Why FM requires right blend of art and science

Effective management of facilities requires the right blend of art and science to ensure the functionality of the entire built environment

Nahla Nana is a strategic consultant with DREI of the Dubai Land Department.
Nahla Nana is a strategic consultant with DREI of the Dubai Land Department.

The effective management of facilities requires the right blend of art and science to ensure the functionality of the entire built environment. They are intertwined in the sense that managing a structure is science, while connecting people and perspectives is art.

The public generally thinks of scientists as rigidly logical and artists as unconventional, but these two fundamental disciplines are interconnected, with their various components closely intersecting with each other.

Closer inspection reveals that both science and art are teeming with ideas, theories, and hypotheses.

They transform ideas by studying materials, nature and people. Artists and scientists test their ideas and theories in pursuit of knowing new and important things.

They take great satisfaction in solving humankind’s mysteries through the aid of their imagination and, as American playwright Eugene O’Neill once said, in explaining the mysterious forces behind life that shape human destiny.

In ancient times, many people, especially the Greeks, made no distinction between the two disciplines. Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci was a perfect example of their interconnection, with his scientific drawings hailed as works of art and his paintings as the subject of many scientific theories.

In today’s disruptive age when the world is surrounded with more data that it can handle, artists and scientists play a pivotal role in making sense of infinite information and putting order in society. Together, they can translate emerging knowledge in concrete and tangible ways.

Technology also comes into play in this unique interaction, with endless never-before-seen innovations dominating the present atmosphere.

Modern concepts such as the Internet of Things and contemporary trends, including smart cities, have provided artists with new and advanced tools for expression. Technology has indeed become a fundamental force behind the evolution of art.

Scientists, software developers, inventors and entrepreneurs, alongside musicians, visual artists, film-makers and designers, are busy creating new human experiences.

More than ever, today’s age provides them an ideal forum to meet, exchange ideas, and collaborate. It is exciting to see a young generation of creative individuals developing contemporary art that also drives a new agenda in science and stimulates technological innovation that meets today’s human needs.

Taking all these factors together, it is not far-fetched to acknowledge how art, science and facilities management (FM) perfectly blend together for a seamless integration of people, places, processes and technologies. All of them are substantial topics thoroughly discussed in a number of books and research projects due to their impacts on people and their lives.

This amalgamation is fundamental to the UAE’s vision of a contemporary and sustainable society where all members desire and lead high-quality lives.

As part of this aspiration, the country’s leaders are launching various key cultural projects, including the Museum of the Future and the Opera House in Dubai and The Louvre and the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in Abu Dhabi, to spur and advance the state’s economy.

The complexity of managing these art facilities will demand a deeper connection with FM.

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