“The thing that keeps me engaged with design and computation is that it can have an immediate influence on helping people. For me, that gets me up in the morning and makes me really excited,” said Felecia Davis, assistant professor of architecture, in a video for WPSU’s Women in Science Profiles (WiSci Files).
Davis was selected for the series after WPSU visited SOFTLAB@PSU, where, as director, she works with computational textiles—soft materials that can sense and respond to the world around them through computer programming, electronics, and sensors. According to Davis, who works in the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing, she was included in the series because she stressed the importance of understanding the art and science connection.
“Artists are very much scientists and scientists are very much artists. In my experience working with and thinking with material, I have found that there is no science without art and that the reverse has also been so,” explained Davis. “Art and science ask different questions but each of these realms requires some of the other to function as a discipline. The questions 'what does that mean?' and 'how does that work?' are questions that belong to both areas of knowledge creation. When I work on computational textiles I am doing STEAM, which is STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] with the A added for arts.”
The WiSci Files (wpsu.psu.edu/digital/women-in-science-profiles/) include interviews with five women scientists from the State College area. There will also be live chats posted at wpsu.psu.edu/live-wiscifiles. For more information, follow the WiSci Files on social media: Facebook, facebook.com/wiscifiles, and Twitter, @wiscifiles.