Bio-inspired art added to curriculum at University of Wisconsin

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In Wisconsin, a university’s art, biological systems engineering, design, and physics programs have jointly sponsored an artist-in-residence who is blending art and science to provide new perspectives on how art imitates nature.

Peter Krsko is currently teaching a course at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Arts Institute entitled “Zoethica: Bio-inspired Art and Science,” in which students study natural materials, organisms, and systems at micro-, meso- and macroscopic levels. His work has included growing cells on the surface of an Albert Einstein portrait that is only visible through a microscope as well as building a tree made of construction waste wood.

“Art has the advantage of flexibility and freedom, and I think we would benefit by getting rid of the wall between science and art,” Krsko tells the Wisconsin Gazette.  “Creating artwork can help answer the question of how wasps use geometry to create the perfect comb,” he says. “Complex geometry emerges from the random motion of the wasps as they work next to each other.”