Workshop Overview

Making Space is an in-person multi-day workshop about space, sciart, and making where we use and create data-driven art as a tool to explore and communicate scientific concepts and discuss humanity’s relationship to space. This workshop is targeted towards an adult audience with backgrounds (hobby or professional) in art and making, science/engineering, and/or education. We will accommodate any art medium that is practical within venue constraints, including 2/3D visual arts, writing, music, and dance. The size for each workshop will be capped at ~30 participants to maintain the right atmosphere for collaborative discussion and art-making. 

There is some variation in the workshop length and format depending on the venue and dates. Most workshops are held in-person over three days +/- a half day, with a short virtual followup on a weekend post-event. In-person full days run on an approximate 9 am to 5 pm (or 10-6) schedule, again depending on the venue. The goal of having the workshop over multiple days is to enable plenty of time for the discussion, art-making, and social bonding that make the experience substantive. Participants are expected to attend all days during the in-person event, though the virtual day is optional.

Day 1 typically will have the most talks and require the most focused attention. Day 2 is approximately half talks and half art making, while Day 3 is nearly all art making. Art making activities are done in small groups or as parallel play, where individuals work on their own projects alongside others who may or may not be doing the same project. This provides a very relaxing environment where participants are free to create at their own pace, talk, and move around.

  • Overview talks: Main talks by organizers will focus on the goals of the workshop, role of SciArt in society, and science-art connections.
  • Full or small group discussions are interspersed throughout the talks focused on how and why we explore space.
  • Science/Art Plenary: Each workshop will have a science theme featuring one or more talks from local scientists on a specific NASA mission or research group. For example, the Tucson workshop featured guest speakers from the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. Events also have an art plenary by a local artist doing work which relates to the science theme and/or to the societal / civic engagement topics of discussion.
  • Topicals: Short (~10-20 min) talks by guest scientists (in-person and/or via Zoom) will discuss a range of other topics in planetary science. Plenty of time for questions and discussion with the scientists will be included for each talk.
  • Group Art Prompts: Collaborative art activities in small groups promote discussion around intersections between exploration and creativity, as well as relate to topics in society and civic engagement.
  • Labs: Labs are hands-on art making activities where participants learn a scientific concept and/or a technique in combining science and art by creating a piece of science-driven art following a prepared lesson. These make up about half of the workshop and are the most fun part! They are designed to be self-guided so that individuals or small groups can work on them at their own pace, with instructors floating from group to group to help. The instructions can be followed as written, or serve as inspiration for participants to take in their own direction. Most labs will be available in each lab session, allowing participants to choose what they’d like to do. In some cases, labs by guest instructors may be only available at specific times. 
  • SciArt Practical: The goal of this workshop is to introduce participants to scientific ideas, tools, and resources which they will use to create their own piece of science-driven artwork at the end of the workshop. Time will be spent during the main workshop to outline what participants wish to create. After the in-person event, participants will take their ideas home and create their own work before the virtual followup. The final virtual day will be used for the participants to “show & tell” their completed works or works in progress. There will be an opportunity later in the year to exhibit these works at the annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition.

See example three-day schedule