By Adel Al-Salloum, Head of Creative Partnerships for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK


Over the coming months, the British Science Association (BSA) will be collaborating with UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK on a number of our established programmes, including the British Science Festival and British Science Week.

Together, we aim to better understand young people’s views on the role of science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM) in their lives. We want to provide more young people with an opportunity to learn about the potential for creativity within STEAM and how a multidisciplinary approach can help us better tackle global challenges.

To kick things off, Adel Al-Salloum, Head of Creative Partnerships for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK tells us about UNBOXED and their journey so far.  

Exciting things happen when science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) mix together in new and unforeseen ways.

We believe that the most impressive and important developments in society are taking place at the convergence of these fields, with new initiatives in business, environmental conservation and healthcare drawing on the knowledge and talent of people collaborating across these different areas. 

Science and technology might combine to create new diagnostic tools for health issues, while arts and maths might help people better understand complicated analytical concepts through striking illustrations.

These opportunities for creative cross-disciplinary collaboration are truly unlimited – just think of the internet or an airplane – however they are only possible when we take a step back and use creative thinking to figure out how they can be combined.

Where does UNBOXED fit into this?

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK was created to showcase this potential for collective, cross-sector creativity – becoming one of the most ambitious projects of creative collaboration ever staged in the UK. The project has two key objectives:

  • To bring people together and
  • To celebrate collective creativity.

To achieve these objectives, the programme features 10 very different projects bringing together an astonishing variety of people, from scientists to musicians, designers to technologists, and architects to astrophysicists. The finished work and its response has been a joy to see.

Our first commission, About Us, involved Stemettes, an organisation co-founded by the BSA’s incoming President, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE. The free open-air spectacular event enthralled over 100,000 people in five locations across the UK.

Our Place in Space saw tens of thousands of people journey through its 10km sculpture trail of the solar system in Derry-Londonderry – the first of the four locations the project is visiting.

Whilst StoryTrails will open in Northern Ireland on 1 July, bringing lost and untold stories that shaped our communities, towns and cities to life through new technologies, found in streets, squares and local libraries.

And Dreamachine, a sublime immersive experience taking audiences on a journey to explore their own minds, across London, Cardiff, Belfast, and Edinburgh. An extension of this project Dreamachine Schools, was developed in partnership with the BSA among other organisations, offering teaching resources for classrooms to investigate the power of the human mind. 

Read our recent blog on Dreamachine Schools

The remaining six projects are: Tour de Moon, Dandelion, Green Spaces Dark Skies, SEE MONSTER, GALWAD and PoliNations.

If that sounds like a lot to take in, we agree. Each commission is incredibly different, and none can be easily explained in a single sentence. If you’d like to learn more about each project, our website gives you the details including how you can experience it in person or online.

Enthralling live audiences, however, is only one part of our aim.

Find out more about the UNBOXED projects

Schools learning programme

Domestically, we are engaging thousands of young people with the aim to inspire them to pursue a future career in the creative industries. This will further the conversation on how crucial creative skills will be across STEAM in the UK and globally.

To date, more than 75,000 school children and young people have engaged in classroom activities and over 50 creative partnerships have been mobilised across the STEM and arts education sectors through UNBOXED. Developed by educational experts, our free learning resources are designed for young people aged 4-19 in schools and alternative learning settings in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and for anyone who works within them.

For more details visit

This programme exists to celebrate the plurality of ideas, voices and perspectives of the people that are creating it and experiencing it.

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK will leave a lasting legacy through its investment into the creative future of the UK. Our project is supporting the jobs and the creative ambition of almost 2000 people, and we seek to play a critical part in our creative industries’ recovery, advancing creativity through STEAM and supporting new talent to work in the industries they love.

To learn more about UNBOXED and to sign up to their newsletter and visit 

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