Art and Architecture: Effectively Communicating Models of Systems

Tom McDermott
24 May 2021

Systems architecture provides a framing for systems thinking. Systems architecture has long been considered as both an art and a science. The systems architect uses heuristics, stories, and models to communicate complex architectural concepts to stakeholders. Since the earliest times, master building architects have developed their skills broadly across the technical, business, and fine art domains. Principles and practices of systems architecture are exhibited in the creation of film scores, fine arts, and building architecture. Why not teach art as a core skill of the systems thinker? In our work, we explored a formal competency model linking art, systems thinking, and systems architecture. We associate competencies across these domains with the concept of elegant design. We are currently using the competency model in formal education in a course on systems and critical thinking in a post-graduate program on technology management. This talk will discuss the theory behind the competency model and its application to education in systems and critical thinking.

Presenter: Tom McDermott: Deputy Director & CTO, Systems Engineering Research Center, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ