A is for...?

A is for...? STE-A-M and the Triad of Art, Architecture and Technology 

Globe with its urgent problems and inequalities needs not only great engineers, and mathematicians to save it, but also these individuals who have ethics and empathy to grasp the urgency and commit to the rescue. Do current higher education invests in this direction to create individuals that do not only perform greatly in assigned or given tasks but they are also determined to invent new methods to address emergent phenomena and unforeseen conditions?

As a president of RISD from 2008 to 2013, John Maeda, has advocated the “STEM to STEAM” concept to promote art and design in education for students to acquire skills in risktaking and creative problem-solving. Few years later, many schools in USA are in this process of adding the “A” in the curricula, however the transition takes a lot of time and has multiple challenges. The same applies in architecture higher education: the artistic experimentation has either moved away from the “object” to large-scale approaches (eg. landscape) or has limited itself to become a digital artifact.

There is not enough art, and when there is it is not critical enough. This talk addresses the challenges of emphasizing art within college/university as part of developing architectural education. In particularly it takes a Heideggerian approach to technology through the concept of the Greek technae and uses that to build a triad among art, architecture and technology, which can serve as a useful mechanism to bridge certain chasms in higher education. Through this process architecture education also redefines itself to become more relevant.


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