Derek Kiesling

Derek Kiesling
330 North Orchard Street, Room 2115H
Madison WI 53715
Preferred pronouns: he/him/his
Joined WID: 2021


Derek was raised in a family environment that stressed the importance of skilled labor and knowledge in the construction trades. Thanks to this background, he has found a very meaningful way to engage with academia through sculpture and art. Derek is also an avid musician. He is particularly fond of composing music and performing a style of guitar playing known as fingerstyle guitar.


  • BS, Mathematics and Physics, Tulane University
  • MS, Materials Engineering, UW-Milwaukee
  • MA, Sculpture, UW-Madison

Research Description

I believe artistic expression is dependent on the tool(s) utilized for its creation. For example, if I wanted to create a narrative, it is efficient to use video. If I wanted to create a landscape, I might paint it. While this is an oversimplification and you can certainly still create a very compelling narrative in a painting or a very compelling landscape with videography, each of these tools/mediums do have their own strengths. As such, I am curious how new tools and knowledge being developed in science and engineering will impact the kinds of artistic expression that are available to us.