Creative Sparks: Creative and STEM courses complement one another

The #CreativeSparks phase of MadeAtUni showcases the contribution of UK universities to the nation’s creative industries and future economic success. We’ve spoken to Principals about the far-reaching benefits of the creative and performing arts.

We asked Professor Steve Olivier, Principal of Robert Gordon University, how STEM benefits from the creative arts and how he sees that in practical terms in his own institution.

Creativity is at the heart of the curriculum at RGU. We realise creative and STEM courses are not mutually exclusive but can instead, complement one another and offer a ‘rich mix’ to learning and innovation.

RGU’s Startup Accelerator programme, the first funded programme of its kind in the North East of Scotland, brings together creativity and STEM. A notable success story from the project includes product design company, Origin, set up as a ‘start up’ collaboration by Gray’s School of Art academics and students in 2019. The company combines creativity with technology and has found innovative ways of recycling plastic into new products that are locally collected, recycled and produced. The start-up shows how innovative product design and creative thinking are being used to re-think the circular economy. It also demonstrates how the creative arts can act as a means to ‘humanise’ STEM, to encourage public engagement and participation and utilise advances in technology to streamline circular consumption.