When Science Meets Art: We Are Sending the First Museum to the Moon

April 11, 2024
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“The greatest scientists are artists as well,” said Albert Einstein.

Most people still think Arts and Science are polar opposites. Traditionally, in education, universities and students view them as separate institutions. Students often select a degree in one or the other, usually sticking to one side of the wall.

Speaking frankly, it has been argued that this way of traditional learning is far from the ideal learning approach that prepares students for workplaces in the 21st Century.

Multi-disciplinary learning could be the answer to supply students with important transferable skills such as critical thinking, communication and analysis; all important and continually developing at all stages of life. Students will be equipped with unique problem-solving skills.

They could draw information from diverse sources and seek collaborations to produce work that matters; the outcome of such knowledge production is ‘socially robust knowledge’.

The institutions are serving students best if they enable and encourage students to build their own interdisciplinary pathway. This approach is sure to help students think abstractly whilst considering a wide range of perspectives on many issues. Also, it assists in the fostering of a love of learning, igniting a spark of enthusiasm and addressing learning differences for students. In particular, art has long contributed greatly to work and communication of science therefore, art and science should be the ideal learning discipline to be partnered together.

At Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), they offer a robust multi-disciplinary learning experience for students, including inter-college degrees, interdepartmental majors and minors, and other interdisciplinary opportunities. There are dual degree programs available, which allow for combinations of studies in fine arts and natural science, engineering and humanities, alongside other colleges.

Students can add additional majors and minors across colleges to pursue a wide range of interests through unique academic combinations. For instance, the freshman students will learn an introduction to fundamental computing principles and programming techniques for creative cultural practices, with special consideration to applications in music, design and the visual arts. Also, many students have an aptitude for creativity and collaborative innovation, and pursue this interest through the Integrative Design, Arts and Technology (IDeATe) network.

This opportunity allows the student to learn by making connections between ideas and concepts across disciplinary boundaries from science to arts. It creates a powerful learning experience and emphasizes integrative learning, critical thinking, and creative problem solving.

Students at CMU are highly motivated and they have a vested interest in pursuing topics that are interesting to them. They begin to consolidate learning by synthesizing ideas from many perspectives and consider alternative ways of acquiring knowledge. Particularly, students learn creative solutions to some of today's most challenging problems and become interdisciplinary thinkers who analytically and creatively embrace new ideas beyond any traditional boundaries.

In collaboration with over 250 prominent artists, musicians, scientists, technologists, writers, and designers,

Carnegie Mellon University finally sent first museum to the moon.

Notably, CMU has been at the forefront of a lot of fascinating and ground-breaking research. A recent study is regarded as a renowned research project from a collaborative and integrated project, designed by a team of CMU arts design and science faculties. The project is led by Lowry Burgess, a space artist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University(CMU) in a collaboration with over 250 prominent artists, musicians, scientists, technologists, writers, and designers that have all brought the first-of-its-kind international cultural artefact into reality. Known as ‘MOONARK’, it is the first museum to capture a portrait of humanity in just six ounces, that will be sent to the Moon by an Astrobotic lander carried by a space X Falcon 9 rocket in 2020.

Two Twin MoonArks have been created; one to send to the Moon, and the other to remain on Earth to travel across the world, aiming to reach millions of people through digital and print publications and curated exhibitions.  It is also hoped that the project will create the opportunity for conversation between humankind and the mysterious universe.

The project has been built with the cohesive theme that a massively integrated sculpture poetically sparks fascination through the combination of the arts, poets, humanities, sciences, and technologies; It is a kind of research that could only happen in a place offering interdisciplinary learning, like CMU.

The ark comprised of four independentchambers, that can be assembled together to form a totem that carries a visual and physical narrative from the earth chamber, right through to the other chambers to tell a more complex and richer integrative story of humanity. It contains hundreds of images, poems, music, nano-objects, mechanisms, and earthly samples intertwined through complex narratives that merge the line between worlds seen and unseen. It is designed to focus our attention from the Earth outward, into the cosmos and beyond, finally reflecting back to Earth as a boundless dialogue that speaks to our context within the universe.

Above all, CMU allows its researchers the freedom to look across disciplines for solutions, benefiting from many perspectives such as challenging curiosities and acquiring passion to imagine and deliver work that matters to us, to all of humanity.

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