• The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 75 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
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Personal profile


Oron Catts is the Director of SymbioticA, The Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia.

Oron Catts is an artist, researcher, designer and curator whose pioneering work with the Tissue Culture and Art Project which he established in 1996 is considered a leading biological art project. In 2000 he co-founded SymbioticA, a biological art research centre at The University of Western Australia. Under Catts’ leadership SymbioticA has gone on to win the inaugural Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Hybrid Art (2007) the WA Premier Science Award (2008) and became a Centre for Excellence in 2008.

In 2009 Catts was recognised by Thames & Hudson’s “60 Innovators Shaping our Creative Future” book in the category “Beyond Design”, and by Icon Magazine (UK) as one of the top 20 Designers, “making the future and transforming the way we work”.

Catts interest is Life; more specifically the shifting relations and perceptions of life in the light of new knowledge and it applications. Often working in collaboration with other artists (mainly Dr. Ionat Zurr) and scientists, Catts have developed a body of work that speaks volumes about the need for new cultural articulation of evolving concepts of life.

Catts was a Research Fellow in Harvard Medical School, a visiting Scholar at the Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor of Design Interaction (2009-2012), and a Professor at Large in Contestable Design (2015-2017) at the Royal College of Arts, London. In 2012-2013 he set up a biological art lab called Biofilia - Base for Biological Art and Design, at the School of Art, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Helsinki, where he was a Visiting Professor.

Catts’ ideas and projects reach beyond the confines of art; his work is often cited as inspiration to diverse areas such as new materials, textiles, design, architecture, ethics, fiction, and food.

Catts curated nine exhibitions, developed numerous artistic projects and performances. His work was exhibited and collected by museums such as MoMA NY, Mori art Museum, NGV, GoMA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Ars Electronica, National Art Museum of China and more.

His work was covered by The NY Times, Washington Post, Wired, New Scientist, Time, Newsweek and  other TV, radio, print and online media

Roles and responsibilities

BA (Design) with First Class Honours, Curtin University of Technology.
MA (Visual Arts) with Distinction, Curtin University of Technology.
Artist in Residence/visiting Scholar Department of Art and Art History, Stanford Univesity.2007
Research Fellow at the Tissue Engineering and Organ Fabrication Lab, Harvard Medical School,
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. 2000-2001
Artist in residence – School of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia 1996-2000


Art and Biology
Art and Science
Tissue Engineering
Art and Ecology
New Media Art
Art as Research

External positions

Professor at Large, Royal College of Art

1 Nov 20151 Jul 2017

Visiting Professor, Aalto University

1 Aug 20121 Jan 2020


  • Creative Arts
  • Biotechnology
  • Agriculture and Food

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Research Output 2000 2018

Artists working with life (sciences) in contestable settings

Zurr, I. & Catts, O., 2018, In : Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 43, 1, p. 40-53 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
life sciences


Catts, O., Marples, N., Newell, F. & Scarff, L., 2 Mar 2018

Research output: Non-traditional research outputExhibition


The art of fusion: A synthetic approach to create cross-kingdom hypbrids

Cachat, E., Nelson, L., Sachs, D., Bandiera, L., McDonald, A., Szymanski, E., Bates, T., Menolascina, F., Zurr, I., Elfick, A., Calvert, J., Rosser, S. & Catts, O., 2018, (Unpublished).

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Cell Fusion
Fusion reactions

The Citizens of Incubators: Vessels of Care and Control

Zurr, I. & Catts, O., 27 Jul 2018, Biocitizenship: The Politics of Bodies, Governance, and Power. Happe, K. E., Levina, M. & Johnson, J. (eds.). New York : New York University Press, p. 255-273 (Biopolitics).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Unhallowed Arts

Catts, O. (ed.), Wilson, L. (ed.), Viola, E. (ed.), Wilson, L. & Catts, O., 2018, Australia: UWA Publishing. 236 p.

Research output: Book/ReportEdited book/Anthology


Projects 2002 2018

Activities 2018 2018

  • 2 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Quite Frankly

Tarsh Bates (Member of programme committee), Ionat Zurr (Member of programme committee), Oron Catts (Organiser), Christopher Cobilis (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Challenging categories

Tarsh Bates (Organiser), Ionat Zurr (Organiser), Oron Catts (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course