Students with hanging mechanical device.

Coalesce: Center for Biological Arts is a hybrid studio laboratory facility dedicated to enabling hands-on creative engagement with the tools and technologies from the life sciences.

Coalesce Connects Disciplines

Coalesce is a center where artists, designers, and architects actively learn, use and create. With the shared medium of life sciences technologies, scientists explore new forms or broader cultural meanings of their work, and philosophers, writers and social scientists interact in a tangible way with the processes of life sciences. Coalesce encourages researchers and artists to challenge disciplinary labels and incubate hybrid creative practices.

Coalesce Responds to the Grand Challenge

From medicine to the environment, from stem cells to microbes, from genes to biomes, much of the US public is ill prepared to evaluate the most complex questions, challenges, and issues facing our society today.  “What does it mean to design a living organism?” “What aspects of such an organism could be called an invention… or an artwork?” “How do we presently define life?” Coalesce complements UB’s expertise in the life sciences by addressing questions and issues vital to public understanding and participation, beyond the analytical constraints of most disciplines.

Coalesce Is Part of GEM

Coalesce is a major facet of UB's Genome, Environment and Microbiome Community of Excellence (GEM), establishing a dedicated studio laboratory for biological art and emerging practices in the arts, as well as graduate positions, interdisciplinary coursework, residency opportunities, DIY workshops and exhibitions.

This hybrid facility encourages creative engagement, creating a place where:

  • artists, designers and architects actively learn use and create, using life sciences technologies as their medium;
  • scientists explore broader cultural meanings of their work; and 
  • philosophers, writers and social scientists interact in a tangible way with the processes of the life sciences.