College of Engineering Beautifies Buildings with Learn by Doing Photos, Artwork

A hallway in the College of Engineering with large photographs on the walls depicting Learn by Doing, which is Cal Poly's motto
Learn by Doing photos and art pieces hang throughout the College of Engineering buildings.

The College of Engineering community has introduced art to the buildings’ walls to spark innovation and creative thinking. 

The art includes a combination of photographs depicting students, faculty and staff in action, living the Learn by Doing mantra. 

Images range from students working at the Mustang ‘60 machine shop and tuning up the Baja and Formula vehicles to faculty members conducting lab research to alumni working alongside current students. 

Other displays are traditional art pieces created by members of the College of Engineering community. 

Many of these pieces were submitted as part of the Art of Engineering challenge, a competition that was started to emphasize the connection between engineering and art. 

Art and engineering have always been interconnected, but with the development of new technology, more tools are available for artists, allowing them to use engineering and computing skills to plan, design and create their pieces. 

The annual Art of Engineering challenge focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration and the intersection of numbers-based and creative thinking. 

The competition is open to engineering faculty, staff, students and alumni, whose creations are then displayed in the engineering spaces for others to enjoy and reflect upon. 

“Art sparks a creative way of thinking, and we want students in the College of Engineering to think outside the box,” said College of Engineering Dean Amy S. Fleischer. 

Naomi Nicole Donato (software engineering) earned the Platinum Award in the 2023 Art of Engineering Challenge for her piece, “Through My Eyes: Connecting the Spectrum of Light.” 

“There is a spectrum of majors in engineering, and I wanted to capture the essence of that spectrum, witnessing how they are all interconnected,” Donato explained. 

The two parts of the piece, human and technological, reflect the working mind of engineering – those who create and perform the engineering work.

Black, white and grey art piece of a human eye, with the iris in different colors, each representing a different department in the College of Engineering
Naomi Nicole Donato’s Art of Engineering submission, “Through My Eyes: Connecting the Spectrum of Light”

The goal of including art along the walls is to inspire creativity and collaboration, helping those in the College of Engineering community form ideas that can change the world. 

“We hope anyone who enters the engineering buildings will see the photos and art and be inspired to create something of their own,” Fleischer said. “That’s the essence of Learn by Doing.” 

By Taylor Villanueva