thinking may help to prepare society for adapting to escalating changes, uncertainties, and complexities, but also raises many challenges. This panel examines the motivations for informal and formal learning institutions to advance interdisciplinary learning and teaching, and some of the barriers to overcoming a traditionally silo approach to education.

Chair: Jacina Leong

Panel: Leighann Ness Wilson (The Cube), Terry Deen (Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art), Kathy Mackey (Queensland Academies)

2.10pm – 3.25pm Panel 3 - Emerging Technologies: Critical Engagement and Ethics
This panel examines the role of the creative arts, design and humanities in critically questioning current technological trajectories through both traditional scholarship and speculative art and design practices. Focusing on technologies that have the capacity to augment prevailing conceptions of life, self and identity, speakers address a range of issues including bioethics, body modification and the ethical implications of new and emerging technologies.

Chair: Courtney Pedersen (QUT)

Panel: Svenja Kratz and Bill Hart (University of Tasmania), Laini Burton (Griffith University), Eliza Goddard (University of Tasmania)

3.25pm – 3.45pm Break

3.50pm – 5.00pm Panel 4 - Cultural Engagement At The Nexus
Cultural engagement at the nexus of art, science, and technology has the potential to incite curiosity, discovery, and exploration. Leaders in the field from Ars Electronica, Science Gallery Melbourne and QUT examine how this type of work can both stimulate audience participation, whilst engaging interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners in the advancement of new ideas.

Chair: Lubi Thomas

Panel: Kristefan Minski (Ars Electronica), Rose Hiscock (Science Gallery Melbourne), Jared Donovan (QUT)

5.00pm – 5.30pm Drinks and networking before the exhibition opening of Biosynthetic Systems (The Block)

5.30pm – 6:00pm Biosynthetic Systems floor talk

6.00pm – 8.00pm Biosynthetic Systems exhibition opening event

Critical Connections follows with a floor talk and opening of the new media exhibition, Biosynthetic Systems.