The Society for the History of Technology is dedicated to the historical study of technology and its relations with politics, economics, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science, and the arts. The 2019 SHOT annual meeting focused on the subject: “Exploring the interface between technology, art, and design.” Marco Mancuso was invited by Laura Ronzon director at Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci to organize the Opening Panel and to lecture within the conference.
Opening Panel: Simona Maschi, Franziska Nori, Joachim Sauter, Fabio Novembre
In the past as in our time and in different cultural traditions, technology, art, design and craft have blended together in a cross-fertilization process. While the boundaries between knowledge formation, artistic expression and material culture are permeable, diverse factors affect the degree to which they combine and the quality of the results emerging from such process. In Italy the examples of fruitful collaboration are numerous, in the distant as well as the more recent past, and nowadays; similar cases can be found world-wide, and the clustering of successful interactions in diverse contexts and periods has been duly explored.
More recently we observe a growing interest in educational programs proactively encouraging and supporting the collaboration between artists, scientists, engineers, architects and craftsmen. At the same time this collaboration seeks to promote the reappraisal of different approaches to the relations between form and function in different cultural traditions.
Among the aspects which deserve to be discussed is how art and design impact on innovation in new as well as traditional production technologies; how digital technologies are opening new perspectives in the development of design and the arts, as well as the reinterpretation and development of traditional crafts.