Special Edition: Drawing in STEAM

  • How is drawing used within and between STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and maths)?
  • What is the relationship between drawing practices in the Arts and in STEM subjects?
  • What is our current understanding of drawing, cognition and learning, and how is it contributing to curriculum development and instructional design in these areas?

These were the questions posed at Thinking through Drawing 2012: Drawing in STEAM, a three day symposium held at Wimbledon College of Art (University of the Arts London), in association with Loughborough University and Teachers College, Columbia University on the 12-14 September 2012.

This edition of TRACEY includes a selection of peer reviewed papers by artists and researchers from many disciplines who contributed to the event. They discuss the use of drawing as a tool for visualisation, and for thinking through non-visual problems. Mathematicians demonstrated how a drawing can prove a theory, doctors demonstrated how drawing can enhance communication with patients, and others communicated many more diverse ways in which it can facilitate learning, problem solving and invention. It appears that the way drawing is used by practitioners across disciplines may not always be congruent with how educators deal with the same subjects, but that there is a wealth of innovative practices to be shared and developed.

Accompanying documentation of the Thinking through Drawing symposium series can be found at

Special thanks are extended to Simon Betts and Stephen Farthing of University of the Arts London, to Simon Downs and Russ Marshall from Loughborough University and to Judith Burton and Barbara Tversky, Teachers College, Columbia University for their ongoing enthusiasm and encouragement.


Published: 2014-12-01