Do tech people like to share their knowledge with arts people and vice versa? Some might say there are barriers, but STEAM is one way to break them down.

At Inspirefest 2016, this bridging of two supposedly very different fields of work was the focus of the panel called ‘STEAM: The Convergence of Tech and the Arts’, chaired by the director of the Connect Centre, Prof Linda Doyle.

Having also spoken at Inspirefest 2015 about the benefits of STEAM, Doyle explained how there is a commonly held misbelief when it comes to engineers and artists, whereby each thinks of themselves as exclusively owning knowledge to their respective fields.

 ‘We’re at a waypoint now’

“What I notice an awful lot of the time is that there is a privileging of one form of knowledge over the other,” Doyle said.

“We as engineers and scientists tend to think our knowledge outweighs your knowledge as an artist. I see that as an injustice.”

Intel’s IoT and wearable design leader, Noel Murphy, however, sees it being up to artists to take greater control over how they use technology in their work.

“We’re at a waypoint right now where technology is overriding the artistic creativity,” he said.

Words by Colm Gorey