The origins of transArts


transArts Center for Applied Transdisciplinary Research for the Performing Arts− is the first non-profit center and network for applied transdisciplinary research for the Performing Arts. It is the result of years of transdisciplinary studies gathered since 2004 at Collegium Helveticum. transArts is a joint effort of transArts and the Collegium Helveticum.

The Collegium Helveticum of the University Zurich and the ETH Zurich, founded by the ETH Zurich in 1997, is a forum for dialogue within the sciences. It aims to create a more in-depth discourse between different disciplines. The core and primary vision of the Collegium is interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration and interchange of ideas among the natural, technical, medical and social sciences, the humanities, and arts.

Indeed, the Collegium Helveticum perceives transdisciplinarity as an indispensable element of its research projects. In an attempt to set into practice theoretical insights and practical knowledge, Collegium Director Prof. Gerd Folkers, together with Senior Scientific Assistant Dr. Victor Candia, were looking for an adequate platform to put into practice their ideas concerning applied transdisciplinary research.

Consequently, the field of performance-related research and the Swiss National Foundation-funded project, Toward a science of music performance, gave an extraordinary window of opportunity. The project follows a largely instrumental perspective (see below for an explanation), enabling a well-defined, applied transdisciplinary goal that involves technology, science and the performing arts. However, because of the wide interest and vast number of research questions, a single project no longer fitted as the right platform. Subsequently, transArts was born as a Center for Applied Transdisciplinary Research for the Performing Arts, creating a wider space to work out the vast number of research questions involving participants belonging to different domains of expertise.