Mutually enriching science and art
Concept and objectives of the project
Global social and environmental issues like the consequences of anthropogenic climate change, inefficient resource use on our planet, and population growth, are major challenges to existing but especially to future generations. The interactive and complex nature of these issues helps to explain why individuals often consider their own behavior towards the solving and tackling of these problems as marginal. Major environmental problems and suggestions on how to solve them must therefore be approached on a level that allows individual actions to have effect.
Science and research have made and are expected to provide important contributions to resolve these challenges. Furthermore, arts and design can make major contributions by reflecting, shaping, and communicating the various aspects and interrelations. Joining of expertise in science, art, and design therefore allows the multi- and transdisciplinary development and imparting of new content and strategies for environmental education.
Against this background, the joint project Creating Knowledge of the Competence Center Environment and Sustainability (CCES) of the ETH Domain and the Swiss artists-in-labs Program as well as the Department Design of the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) intends to use methods of scientific visualization, game design, and audiovisual and social media to create new environmental knowledge via content-related, media, and creative participatory campaigns. Goal is to primarily reach target groups outside the scientific community.
Pilot project ‚Climate in change – focus water‘
In a first step the basic concept of the project Creating knowledge was implemented as a pilot project entitled Climate in change – focus water. This will support the thematic focusing and substantiation in terms of contents, conceptual design as well as methodological, practical, and organizational implementation. The link between the topics climate and water is promising, because water constitutes an essential element of climate change, while it is also something materially tangible with an easy link to concrete questions of everyday life. Furthermore, water-related changes (e.g. drought, floods, glacier melting) can be better observed and are more tangible than changes in temperature resp. climate.
The pilot project was designed as a classroom project for students of grade 8 or 9. The raising of awareness of environmental concerns holds great potential for environmentally responsible behavior. The use of audiovisual applications and social media in classrooms can achieve a dynamic and significant multiplier and leverage effect on individual actions.
While climate is a global issue, water has historically and traditionally always been a local issue. Within the scope of partnership programs between Swiss and foreign school classes, water issues could be discussed in the context of climate change. This would create awareness for the situation and problems in other countries. Through this international exchange, an “act globally” may be achieved.
First projects (bachelor theses) were accomplished during the Spring semester 2013:
Lisa Müller, Diego Martinez, Stefan Breit: "Virtuelles Wasser in der Lebensmittelproduktion":
Stefan Breit's bachelor thesis
Natalie Fischer's bachelor thesis
Stefan Paunovic's bachelor thesis (poster)