Skip navigation

Category Archives: Art and Science

Sabanci University’s interest in supporting research output has been one of the primary initiatives of Image of Science, which will now run its second season July 11 – 15 on campus. Image of Science is a university wide collaboration, open to outside participation this year, organized by visiting faculty Gokhan Ersan (School of the Art Institute of Chicago),  Melih Papila (FENS), VAVCD teaching assistants, and Nancy Karabeyoglu (SUWC).

Image of Science seeks to familiarize researchers with design tools that can comprehensively depict complex research methodologies and findings. 

This year’s week long program of workshops and design tutorials focuses on creating interactive slide shows and presentations of completed or ongoing research. Two days of workshops on implementing design strategies open the program; three days of design work to produce interactive slide shows/presentation of selected submissions follow. All are welcome.

If you have  a visual image of a particular ongoing/completed research project and/or would like to learn more of design’s ability to serve as a powerful information source, please consider attending either the workshops or design production; both are free.

The links below are the formal invitation to Image of Science.



Pages containing the work of last year’s projects

SU/VACD alumnus Başar Önal is currently a PhD student at SPIRE, the Participatory Innovation Research Centre at the University of Southern Denmark and also works as a researcher at DRU, the Design Research Unit at the Interactive Institute. His portfolio, which consists of intelligent, sophisticated art and computation hybrid projects can be viewed here:

Wettext (above): The prototype is a modified DIY lie-detector. Normally the detector senses the stress reaction (moisture) in one’s fingertips and signals it. In my model, the output is used to delete and recombine the parts of the old text in order to produce a real-time, animated, new body of text. The old text is presented alongside the new one, and the person connected to the detector will be producing a constantly changing written piece.

Maximachines (above): The idea for this conceptual robot is devised with the concept of visceral design (Donald Norman). It is conceived with an apocalyptical, post-crash future in mind. These robots are a thinking exercise for a dystopian future, and would be useless in a future with pleasantly aligned resources. Thus, there needs to be an environment of risk, both physical and psychological in order to accommodate these kinds of robots. They can act as objects of psychological projection in times of distress, objects of reflection, and perform a function that would otherwise be harmful for humans.

needless to say. cool. check out balint’s portfolio too!

Trace is a sculptural device that alludes to scientific discoveries and pseudoscientific concepts such as phrenology, physiognomy, and craniometry. A revolving plaster cast of the artist’s head is slowly deconstructed into a mathematical diagram that changes as time passes. The peculiarities of the human face that as humans, we attach so much importance to, is dematerialised into a changing drawing that embodies the differential undulations of the human anatomy. ‘Trace’ questions our notion of self and how through technology we have found different visual representations for the individual. DNA profiling, retina scans and the fingerprint are all things that are conjured up by the meticulous mechanical process of the work. The topographical images are turned into a new form of three-dimensional representation that draws our attention to the ‘space within’.

So these table surfaces are clearly very different sizes, right?

Wrong. Click on the picture to see a demonstration I’ve just prepared for you. If you think I’ve cheated, check it yourself with a ruler, or a piece of paper. What amazed me more when I was preparing the demo today is that the illusion isn’t established only by the table legs (which is the first thing that comes to mind): we still see them in different sizes when the legs disappear. The rotation is sufficient to deceive us, the legs just strengthen it.

By the way, the reason they don’t overlap exactly is that the corner angle is slightly different; the side lengths are really equal.

Lesson learned: use your guides and ruler in Photoshop!

— Cem

Almacan is a truly extraordinary artist from Japan who uses 3D software to create paintings which are delicate and detailed combinations of steampunk, biology and anatomical drawings.


A MoMa interactive exhibition, the link for which was sent to me by Damla Tamer, an alumna of our program herself. Not only do the links lead to some really mind blowing projects but the website’s interface is rewarding in and of itself: