A Collaboration Crossing Fields

Sustainability challenges are often resulted from the complex interplay of various social-ecological factors and tackling these challenges require integration of different types of knowledge and various skillsets, especially for the scientific, social, economic and political facets of the society collaborate as a set of tightly interacting components.

Being a scientist-turned-designer, it was a great honour to facilitate this collaboration being the bridge between RCA and CERN, and witness the power of this design-science collaboration has brought to light.

The Grand Challenge collaoration between CERN and the Royal College of Art is a new level of collaboration that bridges scientific field with the civil society with researchers working with practicioners to confront the important global issues we are facing today and tomorrow.

Over the four-week project time, 16 members from CERN mentored and supported more than 374 design students working in 74 interdisciplinary teams. The mixed-background teams addressed and analyzed four themes: Health and Wellbeing; Digital Disruption; Energy, Infrastructure and the Environment; and Social and Economic Disparity. The teams then explored technologies from CERN or beyond to create compelling new solutions for these grand challenges. The Grand Challenge aims to inspire students with science to address key social and environmental issues, but also showed the power of design to scientists and engineers, which enables development of innovative applications for technologies for the greater good.

Read publications on the collaboration by CERN and RCA.