Institut Polytechnique de Paris
Ecole Polytechnique ENSTA Ecole des Ponts ENSAE Télécom Paris Télécom SudParis

SPIRAL - Interdisciplinary Center Science, People, Imagination, Research, Art, all Linked!

An interdisciplinary centre bringing together the arts and sciences in a unique ecosystem, based on hybrid researcher-creators, to create a catalyst for technological and societal innovations and to train our engineers to imagine futures and worlds, together with citizens.
SPIRAL - Interdisciplinary Center Science, People, Imagination, Research, Art, all Linked!

The ubiquity of digital technologies and the emergence of collaborative practices have radically changed our lifestyles, bringing both progress and threats. Such highly innovative areas as 3Ddesign, the metaverses, social networks, augmented reality, web3 and others have the potential to trigger the next digital disruption. We are convinced that only a hybrid approach, integrating science education and artistic projects, will enable us to anticipate these major scientific, economic, and societal challenges.

Launched on June 21st, 2023, the SPIRAL centre aims to become an internationally renowned centre that will contribute to the imagination of sustainable digital worlds and put France and Europe back in the vanguard of cultural and creative content production. In the innovative spirit of the MIT Media Lab, we will host artists, top faculty, and international students engaged in a research-creative practice. Together, they will advance both technological and sociological perspectives and contribute to the production of new forms of knowledge and teaching that will inspire a new kind of strategic thinking.

The SPIRAL centre comprises 80 academics working in eight associated areas of expertise:

  • Design, from drawing to prototype 
  • Museography, heritage 
  • Artistic performances
  • Social interactions
  • Sound, from acoustics to music 
  • Storytelling, storyboarding… 
  • Video Game, interactivity
  • Virtual & augmented realities 

The SPIRAL center is a partner in two winning projects of the France 2030 program: a museum metaverse (call for proposals on digitizing heritage, Ministry of Culture) and an educational metaverse (call for proposals iDemo, BPI).

  • Education: Enhancing the inventiveness of engineers via introducing new educational programmes dedicated to design, creation, and storytelling techniques...
  • Pedagogical approach: Placing imagination at the centre of learning, so that students become the driving force of their own personal development. Producing interactive scientific content and immersive experiences for the public.
  • Research: Increasing the number of doctoral students and research projects integrating new technologies, fundamental sciences, and societal applications.
  • Innovation: Boosting the visibility of the field and supporting the initiation and development of entrepreneurial projects.
  • Culture: Offering co-creation residencies to artists and engineers from the industrial sector to provide them with research time.
  • Outreach: Establishing an annual festival drawing on the arts to disseminate scientific knowledge and examine ethical issues. Organising summer schools, exhibitions, and conferences.
  • Raphaël Granier de Cassagnac, SPIRAL spokesperson, research director at CNRS, holder of the “Science et Video games” chair at Ecole Polytechnique. 
  • Frédéric Brechenmacher, history of science professor at Ecole Polytechnique, chairman of the Mus’X scientific committee. 
  • Marie-Paule Cani, computer graphics professor at Ecole Polytechnique, member of the French Academy of Sciences. 
  • Jean-Marc Chomaz, research director at CNRS, holder of the “Arts and Sciences” chair at Ecole Polytechnique. 
  • Olivier Doaré, professor at ENSTA Paris, electroacoustic researcher.
  • Olivier Fournout, associate professor in management science and sociology at Télécom Paris. 
  • Samuel Huron, senior lecturer in design, research in data visualisation and representation. 
  • Audrey Mallet, historian, head of the language and culture department at ENSAE Paris. 
  • Titus Zaharia, professor at Télécom SudParis, electronics and communication engineer, researcher.