Colors, Chords, Creativity: IAP workshop hosted by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering explores universal design principles

Artist Joan Levy Hepburn and Joe Bouchard (Blue Öyster Cult) presented their work in painting, color and music in the IAP course “Colors, Chords, Creativity,” which was sponsored by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Influenced by mentorships with Willem de Kooning and Dave von Ronk, Hepburn developed her own color theory that combines light and pigment theories.

Markus Buehler, Professor and Head of the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, hosted this workshop. Hepburn contacted Buehler after reading an op-ed he published in New Scientist on the relationship between music and materials, “I use music to make better spider silk: The universal patterns of nature.”  She says, she found the article particularly inspiring because “it is exactly the kind of thing I teach people in painting and drawing classes.”

According to Buehler, he invited Hepburn and Bouchard to MIT to foster creativity across all disciplines: “Creative processes are important in science and engineering, including in design. Moreover, some scientists are becoming increasingly interested in exploring synergistic approaches that build on shared principles between disparate disciplines, to explain structures and functions, in different spaces, and to create new engineered systems based on such knowledge. The IAP seminar with Joan and Joe was an amazing opportunity to bring such cross-disciplinary thinking to an audience of MIT students, postdocs and faculty.”


Posted on March 31, 2015 by Sharon Lacey