Everyone is an artist and an engineer, according to Dr. Elif Akcali, Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering and a Creative Scholar-in-Residence in the School of Theater and Dance at the University of Florida.
“Artists are creators, but so are engineers. Engineers are problem-solvers, but so are artists. Regardless of our educational background or our occupation, I believe that every one of us is an artist and every one of us is an engineer. Creativity and problem solving are defining characteristics that make us human. In engineering, the creative process and its outcome are often expressed in verbal form, drawing on verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical modalities of intelligence. In art, however, the creative process and its outcome are often expressed in non-verbal form drawing on musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic modalities of intelligence.”
Dr. Akcali has worked on two major projects during Fall 2013 semester to encourage student engineers to think creatively about their approach to engineering problems.