STEAM and steam

From invention to creativity…

My practice runs on curiosity. I work with some fascinating science clients and project partners and some of them have been involved in the SunSpaceArt STEAM festival (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) so I’ve dropped in to talks during the day.

But when I think about STEAM, I also think about actual steam. That isn’t as odd as it sounds. My great great grandfather designed steam engines for the brewing industry. They were beautiful things to look at and the engineering was every bit as elegant.

My dad, an ad man, designer, illustrator, artist and latterly, restorer, thought nothing of building a machine to do a job or experimenting just for the fun of it. I grew up in a spirit of invention, often lending a hand or making a bit (sails for a Cretan windmill, anyone?). So for me, there was real connection between engineering, making, design and art. And when I’m designing something that will be made, or programmed, I have every bit as much respect for the engineering as I do for the ideas.

Pictured, Buxton & Thornley engine, with kind permission from Hook Norton Brewery. You can see the engine running here.