“Disciplines in Transition” Session at the 3 Societies Meeting, Faculty of the Arts, University of Alberta

I co-organized the session Disciplines in Transition: Postwar Encounters Between Design, Mathematics and Engineering, in the 2016 BSHS, CSHPS, and HSS joint Meeting at the University of Alberta. The session interrogated disciplinary osmoses between design, engineering, and the mathematical sciences after the Second World War with papers by Daniel Cardoso Llach, Clare Kim (session co-organizer) and myself, and an astute commentary by John Harwood. Daniel Cardoso’s presentation Maps Laced With Data: Designing the Computational Image, Imagining Computational Design, 1959-1970 tracked the theories about design formulated by engineers and mathematicians working in the Computer-Aided Design Project. Looking beyond the university setting, Clare Kim’s paper Mathematics Meets Design: Ray and Charles Eames and the Aesthetics of the Mathematica Exhibit considered the design-influenced interpretation of mathematical theories that emerged in postwar museum exhibits. Investigating influences of mathematics and computation to design theory, my paper “To See in a Hard Intellectual Light”: Graph Theory and Design Theory in the LUBFS Centre examined the uses and meanings of graph theory within the scientizing and rationalizing work of the LUBFS Centre in the early 1970s.

 

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