QotD Roger Mandel

“Quite broadly, I think of the fine arts as a method by which humans ask the big questions not necessarily knowing the answers, whereas design enables people to create answers quite concretely. A strength of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)’s balanced curriculum is that the fine artists help the designers consider the big unanswereable questions as they work on their chairs and buildings, while the designers inform the fine artists about how to make their ineffable expressions tangible. Art’s about more than being creative, it’s about developing a system of thought, by which you can solve complex problems to improve aspects of the world’s concerns. More concretely, proportion, functionality, texture, and surface beauty are broad design attributes anyone should learn because they enrich visual literacy and acuity. Art education without elements of design is not useful in the end–which is why art teachers have had a hard time justifying to boards of education and parents that the visual arts are important in the curriculum.”

ht I.D. magazine, September/October 2007

How would you rewrite this paragraph if one replaced “fine arts” with “sciences”? Talk amongst yourselves. MK

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One Response to QotD Roger Mandel

  1. Matt Wedel says:

    In my progress as a paleontologist I’ve discovered that a lot of ‘cutting-edge’ ideas were conceived decades ago, but never made much of a splash. In some cases the intellectual climate just wasn’t receptive, but I know of at least a couple of cases in which the person who had the idea mangled its presentation. Design matters a LOT–how you design your talks, your abstracts, papers, grant proposals, everything. In fact, I’d bet that good design and bad content will succeed over bad design and good content almost every time.

    I check up on marketing guru Seth Grodin’s blog from time to time, because he writes about making the people with money care about your idea. If you’re a scientist, you’re going to be up against that problem all the time. If you’re a grad student hunting for a job, it’s magnified, because you don’t just have to sell your ideas, you have to sell yourself.

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