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The ICUBED project shows how the creativity of Engineering students can be enhanced with Art and how Art and Engineering can be successfully “married” to broaden the thinking of both artists and scientists.

Art can stimulate the mind of the scientist to find alternative approaches to technical tasks and Engineering can inspire the artist to look at reality in new ways.

The images created by the Art students of UCF, under supervision of the art instructor Professor Carla Poindexter from the University of Central Florida, in the effort to interpret waste management issues and the deterioration of the environment, are an excellent example of the synergy that can develop between the two fields. We hope that the ideas behind this project will inspire other Universities to consider venturing into this kind of experiment.

Waste Management calls for an interdisciplinary approach, perhaps also inclusive of Art!

Cristina van der Westhuyzen & Rainer Stegmann




ICUBED is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project that partners with several units within the University of Central Florida (UCF) including the College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Arts and Humanities, College of Education, and College of Sciences.The goal of the project is to ensure broader impact of NSF funded projects through the coordination and integration of their education and research activities by increasing participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.




STEM

One of the important activities of the ICUBED project is to integrate research and education. To do so ICUBED is funding undergraduate students to perform research under the guidance of a UCF STEM faculty. This activity is facilitated, in line with the project’s vision, by creating synergies amongst the many UCF projects that support the integration of research and education

STEAM

The STEAM activity of the ICUBED project has as its purpose to bring together STEM faculty, their students, Visual Art and Design faculty and their students, and encourage, through this collaboration, the creation of artifacts inspired by STEM research. Participating Art and Design students attend a 3-week long seminar, as part of their course of study, and create science-inspired art based on the STEM researcher's explanations of science and engineering concepts





Please click on an image to see detailed information:

 

 


Stil

Shuyu Liu

In response to the Solid Waste management research, this image was created to depict the current situation of attempting to find a solution to better manage waste and to restore what has been damaged by waste. The painting was a way of displaying my interpretation of the present standing of the research: the frozen waste is a comparison between the progress of research to one of cryogenic preservation. The damage by the waste is not eliminated but nonetheless delayed; until a solution is found, the waste will remain in the everlasting ice.
This image was painted using acrylic paint on canvas. For what acrylic paint is, it does not do justice in showing real-world colors due to the plastic appearance. However, the advantage of the medium is that because of the chemical composition, it creates almost what is an ironic piece. Acrylic paint is generally non-toxic but with exceptions; in the case of this painting: cobalt blue is toxic, thus making this image ironic. My challenge in the process was demonstrating idealism while making what’s under the ice clear and visible to the audience.
The topic of waste is deeply related to every person on earth, the impact of which is tremendous. The research is only at a beginning stage. We humans must come to realize the damage done by the waste. It is important that we all work to reduce this waste.

Tree of Curiosity and Temptation

Alexander Ruiz

My paintings are intended to communicate a neutral message using symbols of infinity and paradox. “Circle” is inspired by thoughts on the phenomena of recycling and transformation whereas “Tree of Curiosity and Temptation” is inspired by thoughts of hope and the fall of man. I created a blend of organic and structural forms to suggest order and chaos. Ultimately, my focus is to promote the idea of the inevitability of nature within us and beyond us.

Circle

Alexander Ruiz

My paintings are intended to communicate a neutral message using symbols of infinity and paradox. “Circle” is inspired by thoughts on the phenomena of recycling and transformation whereas “Tree of Curiosity and Temptation” is inspired by thoughts of hope and the fall of man. I created a blend of organic and structural forms to suggest order and chaos. Ultimately, my focus is to promote the idea of the inevitability of nature within us and beyond us.


Circle

Alexander Ruiz

My paintings are intended to communicate a neutral message using symbols of infinity and paradox. “Circle” is inspired by thoughts on the phenomena of recycling and transformation whereas “Tree of Curiosity and Temptation” is inspired by thoughts of hope and the fall of man. I created a blend of organic and structural forms to suggest order and chaos. Ultimately, my focus is to promote the idea of the inevitability of nature within us and beyond us.

Teeth

Forrest de Bois

This painting addresses an interest in the hidden repercussions of waste disposal practices and humanity’s struggle to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem.

Pig Farm

Matt Mayer

In this painting, I pair constructed and deconstructed forms with the assimilation of waste into the natural environment in response to ironic purposes landfills satisfy in regards to livestock in China.


A Dilemma of Contemporary Scientific Research

Russell Hein


I listened to Dr. Singla's lecture on Stem Cell research and was interested in responding to the frustration that scientists experience when attempting to do research in a world of varying ethical opinions. There is a lot of opposition to research on stem cells, due to claims that in vitro fertilization creates new human life that should be protected to the same degree we protect all human life.

In my painting, the background character gestures at a computer with a look of concern as if to say, “I just found something on the internet that you are not going to like very much”, while the other individual looks into the microscope as though believing he has happened upon something he thinks might contribute something valuable to the world.

This semester I have worked on a series of paintings that deal with the futility of our attempts to be satisfied or fulfilled in our lives. This painting fits that theme. I'm exploring the idea of finding fulfillment in the mastery or discovery of something, when in reality the thing I might have devoted my life to may eventually be considered a futile endeavor. I have titled this series, “A Striving After Wind,” after a phrase Solomon uses, in the book of Ecclesiastes, in his attempt to explain how useless it has been for him to try to find fulfillment in temporal things.

The Garbage Net

Steven Kallas


Humans have been polluting the earth since the beginning of their existence. There once was a time when the oceans blossomed with plants and animals but as time went on we created things that cannot coexist with nature. At this rate I would not be surprised if one day the ocean and all of our lands are ruined by our plastic inventions. For when the time comes that humans are no more, our wasteful inventions will still live in the water for thousands of years.

The Ancient Landfill

Michael Alvarez


In this painting it was my aim to capture the ironic beauty of a stunningly sublime sunset in a pristine landscape of mountains and mesas, which was in fact, created by human waste.

The painting is intended to be a not too distant future vision of a place no longer populated by humans where the remains of air pollution and a long forgotten landfill still exist.


Salvage

Shanna Stiles


I strive to harmonize a personal psychological expression of emotion with the tangible outside world. My intuitive process leads to a threatened landscape that is foreboded by the environmental impacts of the countless discarded materials created by society. Through the use of translucent layers I manifest the transition of light and time and employ a sense of hope for future generations.

Lost Cause

Ryan Wyker


Our species has the ability to make tools. This gift can sometimes result in unintended consequences. For instance, we create plastics that end up in our oceans, which take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Although plastics, oils and other products prove useful for our species, for many animals it is a detriment. Here is an animal that has passed away as a result of living in a polluted environment.

Nature’s Landfill

Kristine Bowers


I was inspired by Professor Debra Reinhart’s and her STEM fellows’ presentations and research involving current attempts toward turning landfills back to nature. Historically, human civilizations in decay eventually returned to a more natural state.

However in this current period in human history, mankind has not only over produced waste but has also created much more exotic forms of waste. Consequently, we have a major problem.

This artwork at first, suggests a state of chaos. However in creating the actual structure I was careful to utilize the formal principles of design to suggest there is hope for a better future as we attempt to turn our world back into a state of rational flow and balance.


Solid Waste

Natalia Diaz


In this painting I am exploring the consequences of a time and place where hope is almost gone. My intention was to depict chaos by virtually filling the entire surface and space of the painting from edge to edge with a variety of collaged paper materials and symbolic illustrations of paper and paper-related images, which are intentionally layered, clustered and stacked upon one another.

A Fraction of a Second Before Midnight

Lindsay Green


The Geological Clock is an analogy of the history of Earth. On this clock, humans evolve at a fraction of a second before midnight. This cabinet is a glimpse into our large accumulations over our small time on Earth. It is a medicine cabinet to show our fragile mortality and our persistence for survival.

Untitled (Leachate)

Nicole Dikon


Directly inspired by both the beauty and harm created by our own ignorance, this piece is a reflection of the human condition. Landfill leachate was the inspiration for this painting. It is a liquid, which is created from waste in our landfills that if not contained, contaminates our ground water. To illustrate this process, paints with toxic pigments such as Cadmium and Cobalt as well as various patina chemicals, were utilized to create an image that represents something that is in fact harmful and toxic, yet ironically beautiful.


Future Earth

Desiree Lu


Solid human waste is a tremendously important issue. We must all face this problem seriously. Imagine a future, hundreds of thousands of years from now. On Earth, little grows, the waters are polluted, green plants can’t thrive, and most humans have died out or moved on because their wastes have eroded the earth's health. In this painting I am suggesting a future viewpoint from another planet or asteroid.

Still

Omalix Martinez


Some of us are very fortunate to have access to safe and clean water every day despite all the harmful and toxic substances, we as human beings, release into our water supply. UCF scientists are working hard not only by trying to make our society more aware of the pollution we cause on a daily basis but also how we can reduce it.

This self-portrait is an ethereal, and almost dream-like visual metaphor that explores the idea of survival. It deals with the desire to calmly stay afloat, and not sink in and give up.

Madonna and Child

Michelle Daas


In this piece where I address stem cell research, I want to convey the softness of the atmosphere and the symbiotic relationship between the figure and mouse by comparing it to historically prominent paintings of the Madonna and Child.

“Because of their plasticity and potentially unlimited capacity for self-renewal, embryonic stem cell therapies have been proposed for regenerative medical and tissue replacement after injury or disease.” - Wikipedia


Untitled

Sylwia Ponicki


This painting appears to simply illustrate a wedding cake in the style of the famous painter Wayne Thiebaud. However upon closer inspection the details reveal images that are actually inspired by Dr. Singla’s research on human stem cells as they relate to the potential repair and rejuvenation of the human heart.

Gastrula, created by a sperm and egg on top of the cake, symbolizes the beginning of life. Descending layers represent various elements of human tissue and cell type differentiation.

I linked the symbols and imagined that a wedding cake would create a great analogy.

Mice

Carla Dilworth


This painting is based on Dr. Dinender Singla’s presentation on stem cell research. Dr. Singla spoke compassionately of the vital role mice play in his scientific research everyday at UCF. I was moved by his comments about the care and treatment of mice in his experiments. The painting of an overlapping grouping of mice simply serves to show how beautiful mice actually are. I wanted to express how thankful we should be for their sacrifices and the progress we have made because of them.