A is for Art

The “A” in STEAM is for ART.

How does Art fit in? Is this just an attempt to water down STEM – hard, precise subjects, to make them soft enough to get everyone to think that they are part of the STEM program? What is Art?

Art https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art – a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art. From an engineering perspective this sounds a bit vague and soft. How does this in anyway contribute to designing and building stuff?

“Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences. In modern usage after the 17th century, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, the fine arts are separated and distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the decorative or applied arts.”

“Music, theatre, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature and other media such as interactive media, are included in a broader definition of art or the arts.”

“Interactive media https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_media normally refers to products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user’s actions by presenting content such as text, moving image, animation, video, audio, and video games.”

Creating, artifacts, imagination, technical skill, production, criticism, study of history, dissemination – all these are concepts and processes are shared with engineering throughout the Engineering Design Process. Even in the article on Art, there is discussion of practical applications of art. Architecture is often included as one of the visual arts that involves the creation of objects where the practical considerations of use are essential. Many of the traditional visual arts – creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and newer digital interactive media, are important to engineering – recording what is, imagining what could be.

While there may be some reluctance to including some elements of “fine art” or “performing art”, art, in general has a significant role to play in STEAM, STEM and Engineering.

2018.12.31 – Or not
v.. it would be a stretch to include some fine art that is purely
“intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.” ie.
no practical purpose. Otherwise, aesthetically pleasing, innovative,
imaginative and skillfully crafted are good qualities.

g.. Folks within STEM know there is art and beauty in what they do, or can be used to improve what they do. Think about the golden ratio or fractals and then just plain presentation and form. … adding the A to STEM means that people will lump in fine arts with the message again. Then they’ll start thinking its Social Theater Arts English Maker