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 2015-16 ArtScience Prize theme, Machine Life, 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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2015-16 ArtScience Prize Theme:

Machine Life


Civilization has for thousands of years advanced with human technological innovation. At the core of this innovation is the idea of the machine: a human-designed system that receives inputs from the natural environment to produce useful work or outcomes. Early machines such as the abacus or the Gutenberg printer revolutionized how we thought, though they did not heavily affect our daily lives.

Over the last century, and especially over the last decade, machines have become central to our globally-connected, fast-paced aspirations. We depend on almost ceaseless contact with machines: smartphones, laptops, televisions, cars and many more. What will the future bring? Will machines move us further away from the natural world? When Leonardo da Vinci imagined machines, he dreamed that they would expand the human condition. 

This year’s ArtScience Prize invites young people from around the world to explore new ideas that enhance our quality of life in ways that could not have been imagined even 15 years ago. Perhaps one might invent a machine we cannot see, which helps us see better; a machine related to food which helps to feed the planet; a machine that improves our empathetic relationship to those around us. We invite young people around the globe to dream up new types of machines that could help us return to the natural world, excited and empowered.

Machine Life
2014-15 ArtScience Prize Theme:

Biodiversity


Biodiversity

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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