Metabolight: UCL Medical physics and Bioengineering public engagement programme
Winner of ‘Best Research Group project’ at UCL Engineering Engagement Awards
We were awarded Wellcome Trust funding as part of a UCL public engagement project to communicate new research by UCL’s Dept of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, researching medical applications of near-infrared spectroscopy.
The project, which we named MetaboLight, is about the development of a new, light based technique to help diagnose brain injuries in newborn babies.
Logo and visual identity
We worked with the team to come up with a project name and produced the visual identity and printed magazine also available online.
We helped pick a name for the project and team that would communicate their research area and be accessible to non-specialist audiences.
The logo – based on a super-simplified schematic image of a brain – can adapt to different contexts, appearing in single colour or as a virtual or actual 3D ‘stencil’ with light or other imagery shining through, or in.
The logo and brand works in other contexts, including t-shirts, badges, the exhibit, as well as print material we designed.
We designed the website to:
– showcase the research in language catered to non-specialists
– provide a context for the film and other resources
– record our public engagement process.
Alongside the structural design and programming, we created the content through copy writing, illustrations, animations and specially commissioned photo-shoots at UCL and UCLH.
Visit the website here.
We created a 4-minute film to be shown at public engagement and educational events showing medical applications of near-infrared spectroscopy. The film combines filmed footage with digital animations.
We are hoping to produce a second film for the medical context, aimed at raising awareness for parents
In 2017 the Wellcome Trust funded a public engagement project to communicate new research by UCL’s Dept of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, researching medical applications of near-infrared spectroscopy.
The MetaboLight project is about the development of a new, light based technique to help diagnose brain injuries in newborn babies.
The publications are primarily aimed at A-level science students but they are designed to be accessible to non specialist audiences.
The publications simplify dense and complicated scientific concepts and papers and presents them in an engaging and visual way. They accompany the team at exhibitions and events to help them share their research and technology with the public.
Interactive science communication exhibit
As part of the MetaboLight project, we designed and built a portable, interactive display unit for the team to use at science festivals throughout the UK.
Our exhibit includes an integrated demonstration space with interchangeable elements for information and animations, area to display the interactive pieces relative to that particular festival, and a tall, internally lit beacon situated above the display to attract visitors.
We launched the exhibit and video with the MetaboLight team at UCL on 12 July 2017.
The interactive exhibit is being displayed at a series of science festivals between 2017–2019. It includes an integrated demonstration space with interchangeable elements for information and animations, area to display interactive equipment, and a tall, internally lit beacon situated above the display to draw attention.
Our cost effective solution for the portable exhibit involved customising £5 Ikea Lack side tables. It was featured on Ikea Hackers.
‘The footfall for the 9 days in the Forum was approximately 75,000… The MetaboLight stand looked fantastic and was very engaging!’
– Norwich Science Festival organiser, Natalie Bailey
The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition
Open now until Sunday 7 July!
Come and experience the installation we produced for UCL’s MetaboLight team of engineers, scientists and doctors for the 2019 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.
Listen to Claudia Hammond’s BBC World Service interview recorded live at the Royal Society: Lighting the brain after birth’ – The infra-red device that can detect brain damage within minutes of a baby being born.
In addition to our original Ikea table interactive exhibit, UCL managed to secure a 3 square metre room alongside the Royal Society’s anteroom where we installed a simulated neonatal intensive care unit for visitors to experience the technology in its hospital context.
‘An absolute pleasure to work with the Design Science team and Anne. I and the MetaboLight team learned a lot and I am very proud of what we have achieved.’
– Ilias Tachtsidis, Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow and Reader in Biomedical Engineering
We conducted a survey and photoshoot at UCLH in consultation with clinician Subhabrata Mitra, to capture the look and feel of the unit and to provide us with an accurate record of each of the pieces of equipment we needed to present within our exhibit.