Artineering seeks to build bridge between art and engineering majors

Natalie Venegas

Engineering and art majors joined forces during Sunday’s Artineering event to create sculptures and raise money for Her Future Coalition.

Artineering, an event organized by UT’s Theta Tau and Coders Across Disciplines, combines practices from fine arts and engineering to create sculptures from materials such as wood.

Participants competed in teams and were judged on functionality and aesthetic appeal. The sculptures were then sold. All proceeds will go toward Her Future Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to survivors of human trafficking, said event organizers.

“We wanted to demonstrate that engineering and art have a strong intersection,” said event coordinator Shay Rutenberg. “We also wanted to raise money for Her Future Coalition because we knew that if we were going to put on an event, it needed to have a greater impact.” 

Event coordinator Zoe Roden said Artineering was inspired by a conversation she had with Rutenberg about how even though engineering and art are similar disciplines, they are treated separately at UT.

 



“We talked about putting an event together to show that these disciplines can be merged in a very practical way,” said Roden, an art history freshman. “You don’t necessarily need to be totally dominate in one field in order to succeed in another.” 

Event participant Teresa Saldana said the process of building something can feel more creative by incorporating art into the competition.

“People can create amazing sculptures, but maybe don’t have a way to make it sturdy when applying weight,” said Saldana, a mechanical engineering junior. “By incorporating engineering to these art projects, it can help make the project more functional and creative.”

Rutenberg, a civil engineering sophomore, said the decision to raise money for charity came from Roden’s involvement in Lady Hands, a nonprofit organization in Austin that aims to empower human trafficking victims through art shows and concerts. 

“At the end of the day, it was a way to raise money for a charity that I think is relevant and important,” Rutenberg said. “It was also a way to bring like-minded creative people together and interact with each other.

Artineering is the first event of its kind at UT, Roden said, and both she and Rutenberg are still testing out ways to make the event better for everyone. 

“We are still figuring out things we could improve on,” Roden said. “However, I would like to make this a permanent event for the future.”