By. Candace Shaw

Years ago, as an undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) student, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Maya Angelou–famed poet, author, and entertainer–speak at a biomedical student conference. One takeaway from her inspiring speech was that there remains a strong connection between art and science. Speaking to a large room filled with student scientists, technologists, and mathematicians, Dr. Angelou, urged us to be inspired by art and to understand the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between the creative and logical sides of our brains.

Maya Angelou- Keynote Speaker at the 10th Anniversary of the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS, Charlotte, NC 2010)
Fast forward to today, with the rise of digital design and technology, Dr. Angelou’s words are more relevant than ever. Art is naturally embedded within engineering, technology, architecture, and science. A quick review of the definition of art defines the subject as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. So this poses the question—can scientists and technologists be considered as artists?

One recent example of an answer to this question is seen in an installation series for the Shiseido Ginza building in Tokyo, designed by Tokyo-based design studio, WOW Inc. The series is comprised of three pieces inspired by neuroscience. One particular piece entitled Neuro Surge, allows visitors to feel the changes in their senses and nerves when exposed to daily information or stress. The display uses color, light, and lasers to create a dynamic show. The connection between art, design, and science is readily apparent to its viewers and allows them to examine their health through a beautiful and artistic lens.

Installation series for the Shiseido Ginza building in Tokyo, designed by WOW Inc.
At Q1, art is incredibly important. Art helps our design team formulate the right business and concept strategy for our clients as we work to creatively execute their vision for their business. Our team is constantly examining change in art and culture, and most recently our digital marketing specialist, Jonathan White attended Miami Art Basel, an international art fair to observe new trends within the art space. There, Jonathan also recognized the increasing connection between art and science. One particular discussion, held by leading theorists and practitioners examined architecture theory, urban design urbanism and design installation, also recognized the intrinsic link between art and science.
Shani Crowe is an interdisciplinary artist from Chicago’s south side. She received her BFA in film production from Howard University’s John H. Johnson School of Communications in 2011. Her work is centered on cultural coiffure and beauty ritual, as they relate to the diasporic African, and how these practices function as tools to foster connectivity.
Shani Crowe exhibit at Miami Art Basel 2017
While art and science do connect, some paradigms create a distinction between the fields that must be noted. Science is very calculated and based on defined processes. Alternatively, art does not have to be planned nor does it have to adhere to any specific rules. Artists can create with no boundaries or limitations. Nonetheless, all rules may ultimately be broken in either field, whereby science becomes unstructured (think a unique chemistry formula for a perfume), and rules bind art (think about the categorization of art).

When Dr. Angelou discussed the importance of incorporating art into STEM, she challenged us to think outside of the box and to stretch our minds to think both logically and creatively. Artists have proven, whether, in Tokyo or Miami, that science is interconnected to art. As fields such as digital creation, design, and technology continue to grow, one thing will maintain constant- these fields search deeply for the answers to what is true and what moves us all forward. Get more insights from Q1 here.

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