Throughout history, public art has played a vital role in communicating our culture and heritage, as well as representing our future.
In 1889, the Eiffel Tower took pride of place in central Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Designed by a structural engineer, it has come to symbolise the liberty, equality and fraternity of France, and attracts more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the world.
Almost 100 years later, Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc, a 120-foot long unfinished plate of rust-covered steel, was erected in Manhattan. Polarising supporters, who viewed it as an important sculptural work, and critics, who perceived it as ugly, it was removed, never to be publicly displayed again.
Either way, public art creates a conversation and adds a deeper meaning to our lives. So, why does public art often take a back seat in modern design, and does it have a more significant role to play? And how can engineers contribute to a greater focus on art in design to communicate ideas and add meaning?
In this episode of Engineering Reimagined, Aurecon’s Design to Innovate Partner Veronica Nolan and Urban Art Projects’ Managing Director Matt Tobin, explore the value of public art and what role engineers can play in helping it to become a reality. We also discuss how design-led innovation transforms the artist’s medium, and the potential of STEAM education to improve the way different disciplines work together.
Listen to find out how art and engineering work together to memoralise the past, communicate our present and shape our future.