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Google exhibit demonstrates commitment to STEAM

As part of this year’s DESIGNART festival in Tokyo, Google Hardware’s Design Studio (led by Ivy Ross) partnered up with Li Edelkoort to create an exhibition that placed Google’s latest hardware products alongside contemporary design objects. Objects that you might find around a home, such as ceramics and furniture. The exhibit is/was called COMMA (it closes this weekend).

Here is a photo from the exhibition (there’s a Google Pixel 4 XL in this arrangement):

The point of the exhibition was to make you pause (hence the “comma” part) and consider the ongoing conflation of design and tech. It’s about humanizing technology, but also showing you how this is now integral to the way in which Google develops products. All of this is noteworthy because, as many of you know, I am firm believer in the value of art and design.

A few years ago I wrote about a movement being championed by the Rhode Island School of Design (as well as many others) to transform STEM into STEAM. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math subjects have long been the focus of education agendas. What the STEAM movement aims to do is insert the arts and humanities into this focus.

What you are seeing above — from one of the largest companies in the world — is recognition that, yes, there’s tremendous value in that one additional letter.

Photo: Hiroto Miura via Google

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