What We're Reading: “Future World-building Depends on Artists and Collaborative Networks”

"Over the last 150 years, humanity has experienced a breakneck pace of growth, not only in science and technology, but in population and data production. How could we as a species deal with so much knowledge unless we turned to hyper-specialization? We have done that well," said Kamal Sinclair (Guild of Future Architects) for NEA. "However, we still have not understood that the potential of these specializations is limited unless we can construct robust collaborative networks across fields and disciplines. At this point, we are so hyper-specialized that we are missing critical connections for discovery, design principles in our systems development, and context for defining meaning."

Sinclair offers her, "relevant recommendations based on my experience as a practitioner in this field of emergent technology and the arts:

    1. Embrace the inclusion of 'A' for Arts, evolving STEM programs to STEAM programs
    2. Break down industry and academic silos
    3. Develop research agendas to document technology-centered artists’ role in creative economy
    4. Enable artists to demonstrate the creative potentials of technology by providing early access"

"Ultimately, I hope this report’s recommendations are heeded by our country’s academic, cultural, and innovation spaces, so the rich experiences and outcomes of niche collaboration spaces such as New Frontier, Eyebeam, New Museum’s NEW INC, Bell Labs’ EAT Program, and others can become the norm, instead of the outliers. This adoption of arts as a central part of human systems design, rather than a part of the finishing gloss or marketing schemes, will help to mitigate limited designs in our systems that can lead to damaging and unintended consequences."

Read the full article here.