The Bermuda Quadrilateral (2006)

My former colleague at MIT Professor Hiroshi Ishii asked me where an old post from 2006 went — and I luckily found it on the Wayback Machine here.

September 7, 2006

Today is the first day of my course here at MIT. As it is my tenth year of being a professor here, I am a bit reflective. Over the years I’ve found it amusing how there’s animosity between engineers and scientists, much in the same manner of how artists and designers approach each other. One side looks at themselves as more “pure” than the other yet often dirty themselves with the wickedness of the applied. On the other side, the view is one of a more responsible approach to life in the applied, yet there’s always a secret wish to float into the freedom of no constraints. Being a young student amidst this constant and common family feud found in both art and technology skills can be quite confusing.

I’ve never been to the Bermuda Triangle which is perhaps the reason why I’m still here. Today I compose a map of the “Bermuda Quadrilateral” — which is a simple way to navigate the disciplinary divides that litter my particular corner of academia.


to express


to explore


to communicate


to invent

Any system that you observe with the tightest scrutiny reveals the distinctiveness of the elements. But when you step way back away from the divisions, you see that it is all really the same. Art, Design, Science, Engineering. They are all wonderful activities that we humans who are privileged with a roof over our heads and a full stomach can engage with passion and hope.