Design for STEAM: Creating Participatory Art with Purpose

by Nick Kamienski, B.S. Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT)

Abstract: As technology advances, innovation is simultaneously reflected in the variety and diversity of art that is produced. Over the past century, art forms have progressed along a continuum from static to dynamic, and then to interactive and participatory forms. The therapeutic value of creating and engaging in art has also been identified. Over the past few years, educators have recognized the profound value of art and design within the context of scientific and technical learning, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) has emerged as an educational philosophy with a strong following. Motivated by a prototype student-developed art piece (the “zome”), this capstone project articulates the participatory philosophy of an educational STEAM project, and provides guidance for how to develop full-scale art installations that are completely participatory. We  1)  present emerging social and organizational models that align with STEAM, 2) develop a design framework for creating new participatory art that meets the goals of STEAM learning, and 3) capture design ideas for expanding the zome from prototype to full scale in the future using this framework.

Keywords: design, design framework, participatory art, interactive art, STEAM