Workshops, conferences, public lectures, family activities all gravitating around communicating Thinking 3D’s world.


Symmetry and geometry: the mathematical legacy of Sir Michael Atiyah​​​​​

Date: TBC
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Oxford
Speaker: Professor Frances Kirwan
Contact: Janet Walwyn | | 01865 287156 | 01865 287156

Description: This year marks four centuries since the founding of the Savilian chairs of Geometry and Astronomy. Sir Michael Atiyah OM, who died in January, was one of the most illustrious holders of the geometry chair; indeed he was one of the giants of twentieth century mathematics. His legacy stretches across all areas of geometry, and touches much of modern mathematical research. Among his varied interests, he was fascinated by the use of symmetry to help answer geometric questions, and one of his many important discoveries was that convexity can be used to understand geometric objects with suitable symmetries.

This event is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance. For more info and booking see here.


Under the Skin: Life Drawing​

Date: 19 February 2020, 16:00-21:00
Venue: Royal College of Physicians Museum, London.
Speakers: Led by London Drawing.

Description: Take part in a unique life drawing class inspired by the history of anatomical illustration found in the Royal College of Physicians collections to coincide with the current exhibition: Under the skin: art, anatomy and identity. Including a guided tour of the exhibition, draw from life with a live model and explore the fabric of the human body from the inside out with a series of guided drawing and creative techniques including chalk and charcoal, quick draw exercises, paper cutting and collage.

Observe in the exhibition how physicians, artists and printmakers have developed tools and techniques to illustrate human anatomy, creating masterpieces of art and science and communicating what is hidden inside the human form. Including a guided tour of the exhibition, draw from life with a live model through a series of guided drawing and creative techniques including chalk and charcoal, quick draw exercises, paper cutting and collage.

London Drawing is a collaboration between professional artists, tutors, directed by Anne Noble-Partridge. Combining over 20 years of teaching experience and current professional practice, London Drawing have worked with major arts institutions, galleries including Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Barbican and the Design Museum. Their bespoke workshops are hands-on, creative sessions, designed to be challenging, fun and informative, using a combination of performers, sound, lighting, props, visual effects, drawing techniques and exciting materials to create a unique visual drawing experience. London Drawing aims to re-invent life drawing and drawing in an environment suitable for all levels of ability, designed to encourage confidence and inspire.

Pre-booking is essential and places are limited. Suitable for all levels of ability over 16 years. Ticket price includes a tour of the exhibition, all materials for the class and light refreshments (tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits). For more info and booking see here.

Thinking 3D Seminar and Exhibition Tour​​​

Date: 20 January 2020, 14:30-16:00
Venue: Magdalen College and the Treasury of the Weston Library, Oxford.
Speakers: Professor William Whyte (St John’s College), Dr Karl Kinsella (Lincoln College), Dr Emanuela Vai (Worcester College), Daryl Green (Magdalen College, co-director of Thinking 3D).

Description: Across the country, major galleries and libraries have been mounting exhibitions timed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. The University of Oxford’s special exhibition showcases some of the Bodleian Libraries’ finest books, manuscripts, prints and drawings to tell the story of the development of three-dimensional communication over the last 500 years. For centuries, artists and scientists have wrestled with how to convey three-dimensional objects – including architecture - on the page. As the curators of this special exhibition write: ‘Thinking 3D explores how art, technology and science have influenced each other over the centuries, allowing three-dimensional concepts and observations to be shared from the mind of the author to the mind of the reader, and dramatically expanding our understanding of the world around us’ (Daryl Green and Laura Moretti).

The exhibition shows how new techniques, developed from the Renaissance onwards, revolutionized the way that ideas in the fields of anatomy, architecture, astronomy and geometry were relayed and ultimately how this has influenced how we perceive the world today. Thinking 3D shows how Leonardo and his contemporaries made great strides in the realistic depiction of 3D forms, explores technological advances up to the present day, including 3D modelling, photography and stereoscopy; and also highlights the works of modern practitioners and researchers in Oxford.

This lecture is free to attend, though spaces are limited, so booking is essential. For more info and booking see here.

Whose body is it anyway? Art, anatomy and medicine panel discussion

Date: 20 November 2019, 18:00-20:30
Venue: Royal College of Physicians, 11 Saint Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE
Speakers: Various, chair Katie Birkwood
Contact: Natalie Craven | Public Programmes Officer | | +44 (0)20 3075 1510

Description: Who are the bodies we see in art, in medical textbooks, an image search for a weird rash or in a medical museum? How were these images sourced? How much control does the patient have today? Join us to investigate the bodies behind these images. A panel of artists who work across the fields of art and science, a consultant radiologist and medical illustrator will examine the who, what and where of medical illustration, whilst taking a closer look at how contemporary art approaches these issues and what the latest imaging technologies can and can’t reveal about our bodies.

For more info and booking see here.

Live streaming available here.

Thinking 3D: history of science collections in Oxford colleges

Date: 25 October 2019, 13:00-16:30
Venues: Wadham College, Magdalen College, Lincoln College, Merton College, Somerville College, Worcester College, Balliol College, Wadham College, University College, St John’s College, Brasenose College, Christ Church and Hertford College

Description: Following on from the success of Initial Impressions in 2018, a number of Oxford college libraries will be opening their doors in 2019 for a unique one-day event, free to the public. On 25 October 2019, from 14:00-16:30, a dozen Oxford colleges will be putting on displays of collections, ranging from medieval wonders to modern archives, broadly laced together on the theme of “history of science” as a celebration of Thinking 3D in Oxford.

The open-doors event will be preceded by an orientation seminar from 13:00-14:00 at Wadham College, where an introduction to Thinking 3D will be given by the project’s co-directors and several librarians will give short presentations on what kinds of things will be on display in their colleges. The open event will culminate with a lecture by Professor Martin Kemp at 17:30 in Merton College, “Drawing as Visual Knowledge”.


Drawing as Visual Knowledge. Leonardo’s Answers

Date: 25 October 2019, 17:30-19:00
Venue: T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College, Merton Street, Oxford
Speaker: Professor Martin Kemp

Description: To culminate the open doors event being hosted across a dozen Oxford colleges, Professor Martin Kemp will deliver a lecture on the role of art in science, and vice versa. During the Renaissance techniques of representation were developed that relied upon the inputting of data about space, light and form such that the same data was extractable either by intuition of or analysis. This is not the same as saying that the images correspond to “how we see” but that they rely upon “how we understand” acts of systematic depiction across the visual arts, science and technologies. The drawings of Leonardo da Vinci will play a central role.

The event is free but booking is essential. For more info and booking see here

3D Thinking and the Digital Takeover

Date: 16 October 2019, 13:00-13:45
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Oxford
Speaker: Jim Eyre, Director, Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Contact: Janet Walwyn | | 01865 287156 | 01865 287156

Description: This talk will explore how the design process in architecture is being influenced by the tools that we use to develop our designs, opening up new possibilities. Through a series of Wilkinson Eyre’s projects, it will be seen how the process of design, and therefore thought, is changing. Architects who learnt their skills drawing by hand now work with young colleagues who seldom hand draw. The latter will lead the way in digitally enabled architecture of the future which will be based on better analysis and data sets, but will the artistry remain?

This event is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance. Please note, there is a £1 booking fee added to each booking. For more info and booking see here.

Thinking 3D: Architecture & Audience

Dates: 27-28 September 2019
Venue: The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford
Speakers/Presenters: Noam Andrews, Paul Davies, Elizabeth Deans Romariz, Jesús Escobar,Sara Galletti, David Hemsoll, Deborah Howard, Frédérique Lemerle, Tod Marder, Emanuela Vai, Michael Waters.
Poster Presentations: Chloé Demonet, Erin Giffin, Nick Mols.
Contact: Dr Katie Jakobiec |

Description: During the Renaissance, representing three-dimensional form in two-dimensional media was a recognized skill and a virtuoso display of talent. As illustrations of three-dimensional subjects became more prevalent, it also effected the development of the disciplines and the professions. Communicating architectural form was central to established and new audiences with an interest in the practical and theoretical issues of building.

Funded by the Scott Opler Fund and supported by Thinking 3D.

The event is free but booking is essential. For more info and booking see here


An 18th century Renaissance: the Leonardo drawings that no one saw

Date: 12 September 2019, 16:00
Venue: Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Speakers: Daryl Green

Description: This talk will open the exhibition Thinking 3D: Visualizing the Brain from the Renaissance to the Present at the Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University. The exhibition focuses on the origins of modern neuroscience, exploring human perception through studies and imagery of the brain. From sixteenth-century works of anatomists like Andreas Vesalius to stereograms and three-dimensional models of the human brain, the exhibition examines the ways that physicians, anatomists, and scientists have sought to depict and explain brain anatomy and function.

For more info see here.

Thinking of Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years on

Date: 25 July 2019, 13:00
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Oxford
Speakers: Dr Matthew Landrus
Contact: Janet Walwyn | | +44 (0) 1865 287156

Description: For over five hundred years Leonardo da Vinci has earned praise as one of the great thinkers of all-time. As a painter, engineer, natural philosopher, or anatomist – or in a number of other professions – Leonardo is known for his exceptional investigative and inventive approaches.

What sets him apart from his contemporaries, and those who have followed in successive centuries, is also a combination of two primary circumstances: his ability to solve complex three-dimensional problems on two-dimensional surfaces, and the unusual survival of this evidence on nearly 6000 notebook pages and two dozen paintings; by conservative estimates this is only a quarter of his original output. The quincentenary of Leonardo’s death offers an opportunity to reflect upon his legacy, while also questioning what he wanted others to remember of him. The rare survival of so much informative material is due in part to his interest in thinking on paper, collecting information, and sharing those ideas with others.

For Thinking 3D: from Leonardo to the present, the 2019 Bodleian Treasury Exhibition, the selection of Leonardo drawings addresses primarily his personal intellectual interests during his last eleven years. He revisited during this late period a programme of writing an ambitious series of books, begun twenty years earlier, covering a broad range of topics.

The lecture and discussion will address this approach by Leonardo to the final developments of his treatise programme, particularly with regard to drawings in the exhibition.

For more info and booking see here.

Seeing the unseen: how do astronomers perceive the universe in the 21st century?

Date: 27 June 2019, 13:00
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Oxford
Speakers: Professor Steven Balbus
Contact: Janet Walwyn | | +44 (0) 1865 287156

Description: The traditional image of the astronomer peering through the eyepiece of a telescope and recording data is badly dated. Modern astronomy makes use, not only of the light our eyes can perceive, but of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to gamma radiation. At the end of the 20th century, astronomers learned how to use what amounts to star-quakes to peer inside the sun and deduce its internal structure. Most amazingly, in the last few years we have learned how to detect gravity in its radiant form, so that we can now see the darkest objects of all: black holes. In this presentation, Professor Balbus will review these achievements and speculate on what the future will bring.

For more info and booking see here.

Thinking 3D: Space & Time

Date: 22 June 2019
Venue: Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford
Speakers: Jim Bennett; Peter Bellerby; Emma Chapman; Colin Wilson; Steven Balbus; Daryl Green; Chris Lintott

Description: The Department of Physics and Magdalen College, are happy to announce this fantastic event, part of the Thinking 3D programme, that we will host together for alumni & general public.

This event is part of a wider programme of events, a year-long series of exhibitions, events, public talks, gallery shows, and academic symposia intended to incite dialogue between artists, art and book historians, mathematicians, astronomers, geometers, earth scientists, botanists, chemists, and more.



Thinking 3D: growing an international series of exhibitions and events

Date: 20 June 2019, 14:00
Venue: Senate House, London
Speaker: Daryl Green

A talk about the journey to Thinking 3D and the upcoming events and exhibitions.

Part of the Book and Print Initiative.

For more info see here.

Visualising volume: making models with laser scanning

Date: 17-18 June 2019
Venue: Auditorium, St John’s College, Oxford
Speakers: Clancy Wilmott (University of Manchester); Alexander Shenkin (University of Oxford) and Alice Ladenburg; Robert Shaw (The Discovery Programme) and Sterling Mackinnon (University of Oxford); Paul Chapman (Glasgow School of Art); Sam Hind (University of Siegen)
Contact: dvcultural

Description: A digital | visual | cultural event. This event explores the technologies and conventions of making three-dimensional digital models using laser scanning techniques. A range of speakers will explore the theoretical and practical implications of laser scans in different contexts, including at threatened heritage sites, in ecological fieldwork, and in museums. For more information please visit the website

Picturing the passion flower. Art, science and religion in the early modern period

Date: 13 June 2019, 17:30
Venue: Daubeny Laboratory, Magdalen College
Speakers: Dr José Ramon Marcaida Lopez

Booking is free, RSVP essential (email or phone 01865 276045).

Event organised and supported by Magdalen College, Oxford and the School of Art History, University of St Andrews.

Thinking 3D: Library Lates

Date: 12 June 2019, 19:00-21:00
Venue: Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Oxford
Contact: Education |

Description: How did humans first learn to communicate a three-dimensional idea on the two-dimensional page? What can we learn from past attempts by great thinkers like Leonardo, with his heart of glass? And whose work is pushing the boundaries of three-dimensionality in Oxford today?

Join us for an evening of interactive displays from the cutting edges of medicine and astronomy, dancers interpreting the irregular heart, invisible fundamental particles, DNA origami in virtual reality, and the polyhedron toothpick challenge. At this Library Late you’ll experience the third dimension - and beyond - as you never have before.


Of New Celestial Wonders: How the telescope has transformed human understanding, 1609-2019

Date: 15 April 2019, 17:15
Venue: Upper Library, Christ Church, Oxford
Speakers: Dr Allan Chapman
Contact: Dr Cristina Neagu | | +44 (0) 1865 276265

Description: On 26th July, 1609, at 9 pm, Thomas Harriott, formerly of St Mary’s Hall, Oriel College, Oxford, used his newly acquired ‘Dutch Truncke’, or telescope, to draw the first map of the moon. It appeared radically different from the moon as it appeared to the naked eye. Harriot’s map still survives. Four months later, Galileo in Padua did the same. Two simple lenses in a tube, it seemed, revealed new celestial wonders, which soon included Jupiter’s satellites, sunspots, the stars of the Milky Way, and much else besides. Telescopes improved rapidly, even opening the prospect of discovering intelligent beings on other worlds. Then new technologies such as photography and chemical spectroscopy came to be in the Victorian age, with the giant American mountain top telescopes in the 20th century, revealing distant galaxies, and predicating a universe expanding from a ‘Big Bang’, while space telescopes and telescope carrying space probes reveal details on Pluto, as well the presence of distant exo-planets. Yet the real wonder of the telescope lay in its power to reveal worlds invisible to our ordinary senses. And once that principle had sunk into human understanding, then a whole new mass of sense-enhancing technologies would be developed, from Robert Hooke’s Microscope which revealed minute organic structures, down to non-intrusive scanning machines in our hospitals which reveal the internal workings of our bodies. But this is not just a story about clever devices. It is also about the ingenious men and women who have invented, developed, improved, and used them; and who still continue to do so today.

The talk complements the exhibition Thinking 3D: The Mathematics of Space in the Upper Library.

For more info see here.

Thinking 3D: On the Fabric of the Human Body

Date: 11 April 2019, 19:00
Venue: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Speaker: Dr Laura Moretti
Contact: Clare Harrison | +44 (0) 141 221 6072

Description: Over the centuries, medical illustrators have brought anatomical books to life creating stunning representations of the human body. In this special event we look at how these talented artists successfully communicated three-dimensional forms in two-dimensional media. We’ll be joined by Laura Moretti from St Andrews University and there will be an exhibition of our anatomy books which date from the 1500s.

For more info and booking see here.

Leonardo to Present: The Story of the Heart

Date: 2 April 2019, 13:00
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford
Speaker: Professor Robin Choudhury
Contact: | +44 (0)7444 318986

Description: Cardiologist Professor Robin Choudhury examines depictions of the heart from Leonardo da Vinci to the present day, exploring how the thinking of the day was reflected in images of the heart. Choudury questions how and why the heart has retained its pre-eminence as the site of love, passion and emotion even as some of its more literal functions have been revealed.

Choudhury is a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Oxford University, a fellow of Balliol College and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He is a practising interventional cardiologist with expertise in the emergency treatment of heart attack and is director of the Oxford Acute Vascular Imaging Centre – a unique facility for clinical research in patients suffering heart attack and stroke.

For more info and booking see here.

Thinking 3D: Byrne-Bussey Marconi talk at the Bodleian Libraries

Date: 21 March 2019, 13:00
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford
Speakers: Dr Laura Moretti, Mr Daryl Green
Contact: Janet Walwyn | | +44 (0)1865 287156

Description: Thinking 3D is an interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of three-dimensionality and its impact on the arts and sciences, co-investigated by Laura Moretti and Daryl Green, culminating in a wide range of exhibitions and events across Oxford in 2019. The Bodleian Treasury exhibition in 2019, Thinking 3D from Leonardo to Present, will present an overview of the entire project, offering a comprehensive understanding of the development of communicating three-dimensional concepts via two-dimensional media.

This Byrne-Bussey Marconi Lecture will tell the story of the inception of Thinking 3D via a number of landmark texts which are shaping the narrative and informing the curatorial work on the main exhibition.

See also here.

Artists under the skin: exhibition launch and lecture

Date: 6 February 2019, 18:00
Venue: Royal College of Physicians, 11 Saint Andrews Place, London NW1 4LE (view map)
Speaker: Annette Wickham
Booking: Eventbrite

Description: Launching the new exhibition Under the skin: Illustrating the human body, Annette Wickham, curator of works on paper at the Royal Academy of Arts will talk about artists’ engagement with anatomy, and the ways they have devised for representing the three dimensionality of the body.

Physicians, surgeons, artists and printers throughout history have developed tools and techniques to illustrate human anatomy, and to communicate what is hidden inside the human form. Their efforts to represent the layers of the three-dimensional body on a two-dimensional page are masterpieces of art and science.

Through 2D drawings, prints and illustrations and 3D écorché figures, many of which drawn from the RA’s collections, this lecture will explore artists’ exploration of anatomy in predominantly the 18th and 19th centuries, whilst addressing the controversial question of how much anatomical knowledge artists really needed.


See also here.

An Eye for 3D

Date: 17 October 2018, 16:30
Venue: University of St Andrews, School of Art History Foyer
Speaker: Dr Laura Moretti

Description: Small intimate curatorial talk within the exhibition hosted by Dr Laura Moretti. Hear how the exhibition and project came together using various university collections.

Organised in conjunction with the exhibition An Eye for 3D. Teaching Anatomy at St Andrews held at the School of Art History Foyer, 1-19 October 2018.

Supported by the School of Art History, University of St Andrews and Thinking 3D.

Teaching Anatomy in 3D with Special Collections

Date: 17 October 2018, 17:00
Venue: University of St Andrews Library, Martyrs Kirk
Speakers: Dr Dhanraj Vishwanath; Mr Denis Pellerin; Dr Laura Moretti

Description: Hosted by Thinking 3D. You will be shown some unique items from Spercial Collections which have aided the teaching of anatomy over the centuries by attempting to illustrate three-dimensionality within the confines of a two-dimensional format.

Organised in conjunction with the exhibition An Eye for 3D. Teaching Anatomy at St Andrews held at the School of Art History Foyer, 1-19 October 2018.

Supported by the School of Art History, University of St Andrews and Thinking 3D.

From the Lagoon to the Library. Venetian Illustrated Books at the University of Edinburgh

Date: 16 April 2018, 14:00
Venue: University of Edinburgh Library, Centre for Research Collections
Speaker: Dr Laura Moretti
Contact: Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh | | +44 (0)131 650 8379

Description: During the Renaissance, Venice became one of the most important European centres for book production and trade. Writers, scholars and artists worked there in collaboration with highly specialised artisans and craftsmen to produce refined and perfected editions, often lavishly illustrated. These objects contributed enormously to the knowledge and appreciation of Italian art, architecture and visual culture over time and throughout space. In her talk, Dr Laura Moretti (University of St Andrews) will present some of the most interesting copies of Venetian illustrated books preserved at the University of Edinburgh Library, and will trace some of the paths they took in their travels from the lagoon to the Scottish institution.

Organised in conjunction with the exhibition Travelling Images: Venetian Illustrated Books at the University of Edinburgh held at the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh, April-June 2018.

Supported by the School of Art History, University of St Andrews and Thinking 3D.