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Design & Science Converge at the Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery

What happens when design and science intersect?

PHILADELPHIA – (February 10, 2020) – The latest exhibit at the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) explores the complex relationship between the two disciplines through three distinct lines of inquiry: merging science and design through biodesign, data manifestation, and visual metaphor. Design & Science opens at EKG on Thursday February, 13th and is curated by Leslie Atzmon, Professor of Graphic Design and Design History at Eastern Michigan University, and features the work of 34 artists.

The exhibit investigates the overlap between design and science through biodesign, presenting “pictures” of data about natural systems and through 2-D and 3-D “thinking” models. In biodesign, living organisms and data are incorporated into design projects; biological systems may also be configured as a constituent of design. The visual “thinking” models aid in scientific data and can reveal natural or physical processes.

Design & Science
February 13 – March 28
Esther Klein Gallery
3600 Market Street

Artist Talk and Panel Discussion
February 13
5-6 p.m.
Venture Café Philadelphia
3675 Market Street, 3rd Floor

Opening Reception
February 13
6-8 p.m.
Esther Klein Gallery
3600 Market Street

Design & Science features work by Edward Tufte, Jason J. Ferguson, Mason Dean, Megan Valanidas, Mirium Simun, D.S. Nicholas + Shivanthi Anandan, Nervous System, Nicole Koltick, Jordan Solomonic, UK Jung + Elise Krespan + Alyssa Klein + Greg Sieber, Neha Basarajav, Mitchell Joachim, Charlett Wenig, Audrey Speyer, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg + James King + University of Cambridge IGEM Team 2009, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg + Sascha Pohflepp, Victoria Geaney + Bernardo Pollak + Anton Kan, Ori Elisar, Cyprien Deryng, Justin Jehong Yoon, Chenhui Song, Willow Sharp, Cecilia Salcedo-Guevara, and Michelle Lu, and Siyuan Huang.

Also featuring archival material by Charles Darwin, Rosalind Franklin, Richard Feynman, and James Watson + Francis Crick.

Leslie Atzmon is a designer, design historian, and design critic. Atzmon also co-curated Open Book: An International Survey of Experimental Books, and was awarded an NEA grant to run experimental book workshops and produce The Open Book Project book with colleague Ryan Molloy. She did a Fulbright fellowship in London, UK in 2016 at Central Saint Martins on the topic of Darwin and design thinking. She recently co-edited the anthology The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury 2019), and is editing the book Design and Science (Bloomsbury 2020), which is related to the Design and Science exhibition. Atzmon and Molloy were also awarded a Sappi Ideas that Matter Grant (2017)—supporting design for non-profits—to rebrand Ypsilanti, MI’s Riverside Arts Center as a community arts hub.

About the Science Center
Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is mission-driven nonprofit that commercializes promising technology, cultivates talent and convenes people to inspire action. For over 50 years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development in the life sciences, healthcare, physical sciences, and emerging technology sectors. As a result, Science Center-supported companies account for one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing resources and programming for any stage of a business’s lifecycle, the Science Center helps scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators take their concepts from idea to IPO – and beyond. For more information about the Science Center, visit

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Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing