Week 1 \ Two Cultures \ Erum Farooque

A point made in the first lecture that I found interesting was of the separation of arts and sciences. I had never thought much of the divide of the arts and sciences until high school when my cousin asked me if I was a math and science person or an English and history person. I never really grouped these two categories together before. Thinking about it, it made sense. English and history were more creative and artistically free while math and science were so fitting, set and logical. After that, I would sometimes find myself grouping together people on which combination they preferred, observing that I would get along better with the friends that liked math and science like me. One can liken this grouping of majors to cliques in high school. I thought, going to a large liberal university with hundreds of majors, everyone would get along with no divisions amongst the students. However, I was surprised when a friend of mine asked if I was a north campus or a south campus major. Major divides the college. Who knew that such a big university with such a diverse environment of student would split into two groups? That had quite the resemblance of those high school cliques we all wanted to leave behind. I do not really think that way, even though I am a south campus major and cannot stand the subject of English or history, because I have always loved the arts. Music and movies often serve a bigger part in my life than math or sciences ever do. I had an art teacher who told the class that art is the one subject that you can find in every other subject. He had an answer for every subject that was challenged to him, such as graphs in math are art, history teaches you about past art, etc. I do not feel this gigantic division of south and north because I believe one can love both. Tons of south campus people read and enjoy entertainment like movies and music. Furthermore, north campus majors could enjoy science and technology (which everyone uses) and usually well versed in science because of their pre-college education.

The most interesting point to me, made by Professor Vesna, was about how the school’s art building looked so dull and boring with a striking appearance of an office building. It is clearly odd how UCLA’s Broad Art Center lacks any artistic appeal but Harvard’s lecture hall, a library and even a church looked visually much more beautiful than our very own art center with all the art influences on its design. I found this picture of a very interesting building design taken from an artistic angle:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/livinginacity/2265359699/

I found the architect’s quote very interesting and felt that it applied to mixing arts and sciences by contributing art to office type buildings of scientific work. Here is what the artistic architect said: “the last thing we want is to create an air of indifference, because then you’ve succeeded in making just another gray building, which the world doesn’t need”. He wants buildings to be full of wonder and joy. I also found another picture of a building in LaSalle College of the Arts and it provides a stark contrast to the Broad Arts Center: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25802865@N08/2945246199/.

Thinking about UCLA and its architectural designs, not all the buildings are boring. Royce Hall, Powell Library, Haines Hall and the Humanities Building are actually very artistic architecturally, much more than the Broad Arts Center. The only art-inspired part of our art building could be the orange bowl-shaped work on the lawn in front. It is very plain and I heard the temperature inside of it is always around 70 degrees, so that might be more science influenced than art influenced, which can be a representation of the mixing of arts and sciences. The sciences and the arts do mix in reality. Artists often use math to help proportion out their projects while scientists use art in their demonstrations and illustrations to describe their theories. These two divisions should be integrated since they really do use elements of each other already. We just need to bring the social aspects of the two cultures together.

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