Art and Science Collide in Detroit

From Motor City to Motown, Detroit is emblematic of technology innovation and artistic revolution. It should come as no surprise that this eclectic city was chosen to join cities like Venice, London, Bengaluru and Melbourne via the Global Science Gallery Network (GSGN).

Among the Science Gallery installations, one may find unconventional combinations of themes like infection, love and music—and others that showcase emerging research and ideas from the worlds of art, science, design and technology.

“There’s no difference in my mind between an artist and a scientist…we’re all after the truth,” said Luke O’Neil, director, Trinity Biomedical Science Institute.

The first Science Gallery was established at Trinity College Dublin in 2008. The idea was to create a space that combined and explored art and science in a new and imaginative way while engaging and connecting with 15 to 25-year-olds. One purpose is to unlock the creative potential of today’s youth to develop skills for tomorrow’s jobs.

“We want to create fertile ground for entrepreneurship and innovation, and act as a source of new connections and inspiration for young people around the globe,” as stated at

As popularity grew, new galleries spread to Europe, Asia and Australia by partnering with nearby universities. Staying true to its mission of advancing the common good with uncommon will, Michigan State University collaborated with the GSGN to establish the Science Gallery Lab Detroit, the first in North America.

MSU IT supported the endeavor through its instructional designers who developed programs, supported technologies, and planned educational events, including The STEAM Engine. They also assisted with communications, experience design, and training and curriculum for Science Gallery’s mediators.

Located at 1001 Woodward Avenue, Science Gallery Lab Detroit will engage academics and students at Michigan State University with new means of collaboration, embedding multidisciplinary approaches and public engagement at all levels. Through GSGN touring activities, they are generating new ideas, connections, and learning every day and have reached over a half million people in only four years.

Learn more about Science Gallery International and Science Gallery Detroit.


Photo credit: Mark Sullivan and Science Gallery International