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Students in the Engineering and Society class have written critiques and essays that are accompanying a local art exhibition to provide insight into its theme and style.

Selected student contributions are on display with “Mind and Machine” at the MCS Gallery, 1110 Northampton St., Easton. A reception with the artist will be held 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, May 9.

Senior Sandra Doyle (Springfield, Pa) served as project editor. Juniors Gregg Berman (New Milford, Conn.) and Eric Ackerman (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) provided the original design for the project web site, with modifications added by senior Matt Pellegrino (Hopewell Jct., N.Y.).

Working in pairs, 40 students instructed by Dwayne Breger, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, wrote essays and critiques examining not only the complex relationship between technology and society, but also the style that artist Rhonda Wall used in communicating her messages. An assistant professor of art at Kutztown University, Wall created works on a set of ten large canvases on topics such as radiation, plastics, computers, and communication. The canvases include mixed media as well as three-dimensional elements.

The critiques evaluate the artist’s topic, how she chose to represent it, and the message and emotion that the work brings forth. Since the canvases contain a variety of components, many of the critiques include suggestions on the selection and arrangement of these images, and how these images stimulate certain emotions, knowledge, and memories. Complementary essays on the technology and society issues represented by Wall include background information on the technology, on the social context that brought forth the technical developments, and how the technology has modified social values.

The class is among a number of Engineering and Policy courses at Lafayette that provide in-depth background for students interested in engineering and public policy or engineering management. The specific Engineering and Society class focuses on how engineering impacts society and how societal conditions, demands, and expectations impact the practice and profession of engineering. The course addresses the role of engineering in urban, industrial society and in economic growth, and in relation to the public and private sectors, science, and technology.

Ten critiques and ten essays were selected to accompany the Mind and Machine exhibit. In addition, the student web site contains images of the paintings, links to all essays, and additional information: (Link no longer available)

Categorized in: Academic News