Published on February 28, 2014 | by Catherine Van de Stouwe0
The art of science
Former LCF student Fay Morrow talks to Catherine Van De Stouwe about her new project, designMatters, which aims to promote the fundamental connections between art, design and science.
Art. Design. Science. At a quick glance, art and design are not frequently associated with the sciences. However, scratch away at the surface and the three are inherently linked. Without art there is no design and with no design, science would not be as advanced as it is today.
Founder of designMatters, Fay Morrow, is aiming to show the communication between art, design and science, predicting that the cuts to government funding for the Arts will have bigger consequences than having fewer Art degrees available, something that Morrow has already witnessed when applying for her degree.
“I’d put things on my UCAS form then the next day they wouldn’t be there. The universities simply didn’t have the funding to run those courses any more,” she said. “It frustrates me that art and design is seen as something that is just an added extra in the world when it’s not. Everything has to be designed.”
Morrow is currently finishing her final year in BA Fashion, Promotion and Imaging at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom (UCA) where, for her final project, she has created designMatters.
“I’ve always had an interest in science anyway. Drawing parallels between the two camequite naturally to me. It started off as a magazine and as I was rolling it out I thought ‘I’ll set up a Twitter.’ All of a sudden people messaged me wanting to be involved, inviting me to this thing and that. It is really exciting.”
Created to emphasise how important art and design are to developing scientific theory, designMatters aims to provide a regular publication with profiles and a catalogue of the exhibitions that Morrow is setting her sights on to show case artists specialising in scientific art.
Her first show is set to be at the end of March in Brick Lane and artists are already lining up: “I’ve got a girl on my course, Sophie Lobban, who is doing an amazing visualisation of exoplanets.
“ Exoplanets are planets [outside] the solar system that we haven’t yet been able to get visual data of. There is a lot of written data [and] its very academic but the visualisations are not very creative. She’s collecting all the data that she can about these planets and then using her creative side to visualise what they would look like.”
Morrow is also in talks with an MA Arts and Science graduate from CSM. Started in 2011, the course, according to the UAL website, “investigates the creative relationships between art and science and how to communicate them”.
An inspiration behind the creation of designMatters is artist, Agi Haines, who Morrow met at a talk Haines gave at Selfridges’ Festival of Imagination in January 2014. Using a bio-printer- similar to a 3D printer – Haines layers up cells and DNA to create working human organs.
“I’d like it to grow into something that people really take an interest in and [want] be involved in…a community of creative people that are really, really, pushing the point [that science needs art].” Fay Morrow
Morrow explains: “Her work epitomises the concept that I am trying to get across. [Haines is] someone who comes from a design background, but is using her design skills to create ideas that could potentially help to evolve the human form in the future. It’s all about forced evolution and how we improve on our organs to overcome certain health issues or environmental issues…She’s exploring the potential to create a new organ that would sit within the human body but would increase its ability. For her exhibitions she puts all the organs out on silver trays as if they are ready for surgery, but she labels them so neatly so you can see she’s a graphic designer.”
Now in full swing, the designMatters website and blog is aiming to be a community for creatives who share the same thoughts as Morrow.
She said: “I’d like it to grow into something that people really take an interest in and [want] be involved in…a community of creative people that are really, really, pushing the point [that science needs art].”
Publication and exhibition
Launched on February 17, the website has interviews and demonstrations from both designers and illustrators. From DNA Tarot Card Readers by Superflux to the creation of mini-environments by Simon Park, the link between art, design and science becomes very clear. With the publication and exhibition in the not too distant future, Morrow has a lot of work to do: “I’ve never done anything on this scale before. It’s terrifying but exciting as well.”
Morrow credits being able to take on the task of designMatters, with her time at LCF, where she completed an Access to Higher Education course in Fashion, Media and Communication in 2011: “LCF was an amazing experience. The nature of that course gave me an amazing work ethic – because you didn’t have any other choice; it’s just immersive. You’re absolutely in that environment and that helped me get a solid foundation in a lot of different areas.”
With strong foundations from LCF and UCA, there is no reason why designMatters should not excel. With an exhibition already on the cards, Morrow is off to a good start, emphasising a matter that changes not only science, but is key to advances in medicine and technology. “It doesn’t matter who you are, what background you come from, or what industry you are in. [Art and design] are things that affect every single person.”
For more information on designMatters click here