KNOOP x UYA: Playfullness in science

Knoop x UYA is a collaboration between the UYA 2021 generation and three artists (Just Rijntjes, Hanna Fleer and Meike Jansen). The project was launched at the Betweter Festival 2022 in TivoliVredenburg and at the Future Health Expo in the Botanical Garden of the UU during the Week van de Wetenschap. This project is currently being further developed for children visiting the Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht (UMU).

Playfulness and creativity should find their way back to academia.

Knoop x UYA is a project that focuses on playfulness in academia. Play and playfulness are good recourse for improving academic work, for remaining resilient as a scientist. It fosters creativity and can challenge perspectives. On top of that playfulness is fun and can help to not focus on the outcome or outputs. A big red inflatable ball, a large orange pillowed cube and a small purple cuddleble pyramid intent to promote playfulness in academia. Each colorful object has its own story. While relaxing on and cuddling with the objects, the recorded stories of the objects invite you to reflect on deep questions regarding your own position in the world, about certain concepts and about the way we perceive others.

I continued thinking of the audio and what it meant for my own perspective. Because it kept me thinking, I liked it best. It fostered my creativity.

A visitor

By handing out stickers for each object visited, visitors are encouraged to exchange their experiences with the objects, to exchange their interpretations of the objects and the science they represent. This results in playful conversations between scientists and between scientist and non-scientist about which object resonated most with them, which one triggered their imagination and how these objects relate to scientific questions and disciplines.