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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

and there can be many solutions to the same problem."7 1

One could argue that the

existence of diverse opinions and proposals merely highlights how contested a territory is the notion of what constitutes the activity of design, how it is enacted, and, what purpose does it serve. The connection, if any, between design and science has been one of the arguments of discussion since the beginnings of the 20th Century. This is evident in the multiple approaches to design that have developed.

Beginning with the endeavours of the German Bauhaus during the 1920's and 1930's, there have been multiple attempts to devise general definitions as well as educational methods of design. Lazlo Moholy-Nagy's North American formulation of the New Bauhaus is noted for its desire to strike a balance between art and science through technology. This is evidenced in the pedagogic methodology he sought to implement at the Illinois Institute of Design:

"By transforming the art/technology polarity into the ternary system of art/science and technology, Moholy-Nagy tried to confer a scientific profile on the design process. According to this model, design ends up being the result of a dynamic relationship between art and science, revealed and materialised through technology."7 2

The notion of biotechnique, or the art of adapting the forms and processes of natural structures to technical artefacts, was also an under current in Moholy-Nagy's curriculum

who saw nature as "the grand designer".7 3

It has been argued that the course also

emphasised an integration between scientific methods and art practices, with particular attention paid to the role of aesthetics and ethics.

Two instances of how these objectives were implemented could be discerned from Moholy-Nagy's insistence on "hiring only teachers who were also artists; his reasoning

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as photography, film, and electronically driven light sculpture. 73. Findeli, A., Ibid., p., 35.