Using sophisticated algorithms to explore regions of the genome whose roles in cancer have been largely uncharted, an international team of researchers has opened the door to a new understanding of the disease's genetic origins.

In this video, students display the beds they designed and built as part of the fall semester course “Extraordinary Processes,” a seminar offered jointly by the Program in Visual Arts and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The beds are equally inspired by the students’ personal creativity and structural principles culled from engineering lab work.

The class is co-taught by Sigrid Adriaenssens, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Joe Scanlan, professor of visual arts.

The class is designed as a series of material investigations in relation to the human body at rest. Each student designed, built, and critically analyzed a custom bed frame that exploits the inherent properties of a singular material – ash wood – across a spectrum of rigid and flexible structures.

The title “Extraordinary Processes” came from the idea that “extreme amounts of invested time and manual labor are capable of transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary,” according to a course description.

The video was created by the Lewis Center for the Arts communication office.


  • Sigrid Adriaenssens

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    Civil and Environmental Engineering