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RISD Leads Congressional Briefing


Speakers raise awareness about the importance of integrating art and design into the national innovation agenda 

On Wednesday, June 22, RISD will present a Congressional briefing on the need to integrate art and design with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education as an essential component of the national innovation agenda.

RISD President John Maeda will emphasize the importance of adding Art to STEM education (thereby making STEAM) to teach the flexible thinking and risk-taking that is needed in today's complex and dynamic world. To realize this potential, he says, scientists, artists and designers need to develop new ways of working together and new modes of research and education. A resolution sponsored by Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) speaks to the importance of art and design in the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and research agenda.

Other speakers at the briefing include leaders in education and business: Adam Bly, CEO of Seed Media Group; Randy Cohen, vice president of Research and Policy, Americans for the Arts; Martin Storksdieck, director of the Board on Science Education, National Research Council; and Brian K. Smith, dean of Continuing Education at RISD. 

In January RISD hosted Bridging STEM to STEAM: Developing New Frameworks for Art-Science-Design Pedagogy, a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation. In March the school organized Make It Better, a symposium focused on ways in which artists and designers can help improve public health and the healthcare delivery system in the U.S.

“The tools and methods of design offer new models for creative problem-solving and interdisciplinary partnership,” says President Maeda. “Artists and designers humanize technology, making it understandable and capable of bringing about societal change."

related links:
H.RES 319: Statement on the STEM to STEAM Resolution 

Workshop summaries and videos:

Bridging the Art/Science Gap (Bridging STEM to STEAM)
The State of the Art in Healthcare (Make It Better)

press coverage: 
Maeda, Langevin tout the importance of design in tech (Providence Business News)
Langevin and RISD partner to encourage innovation (RI Central)

tags: governmental, innovation, interdisciplinary, public engagement, research, STEAM

The façade of the Chace Center, a new multipurpose hub that opened
in 2008, offers an interesting contrast to the historic campus
buildings that surround it.