About Us

ASCUS Art & Science is a non-profit organisation committed to bridging the gap between art, design and the sciences. We work with partners and practitioners to create innovative trans-disciplinary projects to engage new and wider audiences and facilitate innovative public engagement across these fields

Who we are

ASCUS Art & Science is a non-profit organisation. Founded in 2008 and a registered non-profit company limited by guarantee since 2013, we are an organisation dedicated to building a community of artists, designers, scientists, and other individuals interested in how art, design and science can engage new and wider audiences for both fields. ASCUS is neither an arts nor a scientific body, but an organisation dedicated to developing art-science intersections.

We aim to provide a joint platform for artists, designers and scientists to work together on a diverse array of projects, including science communication, science, art and design collaborative projects, and trans-disciplinary research. ASCUS is based in Edinburgh, but serves as an established hub between like-minded organisations both nationally and internationally.


We believe art, design and the sciences are innovative fields that can benefit from exposure to a diversity of ideas. We want to foster unconventional thinking and build appreciation for, and participation in, the intersections between art, design, science, and related fields.

As a leading advocate for collaboration across these fields, we create opportunities for artists, designers and scientists to connect with each other providing the time and space for facilitating the exchange of ideas. We create new opportunities for professionals from these different backgrounds to work together, with the aim of bringing this work to new and wider audiences. We achieve this by partnering with organisations, institutions and individuals to create new points of access for people to engage with trans-disciplinary practice through our programme of art-science micro-residencies, events, workshops and exhibitions.

Through ASCUS Lab we are building a shared community space for scientists, artists, designers and the public to interact directly with the tools, techniques and ideas of these different fields through DIY experimenting and exploration.


Why are we called ASCUS?

An ascus also is type of cell found in lichen – itself a structure formed by a symbiosis of organisms from two very different kingdoms (fungi and plants), just as we are a symbiosis of creative practitioners and scientists. In lichen, the ascus is the place where spores are produced which then colonise new, barren areas of the world.