ABSTRACT

When specific metals are cooled to a very low temperature (typically colder than about −200°C), they become superconductive and can make magnets levitate. This paper reports on a collaboration between physicists and designers to exploit this quantum levitation. The main goal of this collaboration was to create artistic displays, experiments and videos to engage a large public with fundamental physics. Beyond its public success, this “SupraDesign” project enabled an encounter between two communities: researchers in physics and designers. The collaboration revealed unexpected similarities in working methods, such as testing through experimentation, engaging in teamwork and making use of creativity in a constraining environment.

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