Annual Theme



Each year the ArtScience Prize supports students in developing innovative, interdisciplinary ideas that stem from a cutting-edge scientific theme. Chosen each year by ArtScience Labs and adopted by all ArtScience Prize sites and selected Idea Translation Lab sites throughout the world, this theme invites students to dream at frontiers of knowledge where science moves forward by induction and thus where art and science are pursued in very similar ways. It is also here that opportunities for surprise, discovery, and breakthrough innovation occur.
By choosing a nebulous thematic topic that is still emerging in the scientific community, the realm of possibilities for student exploration is wide open. Rather than being asked to assimilate currently- accepted theories and practices within the sciences, students are challenged to intellectually inquire and explore along with scientists who are themselves adding to our understanding of this emerging field every day. While student ideas may develop over the course of the year so that the annual theme is no longer a part of their final project proposals, all students begin with this theme.

The 2013-14 ArtScience Prize theme, Energy of the Future, is designed to challenge students to bring their best thinking toward envisioning and defining that future, and finding solutions for making the future as bright as possible.

To view descriptions of our recent themes, click "more" below.
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2013-14 ArtScience Prize Theme:

Energy of the Future


We have found ways over the centuries to amplify and complement the energy we invest in human activities to produce benefits that enrich our lives. These benefits include keeping us warm, or cool, helping us travel far and fast, feeding us, clothing us, and healing us, too. Over the last decades however we have discovered that these many ways of producing energy here on earth have multiple drawbacks. These include harm to the environment, and harm to ourselves. Today there is a new frontier of science in which we look to discover ways of providing the energy to do those many things that make human life in the 21st century wonderful, while diminishing, if not completely removing, the multiple drawbacks that make this same lifestyle unsustainable.

The 2013-14 ArtScience Prize targets big art and design ideas at this important frontier of science. What new designs, or works of art, might be imagined that bring energy to the world today without taking hope from the world tomorrow? Are these designs living, on earth, floating in the air, settling on our shoulders, dancing on a page, flying across a screen, woven into the fabric of our shoes? Well any of that seems possible. This year we’re going to tackle one of the major problems and opportunities of our day — with many exciting minds of tomorrow from around the world.
2013-14 ArtScience Prize Theme:

Energy of the Future


Energy of the Future

2012-13 ArtScience Prize Theme:

Synthetic Biology


Synthetic Biology

2011-12 ArtScience Prize Theme:

Virtual Worlds


Virtual Worlds

2010-11 ArtScience Prize Theme:

The Future of Water


Future of Water
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Nathaniel Doyno:
On Energy


Nathaniel Doyno is a clean technology entrepreneur, consultant, strategist, sales and business development specialist with over 7 years of experience and expertise in energy efficiency and high-performance buildings, renewable and alternative energy systems, and associated utility and government financial incentives and tax programs. ArtScience Prize partners and students can find original interviews with experts on the annual theme, like Nathaniel, at the ASP theme site.