New Course for Winter 2007 - MSE 493: Energy, Light, Visualization

Max Shtein is co-teaching an interdisciplinary course with the School of Art and Design: "MSE 493 / ArtDes 300-23: Energy, Light, and the Science of Visualization.
New Course for Winter 2007 - MSE 493: Energy, Light, Visualization

MSE 493 Flyer

WHAT: Lead by Max Shtein (Material Science and Engineering) and Matthew Shlian (Art and Design), this upper-division class aims to unite artists, engineers, architects and designers to work collaboratively to develop scientific projects in a studio classroom setting. We will focus on issues of energy harvesting and lighting, combining artistic and scientific methods, and through joint projects seek to gain a greater understanding and improved designs of energy systems.
Course projects will include, but are not limited to:

  • developing energy harvesting and lighting systems using bio-mimicry as a design principle
  • creating new multifunctional textiles (e.g. structural application combined with energy harvesting & lighting)
  • control of potential and kinetic energy using modular unit systems, viewed through engineered paper structures and art
  • developing educational tools for teaching the public about energy issues in engaging new ways

WHY: We are interested in using these and similar projects to explore different learning styles, and to teach artists to think quantitatively, and teach engineers to think visually. The skills gained through this class will include scaling laws, dimensional analysis, computer-aided design, modular and spatial thinking, and effective visualization of ideas.

HOW: Participants will include students, faculty, and experts from the school of art and design, architecture, engineering and the sciences. Students wishing to take part in this collaborative experience must submit a résumé / CV and a one paragraph summary describing their interest in participating in this course. Please e-mail your CVs, questions to: or

WHERE: The course will be held in the studio space provided by the School of Art & Design (North Campus); participants will also use facilities in the Duderstadt Center and the College of Engineering.

WHEN: The class will meet Tue / Thu 1.30 – 4.30 pm.

WHO: Max Shtein is leading a research laboratory in the College of Engineering that focuses on organic and hybrid solid-state energy systems (solar cells, efficient lighting), and teaches a range of courses on this topic in the Materials Science and Engineering Department.
Matt Shlian is a paper artist and a visiting scholar at U of M, who uses engineering principles to design interactive paper structures (pop-up books, packaging, paper sculpture), and is currently collaborating with scientists and engineers to draw artistic inspiration from biological and engineering systems, and is in turn helping scientists to visualize their work in radically new and creative ways.