Engineering is closer to Art than to Science

A quote taken from the "Historical Definition of Engineering" by Edwin Layton, Jr. (1984) contains the definition that engineering is the great creative science.   A prominent civil engineer, Thomas C. Clarke, held that

Science is the discovery and classification of the laws of nature.   Engineering, in the broadest sense, is the practical application of such discovered laws...engineering is the great creative science.  [Layton, 1984]

This is better than we are applied scientists but it still puts too much emphasis on science.      Edwin Layton agrees and states...

Engineering is a community of people who are practitioners of a creative form of cognition, engineering design, akin to that practiced by artists.   [Layton, 1984]

Our method, the engineering method, is closer to how an artist goes about their work than it is to the scientific method.   For more definitions of engineering that characterize it as an art, see Jon A. Schmidt's excellent article "Philosophy and Engineering" in Structure September 2008 issue.

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