Visions of buildings lost under floods, live sculptures formed of mushrooms, and US radio show rhetoric are part of the new innovative exhibition at the University of Edinburgh.

Drawing from different subject disciplines across the University, Trading Zone features collaborations between unusual combinations of artists.

The results – connected by ideas based around data, human behaviour and ecology – are unexpected and challenging.

The free exhibition, in the University’s Talbot Rice Gallery, runs from 26 May to 23 June.

An architecture student and a performance artist have digitally reconstructed buildings in New Orleans that were engulfed during Hurricane Katrina. The data was gathered from scans taken by the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA and U.S Army Corps of Engineers as the flood waters rose.

Product Design and Fine Art students have created a gnarled spire, made from mushroom spores, which will sprout oyster mushrooms and mutate over the course of the exhibition.

A Digital Composition and Performance student has deconstructed sound from right-wing US radio shows. Visitors will encounter the sound installation at different points in the gallery, each time being able to identify more of the political messages.

A Fine Art student will play with ideas of identity and power in a piece of performance art. He plays two roles during the show – one is a fallen opera idol; the other is a super fan of the star who has camped out in the Old College quad to stalk their obsession.

Another installation peels back the fabric of the exhibition venue to reveal its hidden memories. Students have cut into a temporary wall and added old photos of Old College and the gallery into the newly created space.

More than 300 students engaged with the development of Trading Zone. The work of 21 artists will be on show.

Trading Zone is funded in part by the University’s Edinburgh Futures Institute, which will bring together researchers and partners to tackle major issues within the economy, education and societies across the world.

Assistant Curator James Clegg said: “The show demonstrates the wealth of talent, knowledge and experience across the student body.

“Propelled by contemporary ideas, this innovative group exhibition will foster a broader vision of cultural practice where art, design, music or film might intersect with law, architecture, business or economics. Experimental in nature, Trading Zone takes a risk by proposing to showcase ideas that might usually reside elsewhere.”