STEAM to STEM at the SEQUOIA DINER: HUEVOS VERDE ? HUEVOS RANCHEROS ? ( for further discussion see the YASMIN discussion )

METAPHOR: ARTSCI is like Huevos Rancheros, one egg is art, another science another technology, and often a fourth is Humanities ( it takes more than one person to eat more than 2 eggs- transdisciplinary collaboration is essential).

Andrew Blanton     Roger mixing the eggs        Andrew Vennari Chef at Sequoia Diner

In a previous blog I introduced the idea of moving from STEM to STEAM to STEAM to STEM, with the point that one of the things that art, design and humanities can contribute is to the redesign of science itself ( both the scientific method and the organisation and culture of science). The scientific method has evolve over the centuries, and with the appearance of cyberscientists and design techniques for redesigning the imagination there are new opportunities. As Annick Bureaud has pointed out in the STEM to STEAM discussion scientific ‘illustration’ is often denigrated as ‘art in the service of science’. Yet as we enter the data culture, we don’t have a clue how to represent data so it makes sense or meaning to human beings. The Renaissance and the invention of perspective transformed many fields and in no way was art ‘in the service of science”. And during the 19th century artists changed science through the art of illustration ( deciding what to draw is not innocent).( see the work of Linda Candy and Ernest Edmonds).

This week at the Leonardo 50th Birthday party at Sheila Pinkel’s in Pasadena California I had the chance to talk to Margaret Wertheim who told me she was working on a book on ‘Dimensions’. She wondered aloud why we couldn’t start thinking in multiple dimenstions but were trapped in the three dimensional world that is an artefact of our cognition. Why are virtual worlds three dimensional in general ? Dont game designers have any imagination ? Why is time usually the fourth dimension. As Linda Henderson in her work on the 4th dimension in art and science pointed out that last century when physicists were challenging our belief in a rigid three-dimensional space ( yes space is curved but our brain doesn’t see it that way) artists played a key role helping imagine and represent other ideas of multi dimensional spaces. Margaret point out that in big data we are almost never in three dimensional spaces. Scientists like to call it data visualisation but the last thing we should do is  visualisate large data spaces the way our brain has constructed the artificial three dimensional world ( for us to navigate for our survival- nothing to to with accurate representation).

So here is another area where STEAM to STEM can make a difference creating systems of representation for multi dimensional spaces and imagination.

I am working with  UT Dallas Art and Technology ArtSciLab Phd Student Tina Qin working on applying metaphor theory to data visualisation ( Jack Ox did a great PhD on this topic too). Tina works the real estate company Century One and boy do they have a big data visualisation problem).
Coming back to the Huevos Rancheros metaphor ( actually at the great Sequoia Diner it was Huevas Verde )..

Andrew Blanton and I were having brunch at the Sequoia Diner in Oakland California and we had great huevos rancheros ! The ideas in this blog came from our discussions.

To make Huevos Rancheros you need at least two eggs – but there is no way to eat it without mixing the eggs up, and mixing in beans ( technology ?) or avocados ( ethics ?). When there are more than two eggs you need more than two people to eat it ( or else watch your diet). In IDEO terminology you need T shaped individuals ( who know how to hug to collaborate eating).
Eggs, art science or technology are essential ingredients we dont here propose to re invent the chicken. But the ingredients are only useful once broken and mixed in the eating.
And you almost always need a chef. At the Sequoia Diner the Chef was Andrew Vennari ( see their web site at ). If you study the literature in the science of team science ( ) one learns that as the team of eaters grows, new functions emerge. With a two egg huevos rancheros you can easily cook and eat it yourself ( my father was such a hybrid). But as the number of eaters, and eggs, grows the new function of chef appears. The chef cant eat for you, but without a chef there is no gastronomic thrill of discovery)
And sometimes the chef when you order huevos verde can make something unexpected. See below ( )

Andrew Blanton and I highly recommend the Sequoia Diner !
Roger Malina