The benefits of a convergence between art and engineering

Innella, Giovanni and Rodgers, Paul A. (2020) The benefits of a convergence between art and engineering. HighTech and Innovation Journal. ISSN 2723-9535 (In Press)

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    Design practitioners, researchers and educators constantly find themselves shuffling between the arts and the sciences. In fact, design departments in universities around the globe are located within the faculties of engineering, architecture, visual and liberal arts, and environmental sciences. These departments are, therefore, a rich meeting place for academics and professionals from a variety of disciplinary subjects, experiences and skills. The synergy resulting from the varieties of backgrounds and expertise creates a fertile ground for explorations on both a conceptual and a technical level. By briefly compiling and analysing a review of literature and creative works spanning from the renaissance to contemporary art, this paper reflects on the potential benefits of combining engineering and art research. The authors of this paper look at the increasingly delicate role that technicians, engineers and computer programmers play in developing technologies that impact our social, emotional and intimal lives, and advocate for art as a context and tool to help those professional developing their sensitivity and critical sense, besides their skills. In doing so, the paper makes a contribution to the STEM vs. STEAM conundrum, encouraging an education that merges arts and humanities disciplines with scientific and technical subjects.