Applied Arts and Sciences

Defining the terms in the 21st century

The Requirements of a Modern Museum of Applied Science, Art and Industry for Sydney
A R Penfold, Museum Director (1945–1955)

The meaning of applied art and applied science at the time of the drafting of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Act 1945 brought forward their use from the industrial revolution describing the singular applications of knowledge and skill in completing specific tasks separately from the application of creativity rather than the contemporary application of science and art to solve a problem.

Applied Arts

The practical application of design and aesthetics to objects of function and everyday use.

Applied Sciences

The practical application of existing scientific knowledge from one or more natural scientific fields to practical problems.

Beyond being the practical use of arts and science, applied art and science are the practice of applying creativity and knowledge to improve our life and work as practical solutions to problems. Historically, the terms have been used interchangeably as well as distinctively from art and science. Specifically, pure science is used to describe the pursuit of new knowledge and applied science is the practical application of science to a specific problem and is synonymous with technology. Fine art is used to describe pure creativity and storytelling and used to separate applied art: the application of design and aesthetics to solve a problem.