Invenit and the Jet: Artistic Dimensions of Mechanical Technology Development

By Rhodri Windsor Liscombe.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A comparison between technical and artistic design, particularly with reference to self-statement of innovation, opens up new spaces of inquiry into technological development. It also examines that space between the primarily subjective, anecdotal, and the supposedly more objective, theoretical definition of creative or innovative design thinking and practice. Additionally, it offers means to account for singular contributions to collective enterprise. The perspective is historical and centered on the initial manufacture of a reliable gas turbine gas engine by Frank Whittle. His innovative reconfiguration of established mechanical system and scientific understanding is compared with the radical art practice of the contemporary British sculptor, Henry Moore. The level of investigation is necessarily limited but is intended to outline new strategies of comparative analysis mainly with respect to current definitions of advanced technological design. The relation of technical with aesthetic practice is framed against the assumptions underlying the traditional artistic practice of signing works “invenit”.

Keywords: Artistic Design, Technological Design, Technological Development

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 531.397KB).

Dr. Rhodri Windsor Liscombe

Professor and Head, The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, F.S.A. is Head of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia. A graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art he previously taught at London and McGill Universities. His major publications include William Wilkins 1778-1839 (Cambridge, 1980) – revisited in The Age of Wilkins. The Architecture of Improvement (with David Watkin, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 2000) - Francis Rattenbury and British Columbia: Architecture and Challenge in the Imperial Age, (with A. Barrett, UBC, 1983), Altogether American: Robert Mills Architect and Engineer (Oxford, 1994) and The New Spirit. Modern Architecture in Vancouver 1938-1963 (Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1997; recipient of the Vancouver Book Prize. Current projects include research on intersections between Modern Movement design and late British imperial policy, awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, together with a position paper on Ideal City design and a major public lecture series ‘Living the Global City’ in conjunction with programming in preparation for the World Urban Forum 3.


There are currently no reviews of this product.

Write a Review