Last Event: Thursday Feb. 23 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.


Alison Irvine, co-organizer of the Biodesign challenge and theater artist, invites you to explore the emergent field of Biodesign, which combines biology, art, and design to explore new applications in the field of biotechnology.

The arts and sciences have traditionally been siloed, leading to a lack of communication, understanding, and collaboration across fields. The Biodesign Challenge seeks to bridge these barriers in the form of a university competition that pairs artists and designers with scientists to envision the future products made with biotechnology. From biomaterials to biosensors, art and design students use biology to create living products, garments, and architecture.

With a background as a theater artist, Alison segued into the life sciences as an undergraduate at The New School in New York. Having spent time in the theater and the lab, she came to recognize that the disconnect between the arts and sciences has more to do with communication barriers between disciplines than lack of ability.

For Alison, integrating artists and designers into scientific fields is not only possible but crucial to the evolution and progress of science and society. In her talk, she will share lessons from the first year of the Biodesign Challenge and present her vision for the interdisciplinary future of art, design, and science.



Alison Irvine is an organizer of the Biodesign Challenge, a university competition that pairs artists, designers, and scientists together to envision the future products made with biotechnology. She graduated from Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts with a degree in Theater and Interdisciplinary Science and studied political theater at The Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany. She received the Hunt Fellowship for her work as a theater artist creating performances that centered on the emergence of new biotechnologies and their implications in the context of social and economic inequities. She researches creative practices that engage the public with basic science and new technologies in ways that promote social reflection and ethical scientific conduct. Alison has also written articles on the intersection of art, science, and social justice for Imagine Science Films and The Center for Genetics and Society. 

Digital Culture Speaker: Alison Irvine

Stauffer B-wing, B125, Tempe Campus

Event Map: 
Stauffer B-wing, B125

For More Information Contact:

Andrew Luna
Arts, Media, and Engineering