University of Dundee


24 Jul 2013


An acclaimed project mixing fashion with science and which has been seen by over three million people will return to Dundee this week for a special workshop for young people.

`Primitive Streak’ is a collaboration between Professor Kate Storey, of the University of Dundee, and her sister, renowned designer and researcher Professor Helen Storey. They first worked on the project in 1999, creating an innovative and imaginative collection of gowns inspired by the first 1000 hours of life.

As a touring exhibition Primitive Streak attracted thousands of visitors and it is regarded as being of the first major projects mixing art and science to capture the public’s imagination. It has now been by over one million people in eight countries.

This week the Storey sisters will be at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) for a workshop for young people based around Primitive Streak.

Janice Aitken of DJCAD first met Kate Storey when the original Primitive Streak exhibition came to Dundee in 1997, when Janice and Kate facilitated creative workshops to engage young people with the exhibition. More recently, Janice photographed Kate for an exhibition of portraits of women scientists.

On Tuesday 23rd July and Wednesday 24th July in DJCAD, Helen, Kate and Janice will be holding a workshop to engage a new group of young people in the project and the fascinating science behind it. In order to widen access and engage a whole new generation, they will be bringing together the science, the designs and an opportunity to explore possibilities of digital technology.

Janice Aitken said, “The young people will get a chance to see some of the science at first hand then experiment with design processes to explore ways in which they can encourage others to engage with the project. We also have some recent graduates coming along to share some of their ideas and gain valuable experience of working in an experimental yet professional context.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with two of the country’s most innovative researchers. On a personal note, Primitive Streak was a huge influence on my career and my interest in science/art collaborations as it showed how creative minds from different disciplines can come together and create something far greater than the sum of its parts. I’ve since gone on to carry out many projects that use that approach, including the designs for the new Medical School Building windows at Ninewells and the collaborations with Professor Caroline Wilkinson on facial reconstructions.”

Kate Storey, Professor of Neural Development and Head of the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology in the College of Life Sciences at Dundee, said, “It is great to be working with a new generation of young people on this project - making scientific ideas accessible is an incredibly important part of what we do and we need to use the latest technologies to do this."

Helen, through the Helen Storey Foundation, is also engaged in a number of innovative art/science projects including Catalytic Clothing, a project to design ways to absorb pollution through textiles.