This feature in Impact is focused on highlighting the "hidden talents" among UTMB's employees. If you have a hidden talent—or know someone who does—please tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Name: Dr. Aisen Caro Chacin
UTMB Talent: Lead designer and developer, UTMB | MakerHealth Space Medical Fabrication Laboratory
Hidden Talent: An artist who loves science; a scientist who loves art
On any given day at UTMB, Dr. Aisen Caro Chacin can be found in the MakerHealth Space Medical Fabrication Laboratory on the Galveston Campus designing and creating prototypes and devices for a variety of projects and initiatives.
Holding a bachelor’s degree in sculpture, a master’s degree in design and technology and a doctorate in human informatics, Chacin’s background is extensive and varied and has equipped her with the skills to do what she does every day in the lab.
But the work she does for UTMB represents just a fraction of the creative abilities within her. An artist at her core, Chacin spends her time away from the lab developing and creating her own works of art and even shares her passion for the subject with undergraduate students as an adjunct professor in the University of Houston’s School of Art.
“Growing up, I was always making stuff. I started doing ceramics when I was very young,” says Chacin. “My mom’s an artist and my dad’s an engineer, so I was always around people who were creating and it’s just sort of what I became.”
Her artistic endeavors have focused on a myriad of subjects but she frequently likes to use her creativity to explore the spaces and concepts where art, science and technology collide and how that collision can impact the human experience and the way people interact with the world.
“When pursuing my bachelor’s, I became really curious about how electronic devices—these animate objects that we use every day—are constructed of very simple materials like ceramics and metal, but when put together the right way they become complex,” she said. “From there I found myself questioning the limits of electronic displays and how our perception works.”
Chacin’s insatiable curiosity about how things work is reflected in not just her professional creations but her personal works as well, which are frequently in the cusp of art and science, often interactive or performative. In 2009, she even had an art gallery in her freezer and in her apartment, proving how much of an out-of-the-box thinker she truly is.
“Through my sculpture studies I was exposed to welding, woodworking, mold-making, metalsmithing and even painting,” she says. “So I guess you can say I’m a bit of a technique collector.”
To view some of Chacin’s work, visit http://www.aisencaro.com/.