The journey so far into the integration of technology and art and its effect on applied design thought into the present time has offered the present author a theory of applied design psychology which he has employed in his work as university lecturer with industrial design students. In the interim period between the ICITA group in 1960 he has written a number of papers which in some of his books and publications have tried to make a connection between environmental education and applied design education. One such instance is the Course he developed whilst lecturing psychology to post-graduate students of environmental science at Monash University in Melbourne in 1987 and what appears to be a growth of Environmental design schools (eg: RMIT University)
To some extent this was another phase in the journey to clarify the epistemological advantages of applied design to other types of educational practices. This not surprisingly, was the impetus that encouraged the publication of the Third Culture and A New Education and attending as a journalist for the Sun/Herald paper during the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, Sweden. This was at the time of the UNESCO Seminar on Visual Communication in Art and Science at the National Gallery of Victoria on the 31 January 1972. The author introduced the publication the Third Culture to the assembly and made further submissions to UNESCO in Paris and Canberra to form Environmental Schools of Design globally.
Whilst research consultant for Graphic Communication in the Victorian Education Department, the present author developed a plan to convert the subject into an interdisciplinary approach that would make it possible to use applied design practices throughout the whole secondary schooling system. He finally made his concepts available to teachers in two publications: Graphic Communication (Curriculum statement) A Duality of Thinking 1981 and Graphic Communication, an Interdisciplinary Education 1981. This was added to by a substantial number of publications indicating how a duality of thinking could be used in other school subjects (across the curriculum) ranging from English and science to geography and other subjects.
In 2006 copies associated with the curriculum statement have been deposited for perusal with the Victorian Schools Innovation Commission (now a distinct section of the Victorian Department of Education) at their request.
There is no doubt that the early ICITA group was impressed with C.P. Snow’s publication The Two Cultures but whilst Snow called for the interactive role of the arts and the sciences he misconstrued the cross fertilisation which Professor Carl Friedrich Von Weizsacker helped to correct for the author when he pointed to the ‘Oneness Of Nature’ human beings had to discover. In an article for the Centre of design RMIT called “The Future: Integrating Art and Technology” 1991 the author indicated that science and technology are a wrongly associated paradigm with ‘doomsday’: Science, like technology, is the outcrop of the dissemination of knowledge in which nature is reinterpreted into what human nature can or wants to say about it. Science can be associated with the whole of nature - it already exists. A scientist interprets a ‘non-human- made’ physics into technology which is human made. The word ‘science’, like the word ‘technology’, appears to be in the wrong sense. Science is the ‘design’ by nature whilst technology is the ‘design’ by human beings.”
Weizsacker implied that if only we were like nature we would already be able to know how to link the various bits into something that is. What is given to ‘nature’ is given to humans via technology as art. Art is this capacity to convert experience from out there into what we call thought according to the author. The author’s research partly evident in his PhD thesis has persuaded him that the interactive dualism of technology and art in an educational- cognitive framework is a psychological phenomenon that is as indispensable as human thought itself.
If we can conclude that the split of the cultures of ‘science’ and ‘art’ brought great uneasiness to C.P. Snow about the state of the world then does its healing (or unification) not ultimately depend on resolving a confusion of individual (human) experience? It was said by the Harvard psychologist Rudolph Arnheim in his keynote speech for the UNESCO Seminar in Visual Communication in Art and Science at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia in 1975 that the greatest dilemma in human existence is its splits. If we look somewhat more closely at Arnheim’s voluminous publications and in particular his publication Visual Thinking we may recognize his search, similarly to Snow, is for the re-unification of the human mind and the healing of its splits. Arnheim, for instance argues, that Snow seems to have ignored the fundamental kinship of the two ‘cultures’. The estrangement of the cultures he maintains is much more fundamental and by that he means that the split occurs through a Weltanshauung (worldview) people have that is largely a detachment of direct intellectual experience from that often intuitive perceptual capacity of interacting forces within us we might associate with ‘art’.