If A Tree Falls in a Forest is a collaborative art and science investigation between Information Experience Design at Royal College of Art and the Cosmoparticle Initiative at University College London. The project aims to communicate contemporary physics to a public audience by transforming selected cosmological research data into exploratory 2D, 3D and time-based artworks. The project investigates concepts which, whilst central to contemporary cosmological research, are increasingly inaccessible, abstract and intangible to the non-scientist.

Cosmology – the study of space and everything in it – seeks to explain our origins. In the last two decades scientists have found answers to some of humanity’s deepest questions, including the age of the Universe itself. But we have also discovered that 95% of the Universe is invisible, posing challenging new questions for our understanding of reality. If A Tree Falls in the Forest addresses these questions by investigating subjects ranging from dark matter to data processing algorithms.

The project fosters relationships between emerging artists & designers and early career scientists and encourages new modes of thinking and creative practice by adopting an exploratory approach to science communication. Anchoring A Tree Falls in the Forest in the inspiring and complex natural system of Grizedale Forest, in the Lake District of northern England, invites the creative team and our audiences to move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to consider ideas of interconnectivity, convergence and complexity.

If A Tree Falls in the Forest is led by IED lecturer and PhD candidate Michaela French with IED Visiting Lecturer Dr Helga Schmid, and Prof Andrew Pontzen from the UCL Cosmoparticle Initiative. The project is undertaken through interdisciplinary workshops, lectures and participatory art & design practices from February to November 2018. If A Tree Falls in the Forest has been made possible with support from the Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society Public Engagement Grant Schemes.

The project culminates in a public exhibition and workshops at the Grizedale Forest Visitor’s Centre Project Space from 12th October – 4th November 2018.









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