Platform for Research through the Arts and Sciences

Keywords: Moral Reflection, Technological Innovation, Art-based and Playful Engagement

How can art, design, and play contribute to a reflection on the social and moral implications of technological innovation?

Emerging technologies disrupt ways of understanding and ordering the world so that deep-rooted categories have to be rethought (person/thing; alive/dead; autonomy/control; natural/artificial) and they raise basic questions about our identity, integrity and dignity. Supporting the promotion of public engagement with technological innovation and the integration of imaginative and emotional knowledge, we investigated deliberation on synthetic biology, nanotechnology and reproductive technology; using respectively the ‘Frame Reflection Lab’ (a Card-based game in combination with video-narratives), two playful multi-stakeholder dialogues, and ‘Reprodutopia’ (a speculative design fertility clinic).

Other partners: Next Nature Network (amongst others)

Involved researchers: Anouk Heltzel, Joyce Nabuurs, Willemine Willems, Frank Kupper, Wieke Betten, Jantien Schuijer, Marjoleine vd Meij

Researcher link:

project link: Catalyst

research question: How can art and science fiction help to include citizens in the digitalization of the city?


Cities are changing at a high pace due to digitalization. To make sure that the city of the future responds to what society wants and needs, it is of great importance that all stakeholders and especially citizens think and talk about these developments. This project aims to investigate what that conversation should look like. Together with NEMO Science Museum, we experiment with the use of art and design to: (1) make this issue relevant for citizens, (2) help citizens to form and articulate their opinion, (3) enhance mutual understanding between citizens, policymakers and innovators. As a result we hope to learn how citizens envision the city of the future, how art and design can facilitate these kinds of inquiries and what role a science museum like NEMO Science Museum could play in further enhancing these inquiries.

researchers: project leader Frank Kupper, Athena Institute VU Amsterdam  

partners: TU DelftNEMO Science MuseumAMS Institute