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Why should I take this Trinity Elective?

Our world is in a state of flux: it is the dawn of the information age, the brink of the sixth mass extinction, and we are living in the era of fake-news, trash islands, AI pets and Humans 2.0. How do we solve the problems of a future we cannot yet imagine? In the transdisciplinary Idea Translation Lab, offered by Trinity College’s Science Gallery, you will have the opportunity to get outside your specialist subject area, and work collaboratively at the boundaries of art, science, design and engineering, to develop original ideas and projects where these disciplines meet. This elective is designed to stimulate the development of entrepreneurial, creative and critical thinking skills through collaborative group projects, which may have impact along different axes: social, scientific, cultural and commercial. The module will encourage you to reflect critically on the broader perspectives around the cultural, ethical and economic role of science in society including science policy and the commercialisation of new ideas.

What will I learn?

  • You will brainstorm, ideate, refine and develop novel concepts in response to a particular societal challenge, taking these solutions from the prototyping phase to a developed final pitch.
  • You will communicate project ideas through the creation and dissemination of images, texts, objects and rich media.
  • You will describe, analyze and critique design artifacts, which may include (but is not limited to) apps, business plans, agricultural robots, transgenic organisms, proposals, prototypes, or mind maps.
  • You will generate and support novel ideas by analyzing and synthesizing texts, lectures, images and artifacts.

What will I do?

  • Attend a series of lecture themed around a current or upcoming Science Gallery exhibition topic. Science Gallery exhibitions are chosen to reflect “wicked problems” facing our world today – recent exhibitions have included HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY which asked the question "In an automated world, will it be time to put humans out to pasture?"; IN CASE OF EMERGENCY which asked "How will it all end, and why do we love to wonder?" and INTIMACY, exploring the meaning of intimacy in today's world, and asking whether technology is disrupting traditional notions of togetherness, opening new avenues for connection, or killing off closeness altogether? No prior knowledge is required.
  • Spend approximately an additional 2 hours per week on self-study and assignments, and up to 3 hours per week on the mid-term and end-of-term group projects, in which you will design solutions and responses to the chosen theme.
  • Respond to homework assignments using Twitter
  • Participate in the presentation pitch of your final group project at a public event in Science Gallery Dublin, which will be filmed and shared online.

How will this be delivered?

  • Blended/hybrid model including class time with face-to-face content, online and guest lectures, with self-reflection and weekly feedback submitted by students via Twitter and online.
  • Approximately 12 hours of lectures (1 hour per week). Lectures will be interactive sessions, with students invited to question, debate and discuss the topics. Guest lectures will be delivered relevant experts in topic-specific areas (e.g. if the overall theme of the module is PLASTIC, we might invite a leading materials scientist or an environmental scientist to deliver a related guest lecture).
  • Approximately 24 hours hands-on classroom/lab time (2 hours per week). Students will be able to use this time to explore themes through hands-on making, designing, creating and prototyping. Science Gallery Dublin exhibition designers, producers and curators will be involved as expert mentors during these lab sessions.
  • Approximately 24 hours of self-study assignments including readings and self-reflection, and approximately 36 hours of group work.

How will this be assessed?

  • READING SYNTHESIS ASSIGNMENT (15%)  - Students will submit a 500 - 1000 word essay on any three readings of their choice from the course reading list.
  • GROUP PROJECT (60%) - Students will work in small groups to produce idea translation projects based on the chosen theme. The groups will be facilitated through this process at weekly group “lab” sessions and can draw inspiration and information from weekly lecture sessions with internal and external mentors. An 800 word proposal will be submitted by each group describing the nature of the group’s idea, the need it addresses, precedents and challenges to development. Groups will present their final work to a public audience at Science Gallery Dublin in the last week of the module.
  • SELF ASSESSMENT (10%) - Students will carry out a self assessment of their participation and learning on the course.
  • WEEKLY RESPONSE (15%) - Students will respond in 140 characters online weekly with an image/ text to a question proposed by the module leader.

Who can take this Trinity Elective?

  • Any student eligible to take a Trinity Elective can select this Trinity Elective.


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