The Graduate School mess in Art and Design and….. in Art Science and Technology..and in Life in General ?


The great news is that our art science community is growing by leaps and bounds, the bad news is interdisciplinary practice

is difficult- and there are few best practices yet established !! As part of helping to understand the mess  we launched

Ken Friedman and Jack Ox, Guest Editors

In 2017 Leonardo will celebrate 50 years of publishing work and research at the intersection of art, science and technology. As part of the celebrations, we are initiating a 3-year symposium that will address issues surrounding the development of the Ph.D. in Art and Design.

And articles are beginning to come in , as are examples of curricula experiments in art science and technology, see for instance

Adrienne Klein’s collection of essays in Leonardo ( see details at the end of this post)

Meanwhile this new book by Leonardo Cassuto just came out that looks more broadly at the

mess in PhD programs across all fields- we are in a period of profound mutation- hold on to your seat belts

The Graduate School Mess

What Caused It and How We Can Fix It

Leonard Cassuto

The American system for creating college professors is often criticized for being lengthy, difficult, expensive, and inefficient. Those who complete their Ph.D.s but are unable to find a tenured position—a prospect whose likelihood is increasing given that the number of tenured professors is dropping—are some of its most vitriolic critics. Some within higher education are rethinking their methods for training Ph.D. candidates. Leonard Cassuto, a Fordham University American-studies professor and Chronicle of Higher Education columnist, describes—and proposes solutions to—the messiness of doctoral education in a new book, The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It, published by Harvard University Press
Roger Malina


here are Adrienne Klein’s collection:


The Art/Science Curriculum in the Classroom and in the Cloud
and her Steam Express web site at:

The articles in this Leonardo special section describe university-level courses that include both science- and art-based subject matter. Leonardo is keenly interested in documenting and disseminating the best ideas that can be drawn from this growing practice.

The articles in this section are based on presentations made at the 102nd annual meetings of the College Art Association (CAA) held in Chicago in January 2014. At this conference, I convened a session for the Leonardo Education and Art Forum (LEAF) titled “The Art/Science Curriculum in the Classroom and in the Cloud.”

Three of the papers in this special section describe coursework representative of a range of art/science classroom instruction. Steven Zides (Wofford College) writes about a course that introduces physics topics as metaphor extended into the realm of art history. Ingrid Koenig’s art students at Emily Carr University create art based on interactions with physicists at Canada’s National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics. Jill Fantauzza (Texas State University, San Marcos) describes two courses that integrate practices from engineering and the visual arts. In each of these papers the authors discuss the course objectives and the authors’ ongoing efforts to measure the success in achieving those objectives.

The paper by Paul Thomas, LEAF’s International Affiliate in 2014, describes two workshops he convened in 2012: one at the MutaMorphosis festival in Prague and the other at the Re-New digital arts festival in Copenhagen. The purpose of these workshops was to catalog the characteristics of students and courses that might bridge science and the arts.

The strong field of papers submitted speaks to the depth of interest and activity in the area of interdisciplinary coursework. This topic was previously addressed in an article by Kathryn Evans, who was the fifth presenter on the CAA panel. In her article, forthcoming in Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Evans writes about the Curriculum Development in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities (CDASH) project at the University of Texas, Dallas, initiated by Evans and Roger Malina. New submissions are welcome. Please submit the course description or syllabus of any course that integrates arts-humanities with any STEM field. The call for submissions can be found at: <>.

My thanks to Paul Thomas and to David Familian, LEAF Chair 2014–2015, for their assistance in selecting the papers for the conference. I would also like to thank the Leonardo reviewers of these papers.


Jill Fantauzza : Using Creative Process to Guide Integrated Art and Engineering Courses 470
Ingrid Koenig : Art Curriculum in Partnership with Canadian Physics Lab 472
Paul Thomas : The Transdisciplinary Cloud Curriculum 474
Steven Zides : Physical Aesthetics: An Introductory Physics Course through Metaphor 476