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Scratching the Surface — 104. Cab Broskoski and Chris Sherron
"Cab Broskoski and Chris Sherron are two of the founders of Are.na, a knowledge sharing platform that combines the creative back-and-forth of social media with the focus of a productivity tool. Before working on Arena, Cab was a digital artist and Chris a graphic designer and in this episode, they talk about their desire for a new type of bookmarking tool and building a platform for collaborative, interdisciplinary research as well as larger questions around open source tools, research as artistic practice, and subverting the norms of social media."

[direct link to audio:
https://soundcloud.com/scratchingthesurfacefm/104-cab-broskoski-and-chris-sherron ]
jarrettfuller  are.na  cabbroskoski  chrissherron  coreyarcangel  del.icio.us  bookmarkling  pinterest  cv  tagging  flickr  michaelcina  youworkforthem  davidbohm  williamgibson  digital  damonzucconi  stanleykubrick  stephaniesnt  julianbozeman  public  performance  collections  collecting  research  2000s  interview  information  internet  web  sharing  conversation  art  design  socialmedia  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  online  onlinetoolkit  inspiration  moodboards  graphicdesign  graphics  images  web2.0  webdesign  webdev  ui  ux  scratchingthesurface  education  teaching  edtech  technology  multidisciplinary  generalists  creative  creativitysingapore  creativegeneralists  learning  howwelearn  attention  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  algorithms  canon  knowledge  transdisciplinary  tools  archives  slow  slowweb  slowinternet  instagram  facebook 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Magnum Nominee Sim Chi Yin • Magnum Photos
"I think we’re in the era of blending, bleeding, though of course each discipline and genre has its peculiarities and ethics. The terminology — researcher, photographer, artist — I have difficulty with. I’m just making and doing, thinking, growing!"



"Also, I’ve been thinking about the difference between reach and impact. It’s great to reach millions of people through being on the front page of the New York Times, but having impact on a smaller number of people in a different form is just as valid — if not more so, in our crowded and noisy world."

[via: https://twitter.com/jsamlarose/status/1036581998129815552 ]
via:jslr  simchiyin  photography  blending  bleeding  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  crosspollination  art  making  doing  growth  reach  impact  2018 
september 2018 by robertogreco
John Berger remembered – by Geoff Dyer, Olivia Laing, Ali Smith and Simon McBurney | Books | The Guardian
"Ali Smith

I heard John Berger speaking at the end of 2015 in London at the British Library. Someone in the audience talked about A Seventh Man, his 1975 book about mass migrancy in which he says: “To try to understand the experience of another it is necessary to dismantle the world as seen from one’s own place within it and to reassemble it as seen from his.”

The questioner asked what Berger thought about the huge movement of people across the world. He put his head in his hands and sat and thought; he didn’t say anything at all for what felt like a long time, a thinking space that cancelled any notion of soundbite. When he answered, what he spoke about ostensibly seemed off on a tangent. He said: “I have been thinking about the storyteller’s responsibility to be hospitable.”

As he went on, it became clear how revolutionary, hopeful and astute his thinking was. The act of hospitality, he suggested, is ancient and contemporary and at the core of every story we’ve ever told or listened to about ourselves – deny it, and you deny all human worth. He talked about the art act’s deep relationship with this, and with inclusion. Then he gave us a definition of fascism: one set of human beings believing it has the right to cordon off and decide about another set of human beings.

A few minutes with Berger and a better world, a better outcome, wasn’t fantasy or imaginary, it was impetus – possible, feasible, urgent and clear. It wasn’t that another world was possible; it was that this world, if we looked differently, and responded differently, was differently possible.

His readers are the inheritors, across all the decades of his work, of a legacy that will always reapprehend the possibilities. We inherit his routing of the “power-shit” of everyday corporate hierarchy and consumerism, his determined communality, his ethos of unselfishness in a solipsistic world, his procreative questioning of the given shape of things, his articulate compassion, the relief of that articulacy. We inherit writing that won’t ever stop giving. A reader coming anywhere near his work encounters life-force, thought-force – and the force, too, of the love all through it.

It’s not just hard, it’s impossible, to think about what he’s given us over the years in any past tense. Everything about this great thinker, one of the great art writers, the greatest responders, is vital – and response and responsibility in Berger’s work always make for a fusion of thought and art as a force for the understanding, the seeing more clearly and the making better of the world we’re all citizens of. But John Berger gone? In the dark times, what’ll we do without him? Try to live up to him, to pay what Simone Weil called (as he notes in his essay about her) “creative attention”. The full Weil quote goes: “Love for our neighbour, being made of creative attention, is analogous to genius.”

Berger’s genius is its own fertile continuum – radical, brilliant, gentle, uncompromising – in the paying of an attention that shines with the fierce intelligence, the loving clarity of the visionary he was, is, and always will be.

***

Geoff Dyer

There is a long and distinguished tradition of aspiring writers meeting the writer they most revere only to discover that he or she has feet of clay. Sometimes it doesn’t stop at the feet – it can be legs, chest and head too – so that the disillusionment taints one’s feelings about the work, even about the trade itself. I count it one of my life’s blessings that the first great writer I ever met – the writer I admired above all others – turned out to be an exemplary human being. Nothing that has happened in the 30-odd years since then has diminished my love of the books or of the man who wrote them.

It was 1984. John Berger, who had radically altered and enlarged my ideas of what a book could be, was in London for the publication of And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos. I interviewed him for Marxism Today. He was 58, the age I am now. The interview went well but he seemed relieved when it was over – because, he said, now we could go to a pub and talk properly.

It was the highpoint of my life. My contemporaries had jobs, careers – some even owned houses – but I was in a pub with John Berger. He urged me to send him things I’d written – not the interview, he didn’t care about that, he wanted to read my own stuff. He wrote back enthusiastically. He was always encouraging. A relationship cannot be sustained on the basis of reverence and we soon settled into being friends.

The success and acclaim he enjoyed as a writer allowed him to be free of petty vanities, to concentrate on what he was always so impatient to achieve: relationships of equality. That’s why he was such a willing collaborator – and such a good friend to so many people, from all walks of life, from all over the world. There was no limit to his generosity, to his capacity to give. This did more than keep him young; it combined with a kind of negative pessimism to enable him to withstand the setbacks dished out by history. In an essay on Leopardi he proposed “that we are not living in a world in which it is possible to construct something approaching heaven-on-earth, but, on the contrary, are living in a world whose nature is far closer to that of hell; what difference would this make to any single one of our political or moral choices? We would be obliged to accept the same obligations and participate in the same struggle as we are already engaged in; perhaps even our sense of solidarity with the exploited and suffering would be more single-minded. All that would have changed would be the enormity of our hopes and finally the bitterness of our disappointments.”

While his work was influential and admired, its range – in both subject matter and form – makes it difficult to assess adequately. Ways of Seeing is his equivalent of Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert: a bravura performance that sometimes ends up as a substitute for or distraction from the larger body of work to which it serves as an introduction. In 1969 he put forward Art and Revolution “as the best example I have achieved of what I consider to be the critical method”, but it is in the numerous shorter pieces that he was at his best as a writer on art. (These diverse pieces have been assembled by Tom Overton in Portraits to form a chronological history of art.)

No one has ever matched Berger’s ability to help us look at paintings or photographs “more seeingly”, as Rilke put it in a letter about Cézanne. Think of the essay “Turner and the Barber’s Shop” in which he invites us to consider some of the late paintings in light of things the young boy saw in his dad’s barber shop: “water, froth, steam, gleaming metal, clouded mirrors, white bowls or basins in which soapy liquid is agitated by the barber’s brush and detritus deposited”.

Berger brought immense erudition to his writing but, as with DH Lawrence, everything had to be verified by appeal to his senses. He did not need a university education – he once spoke scathingly of a thinker who, when he wanted to find something out, took down a book from a shelf – but he was reliant, to the end, on his art school discipline of drawing. If he looked long and hard enough at anything it would either yield its secrets or, failing that, enable him to articulate why the withheld mystery constituted its essence. This holds true not just for the writings on art but also the documentary studies (of a country doctor in A Fortunate Man and of migrant labour in A Seventh Man), the novels, the peasant trilogy Into Their Labours, and the numerous books that refuse categorisation. Whatever their form or subject the books are jam-packed with observations so precise and delicate that they double as ideas – and vice versa. “The moment at which a piece of music begins provides a clue to the nature of all art,” he writes in “The Moment of Cubism”. In Here Is Where We Meet he imagines “travelling alone between Kalisz and Kielce a hundred and fifty years ago. Between the two names there would always have been a third – the name of your horse.”

The last time we met was a few days before Christmas 2015, in London. There were five of us: my wife and I, John (then 89), the writer Nella Bielski (in her late 70s) and the painter Yvonne Barlow (91), who had been his girlfriend when they were still teenagers. Jokingly, I asked, “So, what was John like when he was 17?” “He was exactly like he is now,” she replied, as though it were yesterday. “He was always so kind.” All that interested him about his own life, he once wrote, were the things he had in common with other people. He was a brilliant writer and thinker; but it was his lifelong kindness that she emphasised.

The film Walk Me Home which he co- wrote and acted in was, in his opinion, “a balls-up” but in it Berger utters a line that I think of constantly – and quote from memory – now: “When I die I want to be buried in land that no one owns.” In land, that is, that belongs to us all.

***

Olivia Laing

The only time I saw John Berger speak was at the 2015 British Library event. He clambered on to the stage, short, stocky, shy, his extraordinary hewn face topped with snowy curls. After each question he paused for a long time, tugging on his hair and writhing in his seat, physically wrestling with the demands of speech. It struck me then how rare it is to see a writer on stage actually thinking, and how glib and polished most speakers are. For Berger, thought was work, as taxing and rewarding as physical labour, a bringing of something real into the world. You have to strive and sweat; the act is urgent but might also fail.

He talked that evening about the need for hospitality. It was such a Bergerish notion. Hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers, a word that … [more]
johnberger  2017  geoffdyer  olivialaing  alismith  simonmcburney  marxism  capitalism  migration  soundbites  hospitality  storytelling  hope  hopefulness  utopia  hierarchy  consumerism  compassion  unselfishness  questioning  skepticism  simoneweil  creativeattention  attention  goldenrule  humanism  encouragement  relationships  friendship  equality  giving  generosity  solidarity  suffering  seeing  noticing  looking  observation  senses  kindness  commonality  belonging  ownership  thinking  howwethink  care  caring  blackpanthers  blackpantherparty  clarity  money  communalism  narrowness  alls  difference  openness  crosspollination  hosting  hosts  guests  strangers  enemies  listening  canon  payingattention  audience  audiencesofone  laughter  resistance  existence  howtolive  living  life  howwelive  refuge  writing  certainty  tenderness 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — John Holt, How Children Learn Children do not...
"After I re-read that section, I was reminded of Laurence Weschler writing about David Hockney, and how “interest-ing” for Hockney is a verb: it is the continual projection of interest. (The more you look at something, the more interesting it gets.) This was certainly the case with me after I started reading this book, and Holt in general: I, who felt like a somewhat enlightened parent, started noting all the ways I wasn’t paying attention to them, and over time, they have become more interesting to me, not because I’m doting on them more, or even spending more time with them, but because I am looking at them like little scientists, or just little people, who are worthy of interest. (It sounds so stupid: of course a parent should find their kids interesting, but think about how many parents and teachers and adults you know — maybe including yourself — who, secretly, probably don’t.)

Holt’s work has really shaken me up, blown my mind, and given me a different way of thinking about my kids. Some of my favorite bits, below."
johnholt  howchildrenlearn  education  learning  children  trust  austinkleon  lawrencewescheler  davidhockney  art  interestedness  interested  interesting  attention  payingattention  noticing  parenting  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  librarians  teachers  purpose  belonging  work  community  conversation  cv  pacing  meaningmaking  unschooling  deschooling  departmentalization  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  control  independence  anxiety  howchildrenfail  testing  assessment  reggioemilia  punk  games  play  standardizedtesting  love  2016  listening 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The world wants more 'porous' cities – so why don't we build them? | Cities | The Guardian
"People of all classes, races and religions come and go in intense and complex Nehru Place. But while Delhi’s electronics market is every urbanist’s dream, it is not the sort of space most cities are building"



"Recently I tried to buy an iPhone in Nehru Place, an open-air electronics market in Delhi where goods that “happen to fall off a truck” are sold for 30%, 40% or 70% discounts – whatever cash you have handy. My iPhone turned out to a damaged dud, but I didn’t really care; the experience of going to Nehru Place was eye-opening. It’s a completely porous spot in the city, people of all castes, classes, races and religions coming and going, doing deals or gossiping about the small tech start-ups in the low offices which line the square; you can also worship at a small shrine if you’re so minded, or find a sari, or just lounge about drinking tea.

Nehru Place is every urbanist’s dream: intense, mixed, complex. If it’s the sort of place we want to make, it’s not the sort of space most cities are building. Instead, the dominant forms of urban growth are mono-functional, like shopping centres where you are welcome to shop but there’s no place to pray. These sorts of places tend to be isolated in space, as in the offices “campuses” built on the edge of cities, or towers in a city’s centre which, as in London’s current crop of architectural monsters, are sealed off at the base from their surroundings. It’s not just evil developers who want things this way: according to Setha Low, the most popular form of residential housing, world-wide, is the gated community.

Is it worth trying to turn the dream of the porous city into a pervasive reality? I wondered in Nehru Place about the social side of this question, since Indian cities have been swept from time to time by waves of ethnic and religious violence. Could porous places tamp down that threat, by mixing people together in everyday activities? Evidence from western cities answers both yes and no.

In Dresden, last year’s Pegida demonstrations against the Muslim presence in Germany turned out to be by people who don’t live anywhere near Muslims in the city; indeed, who know no Muslims. There again, in a study of several US cities, the American social scientist Robert Putnam’s researchers found that the farther away white Americans live from African Americans, the more tolerant they become.

Against this latter logic of separation stands Paris. The Islamic banlieus of Paris are separated from the centre by the ceinture, the ever-clogged ring-road around the inner city; so, too, in Brussel’s Molenbeek district, from which many terrorists come, is a disconnected island space. As the sociologist Willlaim Julius Wilson has shown, such physical islands breed an inward-looking mentality in which fantasy about others takes the place of fact bred of actual contact – as true, Wilson argues, of the black ghetto as it is of Christian Pegida.

I am uncomfortable about debates over separation and inclusion which move almost seamlessly to citing violent, extreme behaviour as evidence for or against. Which is why Nehru Place is a better example to think about this issue than Molenbeek. Everyday people are going about their business with others unlike themselves, people they don’t know or perhaps don’t like. There is what might be called the democracy of crime here, as Hindus and Muslims both sell illegal electronics; a wave of violence would clear off customers for both. Getting along in this way isn’t particular to India, or to open-air markets. Numerous studies show that in offices or factories that adults of different religions and races work perfectly well together, and the reason is not far to seek.

Work is not about affirming your identity; it’s about getting things done. The complexity of city life tends, in fact, to breed many identities for its citizens as workers, but also as spectators at sports events, as parents concerned about schooling or patients suffering from NHS cuts. Urban identities are porous in the sense that we are going in and out of lots of different experiences, in different places, with people we don’t know, in the course of a day. When pundits opine on the difficulty of difference, they flatten identity into a single image, just one experience. The modern economy can flatten identity when it sells people on the idea that gated, homogeneous communities are safe, (not true in fact), builds shopping centres only for shopping, or constructs office campuses and towers whose workers are sealed off from the city.

If the public comes to demand it, urbanists can easily design a porous city on the model of Nehru Place; indeed, many of the architects and planners at the Urban Age events now unfolding in London have made proposals to “porosify” the city. Like Nehru Place, these larger visions entail opening up and blurring the edges of spaces so that people are drawn in rather than repulsed; they emphasise true mixed use of public and private functions, schools and clinics amid Tesco or Pret; they explore the making of loose-fit spaces which can shift in shape as people’s lives change.

I don’t believe in design determinism, but I do believe that the physical environment should nurture the complexity of identity. That’s an abstract way to say that we know how to make the porous city; the time has come to make it."
cities  richardsennett  2015  urban  urbanism  porosity  nehruplace  delhi  india  complexity  sethalow  dresden  roberputnam  sociology  paris  brussels  molenbeek  williamjuliuswilson  christianpegida  race  religion  design  urbandesign  london  publicspace  flexibility  change  adaptability  crosspollination  diversity  markets  community 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Small groups and consultancy and coffee mornings ( 7 Oct., 2015, at Interconnected)
"One permanent pattern in our workshop culture:
Best design consultancy tip I know: Don't criticise without offering something better. Called the Ahtisaari Manoeuvre after an early client


Always have something on the table.

Another: Always use fat pens.

Another: It's important to have the right people in the room -- representing knowledge of technical possibilities, business needs, and market insights. But at the same time, the ideal number of people to have in the room is five or six. Any more than that, you can't continue a single conversation without it turning into a presentation.

Another: The one who understands the client's business best is the client."



"There are a couple of things I'm investigating:

1. That a small group is a powerful way of thinking, and of creating action. That repetition matters, and informality.

2. It might be possible to help with strategy without providing original thought or even active facilitation: To consult without consulting. The answers and even ways of working are inherent in the group itself.

My hunch is this: To answer a business's strategic questions, which will intrinsically involve changing that business, a more permanent solution than a visiting consultant might be to convene a small group, and spend time with it, chatting informally."




"Once a week we get together -- a half dozen students, often Durrell, whoever is teaching the course with him which was Stuart before and Oscar now, plus a special guest.

It's just for coffee somewhere or other, on Friday mornings, and we chat. It's super casual, sharing ideas and references, talking about the brief and design in general.

I'm curious about informality.

The lunchtimes at BERG, everyone around the table with such a broad range of skills and interests... and after Friday Demos - part of the weekly rhythm - the sparked conversations and the on-topic but off-topic sharing... this is where ideas happen too. Between projects but not outside them.

And I think informality as part of the design process is under-communicated, at least where I've been listening. So much work is done like that. The students are great at speaking about their work, sure. But mainly I'm interesting in how we induct someone into a worldview, quickly; how we explain ideas and then listen carefully for feedback, accepting ideas back -- all conversationally, without (and this is the purpose of the special guest) it turning into a seminar or a crit.

I think the best way to communicate this "lunch table" work informality is to rehearse it, to experience it. Which is what the coffee mornings are about.

I try to make sure everyone speaks, and I ask questions to see if I can encourage the removal of lazy abstraction -- words that get in the way of thinking about what's really going on. I'm a participant-observer.

Tbh I'm not sure what to call this. Visiting convener? It's not an official role.

I think (I hope!) everyone is getting something out of the experience, and everyone is becoming more their own kind of designer because of it, and meanwhile I get to explore and experience a small group. A roughly consistent membership, a roughly regular meeting time, an absence of purpose, or rather a purpose that the group is allowed to negotiate at a place within itself.

~

These RCA coffee mornings grew out of my experiment with hardware-ish coffee mornings, a semi-irregular meetup in London having a vague "making things" skew... Internet of Things, hardware startups, knitting, the future of manufacturing and distribution, a morning off work. That sort of thing. People chat, people bring prototypes. There's no single conversation, and only rarely do we do introductions. This invite to a meet in January also lists my principles:

• Space beats structure
• Informality wins
• Convening not chairing
• Bonfires not fireworks

I've been trying to build a street corner, a place to cultivate serendipity and thoughts. Not an event with speakers, there are already several really good ones."



"My setup was that I believed the answer to the issue would come from the group, that they knew more about their business than me.

Which was true. But I also observed that the purpose of the business had recently changed, and while it could be seen by the CEO that the current approach to this design problem wasn't satisfying, there was no way for the group to come together to think about it, and answer it together. Previously they had represented different strands of development within the startup. Now the company was moving to having a new, singular, measurable goal.

So I started seeing the convened discussions as rehearsing a new constellation of the team members and how they used one-another for thinking, and conscious and unconscious decision making. The group meetings would incubate a new way to think together. Do it enough, point out what works, and habits might form.

~

Consulting without consulting."



"I'm not entirely sure where to take these experiments. I'm learning a lot from various coffee mornings, so I'll carry on with those.

I had some conversations earlier in the year about whether it would be possible to act as a creative director, only via regular breakfast conversations, and helping the group self-direct. Dunno. Or maybe there's a way to build a new division in a company. Maybe what I'm actually talking about is board meetings -- I've been a trustee to Startup Weekend Europe for a couple of years, and the quarterly meetings are light touch. But they don't have this small group aspect, it might be that they haven't been as effective as they could be.

There might be something with the street corners and serendipity pattern... When I was doing that three month gig with the government earlier this year, it felt like the people in the civil service - as a whole - had all the knowledge and skills to take advantage of Internet of Things technologies, to deliver services faster and better. But often the knowledge and opportunities weren't meeting up. Maybe an in-person, regular space could help with that.

At a minimum, if I'm learning how to help companies and friends with startups in a useful way that doesn't involve delivering more darn Powerpoint for the meat grinder: Job done.

But perhaps what's happening is I'm teaching myself how to do something else entirely, and I haven't figured out what that is yet.

~

Some art. Some software."
mattwebb  small  groups  groupsize  2015  collaboration  consulting  vonnegut  kurtvonnegut  organization  howwewrite  writing  meaningmaking  patternrecognition  stevenjohnson  devonthink  groupdynamics  psychology  wilfredbion  dependency  pairing  serendipity  trickster  doublebinds  informality  informal  coffeemornings  meetings  crosspollination  conversation  facilitation  catalysts  scenius  experienceingroups 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Victor Hwang at Austin Community College, December 11, 2014 : The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever : NPR
"When you go fishing, the best places to drop your line are at the transition points, where light meets dark, shallow meets deep, fast meets slow. The same is true for human life." —Victor Hwang, Austin Community College, December 11, 2014
seams  scars  2014  liminality  borders  edges  transitions  crosspollination  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  victorhwang  liminalspaces  littoralzone 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Tamborzão Goes to Thailand — Chrysaora Weekly — Medium
"It started with a WeChat Sight I received from my mom at 7 a.m. one morning. I squinted sleepily at the silent preview, amused by the elderly Asian woman’s adorable dance moves. Then the music kicked in, and I woke up fast. The woman was dancing on a sidewalk somewhere in Thailand, but the Portuguese rapping and the beatbox beat were unmistakably Brazilian.

This is the kind of world-spanning electronic music thing I live and skip meals for. I spent all my free time over the next two weeks investigating.

*********

The music I care about the most hasn’t settled on an umbrella label, but I know it when I hear it. To generalize wildly: it’s the kind produced by and for young people using pirated software all over the world. It’s loud enough to be its own drug, with a heavy foundation of bass to give people something to gyrate to at dance parties. It’s released online with file names that end in “FINAL DRAFT 05–12.mp3,” and is also sometimes sold in homemade mix CDs by street vendors. Often, it’s raunchy and violent enough to incite moral panic.

Well-made dance music, like design, is a highly functional form of art created in conversation with those who enjoy it. New songs are tested live at parties, often well before they’re finished, and co-evolve alongside the dance forms and fashions they accompany. Many of the genres are so tied to spaces that they’re named after their venues: dancehall, ballroom, or just (Baltimore/Jersey) “club.” The lyrics and instrumentals of the music are prone to sampling, soaking up references to mainstream music, pop culture, current events, and tech with in record turnaround time. The tracks are raw glimpses into their birthplaces, each one reflecting the place not as it was or as it would like itself to be, but as it is in the instant it’s made.

Though the sounds and contexts of these musical genres differ from place to place, they share a lot in common these days: production tools (Ableton Live, Fruity Loops, Roland drum machines), distribution platforms (SoundCloud, YouTube), and demographics (kids who want to party). These commonalities have allowed these regional club scenes to find, borrow from, and even work with each other. The dynamics of this interplay mostly reflect the globalization that connected the world in the first place, with European and American labels acting as brokers and gatekeepers. But occasionally an unexpected cross-pollination appears— like a Thai grandmother dancing to Brazilian music on the sidewalk."



"IRL, dances take place in hard-earned public spaces ruled — and sometimes run — by young people. These dance floors are important liminal spaces where identities and communities can be explored, normalized, and established, and where young people can simply have unsupervised, escapist fun with their peers.

Online, dance floors are asynchronous and global. People share videos of themselves dancing — sometimes in groups, often in their bedrooms or living rooms — and watch each other’s videos in turn to learn new moves or just to take a hit of contagious joy straight to the amygdala.

“Kawo Kawo” itself is not the pinnacle of music production, but it’s remarkable both as the result of an unlikely global discourse and as the rallying call for some incredible dance videos. It’d be overly naïve to claim that dance music alone can breed some kind of universal empathy, but in the success of “Kawo Kawo” I see a glimmer of hope for new global connections born in the rapture of music rather than in the trauma of colonialism.

When the sun is hot and the music is blasting, whether it’s during Songkran or Carnaval, anything seems possible."
christinaxu  2015  music  global  thailand  brasil  brazil  dance  internetonline  youtube  soundcloud  wechat  facebook  international  kawokawo  djchois  mcjairdarocha  crosspollination  remixing 
june 2015 by robertogreco
A Community of Artists: Radical Pedagogy at CalArts, 1969-72 (East of Borneo)
"In (and Out of) the Classroom

The academic program instituted in the first two years after the institute opened in 1970 responded actively to the radical critique of education, at the same time evincing a Romantic belief in the liberating and equalizing powers of art and artists. Early promotional literature explicitly redefined the notion of “school” or steered clear of the word altogether. As Judith Adler notes in her 1979 ethnography of CalArts, Artists in Offices, “reference to the new organization as an institute (with its connotations of scientific and scholarly prestige) and as a community implicitly distinguished CalArts from other schools where artists teach students.” 6 The CalArts concept statement explicitly stated that “students [were] accepted as artists […] and encouraged in the independence this implies,” while elsewhere faculty and students were described as “collaborators.” 7

The first admissions bulletin similarly highlighted the fact that there was to be no fixed curriculum at CalArts. Provost and dean of theater Blau advocated “no information in advance of need,” and dean of music Mel Powell called for “as many curricula as students.” The vision for critical studies outlined by dean Maurice Stein argued for doing away with courses altogether, because “courses really get nobody anywhere.” Powell’s vision for the music school was similarly anarchic and personality-driven: “We must know by now that curricula, or especially descriptions of curricula, are almost always humbug. What counts is the people involved. Expansion of musical sensibility, adroitness, knowledge, experience—that has to be operative, not catalog blather.”

Many of the radical pedagogical impulses expressed in these early admissions materials came to pass once the institute was up and running—in its first year, on a temporary campus at the Villa Cabrini, a former Catholic girls’ school in Burbank, and in its second year, on the permanent CalArts campus in Valencia. Although the school of critical studies did end up offering courses, the options might better be described as “anti-courses”—i.e., non-academic classes parodying academic classes or academic classes in subject areas considered unworthy of study by the academy, such as Advanced Drug Research, Chinese Sutra Meditation, Sex in Human Experience and Society or Superwoman: A Feminist Workshop. Across the institute, schedules were intentionally loose and attendance voluntary. 9 One of the course schedule bulletins that were mimeographed weekly and distributed on campus lists a range of classes and events, some of which repeat, others that do not: a lecture on “Epistemology of Design” is offered “at instructor’s home,” while Peter Van Riper is scheduled to lecture on “Art History or Whatever He’s Into”; a meeting with the dean of students is open to “all persons interested in discussing and working on untraditional ways of providing psychological services (Counseling, Group Therapy, Encounter Groups, etc.)”; the Ewe Ensemble (Music of Ghana) meets in parking lot W, at the same time that Kaprow offers Advanced Happenings; in the evening, a concert by Ravi Shankar."



"The Fluxus artists’ interest in a more open-ended, experienced-based pedagogy and their experiments with temporality and alternative uses of space dovetailed nicely with the administration’s desire to buck the bureaucratic conventions of schooling. 13 As the associate dean of the art school, Kaprow in particular had a powerful influence on the direction of the early institute. “Kaprow was the thinking behind the school as far as I’m concerned,” Knowles argues. “[He] had the vision of a school based on what artists wanted to do rather than what the school wanted them to do.”"



"Corrigan and Blau fought their dismissal, insisting that they couldn’t be fired by the Disney Corporation, only by the board of trustees—who to begin with refused to support the decision. Roy Disney modified his position to allow Corrigan to stay on until the end of the year, though he remained firm in his firing of Blau as provost. Blau rejected an offer to stay on as dean of theater and dance, and by the end of 1972, both Corrigan and Blau had been ousted, three years after they’d begun planning the new school and two years after it opened. The faculty was downsized, and numerous hires they had made were canceled or let go.

Notes from a faculty retreat convened in Idyllwild, California after the institute’s first year reveal that many of the original faculty and administrators themselves favored reforming the structure and curriculum of the institute, and one wonders how the school might have developed had Corrigan and Blau been allowed to stay and build on their experience. Blau, for instance, argued that “the faculty must be better structured to reflect more of a distinction between student and faculty” and “a better definition of competence, eligibility, and progress must be established” for students. He also suggested that “separate programs […] be introduced for students who are capable of directing themselves and those students who need more specific guidance.” Other faculty members cited “great dissatisfaction with the chaotic situation of the past year,” “a need for more pragmatism,” and a need to clarify “programs and degrees—their content and what they represent.”

Although by that time the Disneys had donated more than $30 million to the school, much of it had gone to fund the building, which was lavishly equipped for art making, and the institute soon found itself in financial trouble. After a brief interlude with Walt Disney’s son-in-law Bill Lund at the helm, CalArts got a new president in 1975, Robert Fitzpatrick, whose charge was to assure fiscal solvency to the institute and make “all the divisions separate, to give each dean complete autonomy in his field, and to make the intermingling available to the students who could profit by it as a resource, not an obsession.” 28 Fitzpatrick had little reverence for the institute’s founding vision—either Walt’s version or Blau and Corrigan’s: “The trouble with utopia is that it doesn’t exist,” he said in a 1983 interview. “And then there was this dream of the perfect place for the arts, with all the disciplines beautifully mingling, every filmmaker composing symphonies, every actor a perfect graphic artist. Sure, it’s a great idea as far as it goes. But nobody noticed that each of the arts has its own pace, its own rhythm, and its own demands.”

What is missing from Fitzpatrick’s own vision is any reference to the more Marcusian conception of the institute not just as the “perfect place for the arts,” but as an ideal community fashioned through the arts. As Faith Wilding reflects on her experience in the Feminist Art Program and the community that developed out of it:
What remains of primary importance to me […] is the sense that we were connecting to a much larger enterprise than trying to advance our artistic careers, or to make art for art’s sake. It was precisely our commitment to the activist politics of women’s liberation, to a burgeoning theory and practice of feminism, and to a larger conversation about community, collectivity and radical history, which has given me lasting connections to people and a continuing sense of being part of a cultural and political resistance, however fragmentary the expression of this may be in my life today.

Despite his own conflicts with the institute, Blau holds a similar perspective: “During the time I was there (I cannot speak for it now), it was—like the Bauhaus or Black Mountain—not only a school but very much what Disney wanted, a community of the arts, in which students and teachers trained together, performed together, constructed ‘environments’ together and even somehow managed—where the particular work was not of a communal nature—to leave each other alone.”

CalArts today is a school rather than an anti-school, with grades (low pass/pass/high pass), a timetable for graduation, and for the first time in its history, a syllabus in every classroom. Yet an investment in radical pedagogy persists, with a loose consensus that the educational situations that work best often involve field trips and social outreach, project-based learning, and “mentoring” as opposed to “teaching.” The notion that faculty are to treat students as artists and colleagues prevails, with its attendant benefits and difficulties. The question of what form the delivery of content should take is a live one. Time and space are continually contested, and an openness to what might be places constant pressure on what is.

Just last year, the institute carved out a “commons” time from the heavily scheduled individual school curricula in which students can come together across disciplines to collaborate—in some sense, a return to its origins. Although, to paraphrase Marcuse, an art school can only be truly free in a free society—i.e., art becomes life only when life is also opened up to creative change—the promise of this commingling endures. Indeed, the Gesamtkunstwerk that preserves a vision of emancipated social life in times of political conservatism holds even greater possibilities in our own era of renewed resistance and collective action."
calarts  cv  history  education  1960s  1970s  robertfitzpatrick  roydisney  waltdisney  robertcorrigan  mariosalvo  herbertblau  fluxus  judithadler  melpowell  janetsarbanes  mauricestein  feminism  freedom  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  alisonknowles  petervanriper  allankaprow  dickhiggins  emmettwilliams  jamestenney  namjunepaik  owensmith  judychicagomiriamschapiro  johnbaldessari  herbertmarcuse  art  arteducation  radicalism  communes  communalism  interdisciplinary  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  experimentation  blackmountaincollege  bmc  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  deschooling  capitalism  unschooling  power  control  democracy  anti-teaching  anti-schools  artschools  altgdp  activism  community  relationships  bauhaus  collectivism  society  grades  grading  schedules  timelines  syllabus  projectbasedlearning  2014  1969  1970  1971  1972  pbl  radicalpedagogy  artschool  syllabi 
august 2014 by robertogreco
studio : lab : workshop | Abler.
"I’ve been saying for some years now that my wish is to be as close to science-making as possible: that is, not merely teaching complementary art and design practices for young scientists in training, but to be in the formative stages of research and development much further upstream in the process. Asking collaboratively: What research questions are worthy questions? What populations and individuals hold stakes in these questions? Are there important queries that are forgotten? Could parallel questions be pursued in tandem—some quantitative, others qualitative? And how do we engage multiple publics in high-stakes research?"

To put it another way: What happens when extra-disciplinary inquiry lives alongside traditional forms of research—especially when those traditional forms occupy the disciplinarily privileged status of the STEM fields? Inviting both generalist and specialist approaches starts to hint at what a “both-and” disposition could look like. As here in David Gray’s formulation of specialists and generalists:

[image]

Breadth, he says, is the characteristic of the generalist, and depth the characteristic of the specialist. A thriving academic research program surely needs both: but not just in the forms of symposia, scholarly ethics, or data visualization to (once more) “complement” or even complicate the science. It’s the last note of Gray’s that I’m particularly paying attention to, because it’s what good critical design and hybrid arts practices often do best: They act as boundary objects.

Gray says those objects can be “documents, models, maps, vocabulary, or even physical environments” that mark these intersections of broad and deep ideas. Well, I’d say: especially physical environments and phenomena. At the scale of products or screens or architectural spaces, these objects can act as powerful mediators and conduits for ideas. They can become modes of discourse, opportunities for public debate, sites of disciplinary flows.

It’s these kinds of objects that I’d like to be a feature of the studio/lab/workshop I’ll bring to Olin: An ongoing pursuit of ideas-in-things that live at all the various points along a continuum between practical use, on the one hand, and symbolic or expressive power on the other. Two poles in the manner still most accessibly captured by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby—both of which I’d like to be present.

And what does this mean for the habits of mind we cultivate? I return often to the ideas of Jack Miles in this essay—also about generalists and specialists, with a key useful heuristic: that specialists tend to embody the disposition of farmers, while generalists tend to embody the virtues of hunters. Both are necessary, and both need each other. The careful tending to a field whose needs are more or less known, protected, and nurtured further, on the one hand. And the more landscape-crossing, round-the-next-bend pursuit of the not yet known and its promised nourishment, on the other.

I want students to try out and value both operative modes, no matter where their own career paths take them. Knowing that others are also asking valuable questions in different disciplinary ways ideally breeds humility: a sense that what one has to offer could be enriched when conjoined in conversation with others whose expertise may not be immediately legible from within a silo.

And not just humility: I want students in engineering to know that their practices can be both private and public, that their status as citizens can be catalyzed through making things. Things that may be practical, performative, or both.

In practical terms, we’ll be looking at labs like Tom Bieling’s Design Abilities group in Berlin, Ryerson’s EDGE Lab, the Age and Ability Lab at RCA, and the newly-formed Ability Lab at NYU Poly. But we’ll also be looking methodologically at Kate Hartman’s Social Body Lab at OCAD, at the CREATE group at Carnegie Mellon, and of course Natalie Jeremijenko’s Environmental Health Clinic.

Possible paths to pursue: A “design for one” stream of prosthetic devices made for one user’s self-identified wish or need. An ongoing partnership with any of a number of schools or clinics in the Boston area where provisional and low-tech assistive devices could make education more responsive to children’s up-to-the-minute developmental needs. Short-term residencies and workshops with critical engineers and artists working with technology and public life. Public, investigative performances and installations that address issues of ability, dependence, and the body in the built environment.

These things will take time! I can’t wait to begin."
sarahendren  2014  olincollege  design  specialization  specialists  generalists  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  engineering  stem  davidgray  research  academia  extra-disciplinary  ability  dependence  audiencesofone  jackmiles  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  ablerism  events  nataliejeremijenko  tombieling  kateharman  prosthetics  abilities  disability  designcriticism  criticaldesign  speculativedesign  humility  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  accessibility  assistivetechnology  discourse  conversation  openstudioproject  lcproject  howwelearn  howweteach  disabilities 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Watering the Roots of Knowledge Through Collaborative Learning - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"These problematic aspects of the model are symptoms of its first major fault, a violation of the wisdom of Confucius: "Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I will remember; involve me, and I will understand." I have demonstrated this fault directly. One fall at Columbia University, I had the usual 80-student class of bright, ambitious undergraduates fulfilling their science requirement by taking my lecture course on the solar system. Most attended the lectures, and, mostly, they paid attention (I do not use PowerPoint). They worked through long quantitative problem sets, took biweekly quizzes, and performed well on the midterm and final exams. They then went home for Christmas and on to the spring semester.

The following September, I gathered most of them again and administered a test on some of the material we had covered. I gave the same test to my new class before my first lecture. The results were statistically indistinguishable. So much for pouring knowledge from the full container to the empty ones—it leaks out.

The second major fault of the current educational model is that learning is an isolated activity. Yes, we bring a number of students together to form a "class," but then we do everything possible to isolate students from each other: "No talking in class"; "Please leave two seats between each person for this exam"; "Do all your own work." We desocialize learning, separating it from the periods of normal human interaction we call dorm-room bull sessions.

The third misplaced pillar of educational practice is competition and its accompanying correlate, quantitative measurement. Standardized tests proliferate; grade-point averages are calculated to four significant figures. We pretend that these numbers measure learning and use them to award scholarships, sort professional-school applicants, and, sadly, evaluate self-worth. And we are surprised that cheating—the goal of which is to get a higher score—is widespread. If a group of students works together effectively and efficiently to solve a hard problem, in school this is called cheating. In life, as the British educator Sir Ken Robinson notes, it's called collaboration, a valued asset in most real-world settings."



"General education is often thought of as a means to expose students to a broad range of "essential" knowledge and to provide a historical context for the culture in which they live. These are valid, but insufficient, goals. The purpose of general education should be to produce graduates who are skilled in communication, imbued with quantitative reasoning skills, instinctively collaborative, inherently transdisciplinary in their approach to problems, and engaged in their local and global communities—broadly educated individuals with an informed perspective on the problems of the 21st century and the integrative abilities to solve them."
davidhelfand  questuniversity  2013  via:tealtan  education  design  curriculum  academia  highereducation  highered  tcsnmy  cv  teaching  learning  unschooling  blockprograms  collaboration  deschooling  measurement  standardization  standardizedtesting  standards  social  isolation  comparison  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  coloradocollege  flexibility  depth  depthoverbreadth  generalists  generaleducation  adaptability  shrequest1 
july 2013 by robertogreco
The University as a Googleplex | MPG
"When you hear people say - now and in our present context - that they want the university to be run like a business - full of "sherpas" but not "coasters" - what they really mean is that they don't want it to exist. At all. They don't want it to be dependent on public dollars, or "welfare," or that they don't want "tenured radicals" to be rewarded for obscure, narrowly applicable research agendas, or that they want higher education to be cheap and affordable. This is a certain kind of business model. More like Wal-Mart. It cheapens education. And it spells, down the road, the end of schooling, generally, as anything other than a bestowal of bare skills on a prospective worker."



"Yes, there are serious structural problems with interdisciplinarity. Many clever deans and provosts and chancellors see the metaphors of "bridges" and "switching points" and "nodes" as cutting-edge cost-saving measures, since, in many cases, a single jointly-appointed faculty isn't a truly new hire; he or she is a reallocated budget line, once wholly in one department or another, and now split. Budget problems are real and ongoing. Your average administratrix does the best that he or she can in an age of limited resources to keep the antique disciplines strong and to open the curriculum up to the avante-garde at the same time. Sometimes, they figure - or hope? - that a single person, allocated in two directions, can do the institutional work of many.

If you are trying to foster new knowledge, hiring is the start of it, not the end. What comes next, though, is what often gets skipped: building a more robust interdisciplinary infrastructure - a Googleplex for academics.

So, then, build bridges, where and when you can. Worry as much about sidewalks as that new humanities building. Offer faculty and staff subventions for a bicycle, or give them away. Don't get too caught up with putting the cognate units close together. Make the process of connection over space easier, so that the practice of articulation between units and fields and offices is generative. Keep your faculty moving. Good ideas often come on the road, in transit, in the spaces between destination and departure. If budgets are tight, worry less about clustering like-minded units; worry more about the creation of scenic walkways with flat, safe sidewalks, and benches.

But, then, don't skimp on the tech. You know what kills ideas? It isn't the sprint from one office to another. It is the discovery, on the end of the route, of dodgy wifi, spotty ethernet, and the chatter of the prehistoric desktop computer. Or it is the grinding weight of that 10 lbs. laptop from 2005. So, really, ipads for everyone and segways, too, along with moleskine notebooks, whiteboards, and color pens. Pay for iphones and cover the data costs. Spend the extra 10 million (a tenth of the cost of a big new LEED building) for the best internet connection. And, while you're at it, set up a shuttle bus. And if someone wants to see if the new google chromebook works for them - just as an experiment - say "yes." This isn't pampering. It is dreamscape infrastructure.

When the time comes to hire someone, embrace the weird. Hire people who don't mind wearing running shoes, or who text while they run, or who gchat through meetings. People who love to be in two places, or three, at once. People who aren't just working on three books at once, but who can actually make progress on each. People who can speak to a handful of fields and not just one. Hire foxes, not hedgehogs. And, above all else, hire people who can work with other people.

And then, finally, don't screw it all up by hanging these people out to dry: change the rules about tenure and promotion to protect interdisciplines, groupwork in the humanities, and digital publishing. Make it possible for new forms of knowledge production to be recognized as equally important and valuable. In the humanities, this means that we need to stop the unthinking worship of the book, and remember that the book is a vehicle for ideas, which get expressed - fully and richly - in many ways.

All of this stuff costs about as much as one lab for one scientist, which sounds pretty efficient to me. And the payoff, which may not come in the form of grant money or retail teaching, is worth every penny. If we want to measure our "best" and our "brightest" universities by their movement of the conversation, by their reorientation of everything we know about anything, then let's steal some good ideas from the Googleplex.

But let's also remember that the Googleplex and Google are different. The former is a structure of innovation, while the latter, just like Wal Mart, exists chiefly to market a product, in this case an eco-system through which an enhancement can be bought and downloaded. So build a Googleplex, but don't be Google. Because the central point here is that while universities can learn some useful things from studying corporate cultures of innovation, they can't ever be businesses. And anyone who says otherwise really, truly, and seriously just wants to kill them off."
highered  google  highereducation  education  business  publicgood  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  schooldesign  organization  2013  academics  technology  crosspollination  lcproject  openstudioproject  hiring  hierarchy  flatness  money  matthewprattguterl 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Maverick Colleges: Ten Noble Experiments in American Undergraduate Education (1993)
[Second edition (1996) of the book with some additional schools here in PDF: https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/experimental-study-group/es-291-learning-seminar-experiments-in-education-spring-2003/readings/MITES_291S03_maverick.pdf ]

[Wayback:
http://web.archive.org/web/20130730023648/http://www.mit.edu/~jrising/webres/maverick.txt
https://web.archive.org/web/19961105162647/http://www.gse.utah.edu/EdAdm/Galvin/Maverick.html ]

"This book is a product of a University of Utah graduate seminar conducted in the spring of 1991: "Notable Experiments in American Higher Education" (Educational Administration 728). The contributing authors are professor of educational administration L. Jackson Newell and seminar students, each of whom selected an innovative, or "experimental," college for research and reporting."

"Common Themes:

As seminar participants exchanged findings about the ten selected colleges, several prominent themes emerged that had not been predetermined by selection criteria but appeared to indicate common postures among experimental colleges. These include:

• Ideals spawning ideas. In most cases, the ten colleges appeared to start with the ideals of visionary founders. For some, the ideal concerned the citizens who would emerge from the learning experience …

• Emphasis on teaching; retreat from research. The vast majority of experimental colleges are liberal education colleges where the art of teaching and the development of students are values of high esteem. …

• Organization without specialization. Not unexpectedly, these experimental colleges also tended to turn away from the disciplinary organization of scholarship that had sprung from the German research university model. …

• Administrative innovations. Freedom from traditional higher education bureaucracy and hierarchy have been common pursuits of the colleges studied. …

Divergent Approaches:

Just as common themes instruct us about the aims and aspirations of various experimental colleges, so too do their divergent approaches. Two notable areas of difference among the colleges focus on who should attend and how their learning might best be organized during the college years."

[Bits from the section on Black Mountain College:]

"Its educational commitment--to democratic underpinnings for learning that comes from "human contact, through a fusion of mind and emotion" (Du Plessix-Gray 1952:10)-- was reflective of a larger liberal environment that managed a brief appearance before the 1950s ushered in fear of Communism and love of television."



"Rice and his colleagues had stronger convictions about how a college should operate than about how and what students might learn. Democracy would be paramount in the administration of the college, and structure would be loose. Students and faculty joined in marathon, long-winded decision-making meetings with decisions ranging from a faculty termination to a library acquisition.

Particularly prominent, and vital to the democratic underpinnings envisioned by Rice, was the absence of any outside governing body. Rice had determined that control exerted by boards of trustees and college presidents rendered faculty participation meaningless, limiting faculty to debate, "with pitiable passion, the questions of hours, credits, cuts. . . . They bring the full force of their manhood to bear on trivialities. They know within themselves that they can roam at will only among minutiae of no importance" (Adamic, 1938:624).

The faculty did establish a three-member "Board of Fellows," elected from among them and charged with running the business affairs of the College. Within a year, a student member was added to the Board."



"The 23-year history of Black Mountain College was one of few constants and much conflict. Three forceful leaders marked three distinct periods during the 23 years: the John Rice years, the Josef Albers decade, and the Charles Olson era.

During the first 5 years of the College, a solidarity of philosophy and community gradually took shape. It revolved largely around John Rice's outgoing personality (much intelligence and much laughter mark most reports from colleagues and students) and forceful opinions about education. He was determined, for example, that every student should have some experience in the arts.

This translated as at least an elementary course in music, dramatics and/or drawing, because:
There is something of the artist in everyone, and the development of this talent, however small, carrying with it a severe discipline of its own, results in the student's becoming more and more sensitive to order in the world and within himself than he can ever possibly become through intellectual effort alone. (Adamic 1938:626)

Although he cautioned against the possible tyranny of the community, Rice eventually decided that some group activity would,
…help the individual be complete, aware of his relation to others. Wood chopping, road-mending, rolling the tennis courts, serving tea in the afternoon, and other tasks around the place help rub off individualistic corners and give people training in assuming responsibility. (Ibid, 1938:627)



"Rice soon discovered what he would later call the "three Alberses"--the teacher, the social being and the Prussian. The Prussian Albers decried the seeming lack of real leadership at the College and the free-wheeling, agenda-less, community-wide meetings. Rice noted later, "You can't talk to a German about liberty. You just waste your breath. They don't know what the hell you mean" (Duberman 1972:69)."



"The war years ushered in a different kind of Black Mountain; one where students, and at least some faculty members, started lobbying for more structure in learning, but yet more freedom outside the classroom. Lectures and recitations were starting to occur within the classroom, while cut-off blue jeans and nude sun bathing appeared outside. Influential faculty member Eric Bentley insisted to his colleagues: "I can't teach history if they're not prepared to do some grinding, memorizing, getting to know facts and dates and so on…" (Duberman 1972:198). Needless to say, with Albers and many of the original faculty still on board, faculty meetings were decisive and volatile.

Overshadowing this dissent, however, was a new program that was to highlight at least the public notion of a historical "saga" for the College, the summer institutes. Like much at Black Mountain, the summer institutes started more by chance than choice."



"The summer institutes grew throughout the 1940s to include notable talents in art, architecture, music and literature. And it is probably these institutes and the renown of the individuals in attendance that contributed most to Black Mountain's reputation as an art school."



The excitement and publicity generated by the summer sessions, in addition to a general higher education population explosion spurred by the G.I. Bill, put the Black Mountain College of the late 1940s on its healthiest economic footing yet.

Still, Black Mountain managed to avoid financial stability. Student turnover negated some of the volume gains. Faculty salaries rose substantially, but grants and endowments did not. Stephen Forbes, for example, who had always been counted on to supply money to the College in tough times, refused a request in 1949 because he was disenchanted with the new emphasis on arts education at the expense of general education. The ability to manage what money it had also did not increase at Black Mountain, although Josef Albers proposed a reorganization that would include administrators and an outside board of overseers. In the wake of arguments and recriminations about the financial situation and how to solve it, a majority (by one vote) of the faculty called for the resignation of Ted Dreier, the last remaining faculty member from the founding group. In protest, four other faculty members resigned--including Josef and Anni Albers. By selling off some of the campus acreage, the remaining faculty managed to save the College and retain its original mindset of freedom from outside boards and administrators, while setting the stage for yet another era in its history [Charles Olson].



"What Albers lacked in administrative ability, he compensated for in tenacity and focus. What Rice lacked in administrative ability, he balanced with action and ideas. However, when Olson couldn't manage the administrative function, he simply retreated. His idea about turning the successful summer institutes into a similar series of year-long institutes fell on deaf faculty ears. So he gave up trying to strengthen the regular program."



"The vast majority of former Black Mountain students can point to clear instances of lasting influence on the rest of their lives. Mostly, this seems to have occurred through association: with one or two faculty members who made a difference, with a "community" of fellow individuals who were essential resources to one another, or with a new area of endeavor such as painting or writing or farming. Black Mountain, apparently, was a place where association was encouraged. Perhaps this occurred through the relatively small number of people shouldered into an isolated valley, perhaps by a common dedication to the unconventional, or perhaps to the existence of ideals about learning and teaching. At any rate, the encouragement of association with people and with ideas was not the norm in higher education then, nor is it now. Clearly, it is possible to graduate from most colleges and universities today with little, if any, significant association with faculty, students or ideas.

But at Black Mountain, as at other experimental colleges, association could hardly be avoided. Engagement with people and ideas was paramount; activity was rampant. It was social, and it was educational. As Eric Bentley would remark:

Where, as at Black Mountain, there is a teacher to every three students the advantage is evident. . .a means to … [more]
deepspringscollege  reed  reedcollege  stjohn'scollege  prescottcollege  bereacollege  colleges  alternative  alternativeeducation  lcproject  openstudioproject  experientialeducation  unschooling  deschooling  1991  ljacksonnewell  katherinereynolds  keithwilson  eannadams  cliffordcrelly  kerrienaylor  zandilenkbinde  richardsperry  ryotakahashi  barbrawardle  antiochcollege  antioch  hierarchy  organizations  ephemeral  leadership  teaching  learning  education  schools  research  visionaries  ideals  idealism  specialization  generalists  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  transdisciplinary  innovation  freedom  bureaucracy  universityofchicago  collegeoftheatlantic  democracy  democraticeducation  structure  ephemerality  popupschools  small  smallschools  josefalbers  charlesolson  johnandrewrice  lucianmarquis  highered  highereducation  progressivism  blackmountaincollege  bmc  maverickcolleges  evergreenstatecollege  experientiallearning  miamidadecommunitycollege  ucsantacruz  monteithcollege  fairhavencollege  westernwashingtonuniv 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Manufacturing Serendipity - Rand's Blog
This manufacturing serendipity business breaks down pretty much like this:

1. Go to places that are not your office (conferences, events, meetups, trains, etc)
2. Participate in things, learn things, and be generally game for new experiences
3. Meet interesting people in the process
4. Build relationships
5. Be generally awesome by helping the people you’ve met and doing good deeds with no expectation of a return
6. Repeat 1-5 hundreds of times

Following this process yields a weird and wonderful return on investment. But, like many investments that actually pay off, that return is poorly understood for three big reasons:

Reason #1: The true value of serendipity usually comes years down the line. …

Reason #2: It’s nearly impossible to measure the impact of serendipity. …

Reason #3: Attribution is almost always misplaced."
learning  crosspollination  relationships  randfishkin  2012  luck  networking  serendipity 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Steven Berlin Johnson: Instead of building cathedrals in learning, we need to learn to build cathedrals | Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation in Education Symposium
"“Collaboration between different intelligences is the hallmark of innovative spaces,” he remarked. But it wasn’t always easy for Johnson, who has an undergraduate degree in semiotics from Brown University and a graduate degree in English Literature from Columbia, to see how science and the humanities could be entwined. It wasn’t until he was exposed to the work of former Columbia Professor Franco Moretti that he realized bridges could be built joining the two.

Moretti gained fame for controversially applying quantitative scientific methods to the humanities. Johnson mentioned reading Moretti’s Signs Taken for Wonders, and the mind-blowing impact the professor’s use of Darwinian techniques to analyze literature had on him. It was the first time he saw scientific procedures being employed to evaluate literature.

From that moment on, Johnson began researching iconic innovators."
cathedralsoflearning  everythingbadisgoodforyou  gaming  games  multidisciplinarythinking  connectivesyntheticintelligence  connectiveintelligence  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  generalists  specialization  interconnectivity  patterns  conenctions  innovation  multipleintelligences  diversity  problemsolving  systemsthinking  parenting  videogames  teaching  schools  collaboration  gutenberg  crosspollination  feathers  exaptation  devonthink  evolution  stephenjaygould  commonplacebooks  creativity  darwin  francomoretti  semiotics  hunches  learning  2011  stevenjohnson  charlesdarwin  interconnected 
july 2012 by robertogreco
XOXO Festival by Andy Baio — Kickstarter
"Hey Kickstarter! We're organizing XOXO, an arts and technology festival in Portland, Oregon this September 13-16th.

XOXO is a celebration of disruptive creativity. We want to take all the independent artists using the Internet to make a living doing what they love — the makers, craftspeople, musicians, filmmakers, comic book artists, game designers, hardware hackers — and bring them together with the technologists building the platforms that make it possible. If you have an audience and a good idea, nothing’s standing in your way.

XOXO is in three parts:

Conference (Saturday – Sunday). Talks from artists and creative technologists around the country that are breaking new ground.
Market (Saturday – Sunday). A large marketplace with a tightly-curated list of the best of Portland's arts and tech scenes, sharing and selling their work, with food supplied by the best of our thriving food cart scene…"
via:caseygollan  togo  oregon  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  technology  arts  collaboration  hackerspaces  hackers  hardware  design  2012  events  andybaio  kickstarter  disruption  disruptive  conferences  portland  xoxo 
may 2012 by robertogreco
The Two Cultures - Wikipedia
"The Two Cultures is the title of an influential 1959 Rede Lecture by British scientist and novelist C. P. Snow.[1][2] Its thesis was that "the intellectual life of the whole of western society" was split into the titular two cultures — namely the sciences and the humanities — and that this was a major hindrance to solving the world's problems."
via:charlieloyd  polarization  twocultures  multi  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  departmentalization  departments  thoughtsegregation  interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  1959  theory  engineers  science  humanities  thetwocultures  cpsnow 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Metropolis M » Magazine » 2011 No5 » dOCUMENTA (13) Thinks Ahead
"A collection of notes is a curious archive of attempts. Attempts to understand the language we use, the logic we trace, and the images we generate to understand life today. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the artistic director of dOCUMENTA (13), would say that these notebooks are “worlding” exercises, weaving and stringing together different potentials.’"

"we are really interested in exploring artistic research. Artists, like scientists, are pioneers when it comes to creating new forms of connectivity between worlds that seem to have nothing in common with each other. They embark on the endless study of everything that contributes to different formulations of what we call reality. Taking artistic research seriously means accepting disorganisation within the relationship between disciplines that deal with contemporary art. The rise of cultural studies, critical theory, and the many variations of post-Marxist understanding of the relationship between art and economics is the fruit of…"
sketchbooks  worldbuilding  worlding  sensemaking  meaningmaking  meaning  cv  howwethink  howwecreate  howwelearn  howwework  research  art  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  artisticresearch  connections  potentials  sketching  drawing  language  logic  deschooling  unschooling  glvo  notebooks  2012  carolynchristov-bakargiev  chusmartinez  documenta(13)  documenta  understanding  notetaking  notes  learning 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Notes Towards A Theory of Twitter (Revised) | A.T. | Cleveland
"Twitter is an associative writing form, not a narrative one. In Twitter, we are sent somewhere else-via a link-or reminded of something. We are not telling stories. Thus, while the twitter fiction is swell and cute, it usually it misses the generic boat. Twitter promises a new slate for poets. For fiction writers, not so much. (For what I find to be a notable exception, see my piece for Economist.com). Tweets create meaning and aesthetic experiences  by reminding us, not by telling a story…

1.a.) Twitter does not operate on the narrative arc of rising action, suspense, climax, and denouement…

Twitter lacks single-point perspective (or omniscience)…

2.) Twitter helps resist the curse of paragraphism…

2.a.) A new focus on the sentence is salutary…

Conclusion: There is no summing up on twitter. There are many arrows pointing one across (not up or down) to the ideas of others, cross-fertilization, and forced attention to the composition of sentences."
via:allentan  2012  sentences  hypertext  communication  howwewrite  classiseas  composition  crosspollination  cross-fertilization  storytelling  narrative  literature  paragraphism  writing  twitter  annetrubek 
january 2012 by robertogreco
“Sometimes the stories are the science…” – Blog – BERG
"About a decade ago – I saw Oliver Sacks speak at the Rockerfeller Institute in NYC, talk about his work.

A phrase from his address has always stuck with me since. He said of what he did – his studies and then the writing of books aimed at popular understanding of his studies that ‘…sometimes the stories are the science’.

Sometimes our film work is the design work.

Again this is a commercial act, and we are a commercial design studio.

But it’s also something that we hope unpacks the near-future – or at least the near-microfutures – into a public where we can all talk about them."
oliversacks  learning  deschooling  unschooling  education  berg  berglondon  mattjones  timoarnall  storytelling  design  understanding  newgrammars  conversation  meaning  meaningmaking  glvo  tcsnmy  classideas  art  paulklee  domains  interdisciplinarity  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  perspective  mindset  wbrianarthur  jackschulze  mattwebb  technology  future  dansaffer  rulespace  simulation  believability  materialquality  film  video  invention  creativity  time  adamlisagor  brucesterling  vernacularvideo  victorpapanek  jasonkottke  andybaio  johnsculley  apple  stevejobs  knowledgenavigator  prototypes  prototyping  iteration  process  howwework  howwelearn  communication  simulations 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Rob Walker: Questions About 'The New Aesthetic': Observers Room: Design Observer
"Stumbling into other peoples' back yards is good, as it helps to define one's own territory. I'm realising I'm more interested in the communicative and psychological effects that living with these technologies produces, the cross-fertilisation between technology and culture and the normalisation of those cross-overs—as well as the sheer temporal vertigo it can produce."

"The New Aesthetic is not criticism, but an exploration; not a plea for change, rather a series of reference points to the change that is occurring. An attempt to understand not only the ways in which technology shapes the things we make, but the way we see and understand them."
jamesbridle  robwalker  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  interdisciplinary  thenewaesthetic  machine-readableworld  dataobjects  bernhardrieder  digitization  technology  noticing  change  nearfuture  2011  newaesthetic 
november 2011 by robertogreco
The Startup Man: A Conversation With Joi Ito - Gregory Mone - Technology - The Atlantic
"…part of what managing the Lab is going to be about: trying to make that space perfect. Because the way it's laid out, the way things are connected, and how people run into each other and stumble on new things, a lot of that is affected by the layout. I don't think everybody gets how important that is…

Multi-disciplinary is a really key missing part of society, whether you're talking about science or the economy or any of these things. We've gotten so good at getting deep and being more and more specialized about a smaller and smaller thing that now we've got so many people who are really, really smart but don't know how to talk, let alone build anything together…

A physicist and a chemist and an architect are only going to work together really well when they're building something. You can have them sit around a table and argue but they'll really only be talking across each other. The minute you try and build something together it becomes rigorous."
mitmedialab  joiito  2011  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  lcproject  collaboration  making  doing  discovery  innovation  tcsnmy  learning  sharing  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  serendipity  generalists  creativity  creativegeneralists  medialab 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Steve Jobs and the Rewards of Risk-Taking - NYTimes.com
"The academics identify five traits that are common to the disruptive innovators: questioning, experimenting, observing, associating and networking. Their bundle of characteristics echoes the ceaseless curiosity and willingness to take risks noted by other experts. Networking, Mr. Gregersen explains, is less about career-building relationships than a search for new ideas. Associating, he adds, is the ability to make idea-producing connections by linking concepts from different disciplines — intellectual mash-ups."
questioning  experimenting  experimentation  observation  observing  association  associating  networking  curiosity  disruptiveinnovation  stevejobs  2011  risktaking  tcsnmy  ideas  mashups  mashup  interdisciplinary  generalists  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  halgregersen 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Architecture needs to interact - Op-Ed - Domus
"Instead of bringing together users through machines, what if interaction design were reconceived to foster positive friction between different design disciplines? What would interaction design look like if it wasn't only (or even necessarily) digital, but if it genuinely melded architecture, industrial and product design, graphic design, art, video narrative, tiny technology, large scale networks, and so on? What would debates between the disciplines be like? What might win, and more importantly, what would they unearth about interaction design in general? What other disciplines might emerge and what new visions of the world might appear? The recognition that many other fields have dealt with these issues and continue to do so, may open up a larger conversation that reveals new relationships, isomorphisms, productive frictions—even interactions."
architecture  design  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  mollywrightsteenson  fredscharmen  mit  medialab  nicholasnegroponte  janejacobs  christopheralexander  cedricprice  archigram  reynerbanham  urbancomputing  interactiondesign  networkarchitecture  billmoggridge  billverplank  ideo  philtabor  2011  mitmedialab 
june 2011 by robertogreco
cloudhead - school
"Subjects and textbooks are just fences
arbitrary boundaries that corral learners
and keep them from wandering off into other territory.
A plot of land in exchange for a horizon.
Exploration replaced with Epcot Center.

Outside of school
science stumbles into art which tumbles into economics.
which is one click away from Picasso
which is right next to the photo you just posted on facebook.

Knowledge divided into subjects divided into classrooms
divided into textbooks divided into chapters
makes no sense
when everything touches everything."
cloudhead  headmine  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  crosspollination  messiness  glvo  cv  lcproject  poetry  science  art  boundaries  cityasclassroom  realworld  knowledge  curriculum  curriculumisdead  teaching  schools  schooliness  shiftctrlesc 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Subtle Technologies | where art and science meet
"“subtle technologies brings people together to promote wonder, incite creativity and spark innovation across disciplines”

Subtle Technologies is a gathering of artists, scientists, technologists, engineers and the general public. We share cross-disciplinary ideas, explore new technologies, showcase creativity and incubate the next generation of practitioners at the intersection of art, science and technology."
design  technology  art  architecture  science  events  toronto  subtletechnologies  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  innovation  creativity 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" | Video on TED.com
"As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy."
elipariser  echochambers  serendipity  internet  online  web  media  relevance  search  google  facebook  exposure  2011  ted  via:jessebrand  politics  crosspollination  dialogue  walledgardens  algorithms  censorship  personalization  advertising  yahoonews  huffingtonpost  nytimes  washingtonpost  impulse  aspirationalselves  filterbubble  dialog 
may 2011 by robertogreco
FT.com / House & Home - Liveable v lovable
"“These surveys always come up with a list where no one would want to live. One wants to live in places which are large and complex, where you don’t know everyone and you don’t always know what’s going to happen next. Cities are places of opportunity but also of conflict, but where you can find safety in a crowd."

"What makes a city great: *Blend of beauty and ugliness – beauty to lift the soul, ugliness to ensure there are parts of the fabric of the city that can accommodate change…*Diversity…*Tolerance…*Density…*Social mix – the close proximity of social and economic classes keeps a city lively…*Civility…"
cities  rankings  vancouver  nyc  losangeles  london  joelkotkin  rickyburdett  joelgarreau  tylerbrule  edwinheathcote  2011  livability  diversity  density  tolerance  society  vitality  social  economics  civility  beauty  ugliness  janejacobs  crosspollination  opportunity  dynamism  conflict  classideas 
may 2011 by robertogreco
LeisureArts: MacGyver - Bricoleur - LeisureArts
"…pushing for re-thinking the field, finding other ways to critically negotiate, & promote work of cultural MacGyvers. Robyn Stewart, in Text [Oct 2001], writes in…"Practice vs. Praxis: Constructing Models for Practitioner Based Research:"

"It is not easy being a bricoleur. A bricoleur works w/in & btwn competing & overlapping perspectives & paradigms (& is familiar w/ these). To do so they must read widely, to become knowledgeable about variety of interpretive paradigms that can be brought to a problem, drawing on Feminism, Marxism, Cultural Studies, Constructivism, & including processes of phenomenography, grounded theory, visual analysis, narratology, ethnography, case & field study, structuralism & poststructuralism, triangulation, survey, etc."

It's not easy to write about them either…requires challenging available orthodoxies, an equally at-ease disposition w/ regard to switching conceptual domains & categories, & flexibility to leave one's critical assumptions behind…"
bricolage  bricoleur  leisurearts  generalists  arts  art  culture  reading  cv  marxism  feminism  constructivism  narratology  ethnography  casestudies  fieldstudies  aesthetics  poststructuralism  structuralism  survey  triangulation  phenomenography  groundedtheory  theory  praxis  robynstewart  macgyver  criticalthinking  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  research  claudelevi-strauss  culturehacking  hacking  tinkering  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  jacks-of-all-trades  making  doing  glvo  dilettante  bernardherman  randallszott  2006  jacquesderrida  artleisure 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Bricolage - Wikipedia
"Bricolage (pronounced /ˌbriːkɵˈlɑːʒ/ or /ˌbrɪkɵˈlɑːʒ/) is a term used in several disciplines, among them the visual arts, to refer to the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work created by such a process. The term is borrowed from the French word bricolage, from the verb bricoler, the core meaning in French being, "fiddle, tinker" and, by extension, "to make creative and resourceful use of whatever materials are at hand (regardless of their original purpose)". In contemporary French the word is the equivalent of the English do it yourself, and is seen on large shed retail outlets throughout France. A person who engages in bricolage is a bricoleur."

[Bricoleur!]
bricolage  bricoleur  creativity  language  postmodernism  art  tinkering  diy  glvo  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  multimedia  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  learning  education  borrowing  french  fiddling  culture  punk  edupunk  claudelevi-strauss  guattari  constructionism  seymourpapert  sherryturkle  ianbogost  kludge  deleuze  thesavagemind  polystylism  jacquesderrida  gillesdeleuze  félixguattari 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Twitter / @Timothy Burke: "Interdisciplinarity" see ...
[A thread on Twitter about interdisciplinarity…]

"Interdisciplinarity" seems so formal, like a treaty organization. I like the version that's about smuggling stuff across borders. [http://twitter.com/swarthmoreburke/status/63037778606292992 ]

@swarthmoreburke @publichistorian "Idea Smuggler". Love it. [http://twitter.com/navalang/status/63039078488211456 ]

@swarthmoreburke @navalang @publichistorian Cross-disciplinary. Anti-disciplinary. Black-market scholarship. [http://twitter.com/tcarmody/status/63041041145663488 ]

@tcarmody @swarthmoreburke @navalang @publichistorian Bricolage. [http://twitter.com/ayjay/status/63042045635334144 ]

[Additional, unassembled thoughts: discipline tunneling, cross-pollination, kludge, bilge, edupunk, thought trafficking, pirates, buccaneer scholar, clandestine, etc.]
interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarity  crossdisciplinary  ideasmuggling  crosspollination  bricolage  antidisciplinary  black-marketscholarship  pirates  piracy  cv  academia  academics  timcarmody  alanjacobs  navneetalang  suzannefischer 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Joining the MIT Media Lab - Joi Ito's Web
"In the press release announcing my appointment, Nicholas Negroponte, Media Lab co-founder and chairman emeritus says, "In the past 25 years, the Lab helped to create a digital revolution -- a revolution that is now over. We are a digital culture. Today, the 'media' in Media Lab include the widest range of innovations, from brain sciences to the arts. Their impact will be global, social, economic and political -- Joi's world."

I really felt at home for the first time in many ways. It felt like a place where I could focus - focus on everything - but still have a tremendous ability to work with the team as well as my network and broader extended network to execute and impact the world in a substantial and positive way."
mit  education  joiito  2011  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  medialab  nicholasnegroponte  digitalrevolution  digitalculture  change  innovation  brain  science  art  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  networks  teamwork  mitmedialab 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Podcast: Empathy, mutual aid and the anarchist prince
"Peter Kropotkin was one of the greatest thinkers of the nineteenth century, who managed to multi-task as a Russian prince, renowned geographer and revolutionary anarchist. In this interview with Phonic FM, a wonderful community radio station based in Exeter, I discuss how Kropotkin’s ideas about ‘mutual aid’ relate to my own work on empathy, and why Kropotkin is a prophet for the art of living in the twenty-first century. The interview lasts around 50 minutes."
peterkropotkin  empathy  anarchism  romankrznaric  outrospection  mutualaid  history  2011  podcasts  tolisten  philosophy  science  politics  peacebuilding  ethics  interviews  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  society  policy  law  cognitiveempathy  affectiveempathy  perspective  understanding  radicalsocialchange  socialchange  conversation  learning  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  strangers  conversationmeals  interdisciplinary  facilitating  connectivism  connections  generalists  cooperation  cooperativegroups 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Douglas Hofstadter - Wikipedia
"Douglas Richard Hofstadter (born February 15, 1945) is an American academic whose research focuses on consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation, literary translation, and discovery in mathematics and physics."

"Both inside and outside his professional work, Hofstadter is driven by a pursuit of beauty. He seeks beautiful mathematical patterns, beautiful explanations, beautiful typefaces, beautiful sonic patterns in poetry, and so forth. Hofstadter has said of himself, "I'm someone who has one foot in the world of humanities and arts, and the other foot in the world of science.""
psychology  math  science  douglashofstaster  physics  consciousness  analogy  art  beauty  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  philosophy  literarytranslation  translation  communication  patterns  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  self-reference  creativity  cognitivesciences 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Really Free School
"Surrounded by institutions and universities, there is newly occupied space where education can be re-imagined. Amidst the rising fees and mounting pressure for ‘success’, we value knowledge in a different currency; one that everyone can afford to trade. In this school, skills are swapped and information shared, culture cannot be bought or sold. Here is an autonomous space to find each other, to gain momentum, to cross-pollinate ideas and actions.

If learning amounts to little more than preparation for the world of work, then this school is the antithesis of education. There is more to life than wage slavery.

This is a part of the latest chapter in a long history of resistance. It is an open book, a pop-up space with no fixed agenda, unlimited in scope, This space aims to cultivate equality through collaboration and horizontal participation. A synthesis of workshops, talks, games, discussions, lessons, skill shares, debates, film screenings."
education  activism  london  social  uk  agitpropproject  freeschools  sharing  autodidacts  community  work  wageslavery  institutions  universities  crosspollination  unschooling  deschooling  collaboration  hierarchy  participatory  resistance  the2837university  popup  pop-ups 
february 2011 by robertogreco
On Education § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM
"The global skill gap arises because neither the high-level specialist within a discipline nor the policy-school graduate is likely to be equipped with the skills needed to solve global problems of a cross-disciplinary nature. The experts provide crucial insights, but their skills are typically focused on generating research, debating ideas, and addressing narrow issues rather than large-scale professional problem solving and management. Meanwhile, the policy graduate typically lacks the grounding in core scientific principles across the appropriate range of topics. The solution lies in training sophisticated science-educated generalists who can coordinate insights across disciplines while managing complex agendas for results."
education  global  interdisciplinary  highered  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  multidisciplinary  learning  problemsolving  criticalthinking  collaboration  generalists  specialization  specialists  policy  management  complexity  science  academia 
december 2010 by robertogreco
A Physicist Turns the City Into an Equation - NYTimes.com ["According to data, when a city doubles in size, every measure of economic activity increases by approximately 15% per capita.]
One quote:

“A human being at rest runs on 90 watts,” he says. “That’s how much power you need just to lie down. And if you’re a hunter-gatherer and you live in the Amazon, you’ll need about 250 watts. That’s how much energy it takes to run about and find food. So how much energy does our lifestyle [in America] require? Well, when you add up all our calories and then you add up the energy needed to run the computer and the air-conditioner, you get an incredibly large number, somewhere around 11,000 watts. Now you can ask yourself: What kind of animal requires 11,000 watts to live? And what you find is that we have created a lifestyle where we need more watts than a blue whale. We require more energy than the biggest animal that has ever existed. That is why our lifestyle is unsustainable. We can’t have seven billion blue whales on this planet. It’s not even clear that we can afford to have 300 million blue whales.” 
urban  urbanism  geoffreywest  cities  corporations  growth  physics  modeling  models  energy  density  efficience  freedom  remkoolhaas  planning  policy  economics  self-control  short-termmemory  memory  architecture  design  urbantheory  urbanscience  theory  science  data  census  walking  transportation  patternrecognition  patterns  math  mathematics  infrastructure  jonahlehrer  organic  organisms  consumption  metabolism  sustainability  interaction  janejacobs  collaboration  crosspollination  robertmoses  efficiency 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Alexandra Lange: Networks Before the Internet: Observers Room: Design Observer
"On the wall at the Noguchi Museum's excellent new show, On Becoming an Artist: Isamu Noguchi & His Contemporaries, 1922-1960, is the flow chart above, reducing the artistic collaborations of a lifetime to a series of black lines. Charts like these are a bit of an obsession for mid-century design historians. There's one on the cover of Gordon Bruce's monograph on Eliot Noyes. Metropolis published this chart of Philip Johnson's many tentacles. Charles Eames even doodled one of his own. They are a quick & pseudo-scientific way to make an important point: the worlds of art, design & architecture at mid-century were small, & all the players closely entwined. We think of Noguchi as a sort of Zen genius, Gordon Bunshaft as a pushy corporate pawn, but the two worked together for years. Bunshaft may have given Noguchi his best commissions, like Connecticut General, below, & even had a Noguchi at his lovely Hamptons house. Our idea of the personalities breaks down in the face of data."
isamunoguchi  eames  gordonbunshaft  modernism  networks  art  artists  design  connections  philipjohnson  architecture  designobserver  alexandercalder  constantinbrancusi  johncage  fridakahlo  buckminsterfuller  florenceknoll  stuartdavis  louiskahn  richardneutra  crosspollination  hermanmiller  georgenelson  alexandralange 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From: multidisciplinary hymn to diversity, openness and creativity - Boing Boing
"if you want to be innovative, you need to put yourself into innovative environments: places where lots of contradictory ideas from many disciplines are crossing paths, where institutions and governments don't over-regulate or conspire to crush new ideas; where existing platforms stand ready to have new platforms built atop them, as TCP/IP, SGML and various noodling experiments over many decades let Tim Berners-Lee invent the Web (itself a platform that many others invent atop of).

This is stirring stuff: a strong defense of open networks, shared ideas, serendipity (he even cites Boing Boing as a counter to doomsayers who say that the net's directed search creates a serendipity-free echo chamber) and minimal control over ideas so that they can migrate to those who would use them in ways their "creators" can't conceive of. These are axioms for many of us who grew up with the Internet and the Web…"
innovation  ideas  stevenjohnson  corydoctorow  invention  crosspollination  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  web  internet  boingboing 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Konstantin Novoselov Interview - Special Topic of Graphene - ScienceWatch.com
"The style of Geim's lab (which I'm keeping and supporting up to now) is that we devote ten percent of our time to so-called "Friday evening" experiments. I just do all kinds of crazy things that probably won’t pan out at all, but if they do, it would be really surprising. Geim did frog levitation as one of these experiments, and then we did gecko tape together. There are many more that were unsuccessful and never went anywhere (though I still had a good time thinking about and doing those experiments, so I love them no less than the successful ones).

This graphene business started as that kind of Friday evening experiment. We weren’t hoping for much, and when I gave it to a student, it initially failed. Then we had what you could call a stream of coincidences that basically brought us some very remarkable results quite quickly—within a week or so. Then we decided to continue on a more serious basis."
google20%  tcsnmy  graphene  science  physics  materials  play  research  fun  serendipity  experimentation  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  konstantinnovoselov  interviews 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson on Where Ideas Come From | Magazine
"Kelly: It’s amazing that the myth of the lone genius has persisted for so long, since simultaneous invention has always been the norm, not the exception. Anthropologists have shown that the same inventions tended to crop up in prehistory at roughly similar times, in roughly the same order, among cultures on different continents that couldn’t possibly have contacted one another.

Johnson: Also, there’s a related myth—that innovation comes primarily from the profit motive, from the competitive pressures of a market society. If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.

Kelly: The musician Brian Eno invented a wonderful word to describe this phenomenon: scenius. We normally think of innovators as independent geniuses, but Eno’s point is that innovation comes from social scenes,from passionate and connected groups of people."
stevenjohnson  kevinkelly  innovation  ideas  history  technology  creativity  scenius  brianeno  networks  books  crosspollination  evolution  life 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Black Mountain College - Wikipedia
"Founded in 1933 by John Andrew Rice, Theodore Dreiser, & other former faculty members of Rollins College, BMC was experimental by nature & committed to an interdisciplinary approach, attracting faculty that included many of America's leading visual artists, composers, poets, & designers, like Bucky Fuller…

Operating in a relatively isolated rural location with little budget, BMC inculcated an informal & collaborative spirit & over its lifetime attracted a venerable roster of instructors. Some of the innovations, relationships, and unexpected connections formed at BMC would prove to have a lasting influence on the postwar American art scene, high culture, & eventually pop culture…

Not a haphazardly conceived venture, BMC was a consciously directed liberal arts school that grew out of the progressive education movement. In its day it was a unique educational experiment for the artists & writers who conducted it, & as such an important incubator for the American avant garde."
blackmountaincollege  architecture  art  arts  education  history  progressive  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  democratic  crosspollination  bmc 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from | Video on TED.com
"People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web."
stevenjohnson  art  creativity  ideas  innovation  thinking  connectivity  hunches  interconnectivity  youtube  philosophy  cafeculture  incubation  timberners-lee  web  online  internet  lcproject  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  generalists  coffeehouses  ted  enlightenment  networks  space  place  thirdspaces  patterns  behavior  evolution  systems  systemsthinking  liquidnetowork  collaboration  tcsnmy  learning  theslowhunch  slowhunches  slow  darwin  eurekamoments  google20%  openstudio  cv  gps  sputnik  thirdplaces  charlesdarwin  interconnected 
september 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM by Steven Johnson
"Where Good Ideas Come From…pairs insight of Everything Bad Is Good for You & dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map & The Invention of Air to address an urgent & universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides complete, exciting, & encouraging story of how we generate ideas that push our careers, lives, society, & culture forward.

Beginning w/ Darwin's first encounter w/ teeming ecosystem of coral reef & drawing connections to intellectual hyperproductivity of modern megacities & to instant success of YouTube, Johnson shows us that the question we need to ask is, What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas? His answers are never less than revelatory, convincing, & inspiring…identifies 7 key principles to genesis of such ideas, & traces them across time & disciplines."
stevenjohnson  art  creativity  ideas  innovation  thinking  connectivity  hunches  interconnectivity  youtube  philosophy  cafeculture  incubation  timberners-lee  web  online  internet  lcproject  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  generalists  coffeehouses  ted  enlightenment  networks  space  place  thirdspaces  patterns  behavior  evolution  systems  systemsthinking  liquidnetowork  collaboration  tcsnmy  learning  theslowhunch  slowhunches  slow  darwin  eurekamoments  thirdplaces  coral  charlesdarwin  interconnected 
september 2010 by robertogreco
EscueLab - OLPC
"Through a partnership of ATA and the Prince Claus Fund (Netherlands), the EscueLab space/project is beeing supported for the next three years.

The mission of EscueLab is to provide a space/infrastructure that has been missing for young researchers/artists of the Andean Region to develop projects bridging the gap between technology & society.

Our interests span over a wide range of subjects related to technology appropiation, artistic & technological practices, technology in education, technology recycling, among others...

The planned activities of EscueLab include conference hosting, open workshops, project incubation, & a creators-in-residence program.

The infrastructure provided by EscueLab for those activities includes:

*three rooms for conference hosting,
*a hardware hack lab & warehouse,
*one PC lab, for programming workshops
*communications lab for video documentation of activities.
*dorms, kitchen & ateliers for up to eight creators in residence."
escuelab  perú  olpc  medialab  creativity  electronics  art  technology  edtech  e-learning  education  elearning  society  lima  lcproject  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  projectbasedlearning  multidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  invention  innovation  hackerspaces  hackerculture  pbl  mitmedialab 
august 2010 by robertogreco
www.escuelab.org | creatividad, tecnología y sociedad
"No hay cultura sin cambio y no hay cambio sin experimento e innovación. Escuelab es un espacio en el centro de una capital latinoamericana que busca incentivar a creadores, teóricos y activistas jóvenes a proyectar sus ideas, nacidas del presente, para diseñar y construir futuros posibles en los que con imaginación se abordará la brecha entre tecnología y sociedad.

Escuelab ofrece un concepto de estudios dinámico y modular, enfocado al emprendimiento de proyectos, donde se integran disciplinas que suelen desarrollarse aisladamente. Esta línea de acción facilita el conocimiento transdisciplinario en los campos del arte, ciencia, tecnología y nuevos medios fuera de las clasificaciones habituales y las divisiones convencionales."
escuelab  perú  olpc  medialab  creativity  electronics  art  technology  edtech  e-learning  education  elearning  society  lima  lcproject  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  projectbasedlearning  multidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  invention  innovation  hackerspaces  hackerculture  pbl  mitmedialab 
august 2010 by robertogreco
About Flow: Doors of Perception 7 on Flow
"But an equally important use of information is much more vague. It’s why we read newspapers every day, exchange idle gossip or attend conferences. It’s why we suffer an education. We’re not seeking a specific piece of information. We’re accumulating a semi-random collection of data, ideas and gut feelings which have no immediate or apparent use.

We build up this semi-random cloud of mental stuff to equip ourselves with a continually updated ‘feel’ for events—so that, when in the hazy future a need or opportunity arises, facts and intuitions will hopefully fuse into patterns that allow us to take actions appropriate to their context. We also hope that, while wandering and wondering in this space, we might stumble across valuable facts or ideas which, had we sought them, might not have been found. Let’s call this imaginary cloud ‘a space for half-formed thoughts’."

[via: http://plsj.tumblr.com/post/938736809/a-space-for-half-formed-thoughts ]
creativity  cyberculture  cyberspace  media  technology  theory  flow  williamgibson  sensemaking  patterns  patternrecognition  information  memory  generalists  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  alberteinstein  philliptabor  2002  half-formedthoughts  thinking  knowledge  data  retrieval  context  words  logic  play  expression  understanding  invention  design  psychology  imagination  space  substance  robertomatta  matta-clark  spacial  vagueness  fluidity  gordonmatta-clark 
august 2010 by robertogreco
It takes continuity of attention :: Zengestrom
"To live in the world of creation – to get into it and stay in it – to frequent it and haunt it – to think intensely and fruitfully – to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation – this is the only thing."
jyriengestrom  attention  henryjames  combinations  inspirtations  creation  making  remixing  cv  meditation  reflection  thinking  crosspollination  continuity  learning  remixculture 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Lazy Hammer [Too much to quote here. Read the whole thing. Don't miss Franks memory from childhood that opens and closes the essay.]
"maybe we should be risky. Many designers waste an opportunity to make new, meaningful things by instead letting someone else pretend for them and making work that is overly referential. Instead of that, designers can use their skills to collaborate with others to create new things. We can pick up that dinosaur toy and play with it a bit instead of the He-Man toy.

Rather than spin our wheels because we’re left without content, we should partner with others who have a message but not the savvy to properly communicate it. It’s combustion through collaboration…

Designers are excellent producers. We do well to steer and hone other people’s creative impulses, we can fine-polish ideas, and craft successful ways to communicate and tell stories. So, I’d say the next time you’ve got the impulse to make something but don’t have a message or story of your own, consider collaboration."
interestingness  content  frankchimero  collaboration  creativity  storytelling  childhood  toys  play  memory  meaning  imagination  tcsnmy  classideas  writing  clients  personalwork  craft  meta-content  fanart  culture  risk  risktaking  advice  design  message  thewhy  dangermouse  grayalbum  music  brianburton  thinking  source  sourcematerial  invention  crosspollination  crossmedia  sharing  anthropology  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  graphics  communication 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Everything is fizzling and bobbling about « Snarkmarket
"Thatcher’s study sug­gests a coun­ter­in­tu­itive notion: the more dis­or­ga­nized your brain is, the smarter you are...It’s coun­ter­in­tu­itive in part because we tend to attribute grow­ing intel­li­gence of tech­nol­ogy world w/ increas­ingly pre­cise electro­mechan­i­cal chore­og­ra­phy...

Instead of thoughts of con­crete things patiently fol­low­ing one another, we have the most abrupt cross-cuts and tran­si­tions from one idea to another, the most rarei­fied abstrac­tions and dis­crim­i­na­tions, the most unheard-of com­bi­na­tions of ele­ments… a seething caul­dron of ideas, where every­thing is fiz­zling and bob­bling about in a state of bewil­der­ing activ­ity, where part­ner­ships can be joined or loos­ened in an instant, tread­mill rou­tine is unknown, and the unex­pected seems the only law.

He’s describ­ing “the high­est order of minds”—but he could just as eas­ily be describ­ing a startup, or a city. Which is exactly, I think, the point."
cognition  ideas  robinsloan  mind  brain  stevenjohnson  books  cities  startups  cv  howwethink  disorder  noise  disorganization  messiness  intelligence  crosspollination 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The Secret of Successful Entrepreneurs | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Business people with entropic networks were three times more innovative than people with predictable networks. Because they interacted with lots of different folks, they were exposed to a much wider range of ideas and “non-redundant information”. Instead of getting stuck in the rut of conformity—thinking the same tired thoughts as everyone else—they were able to invent startling new concepts... And this returns us to meritocracy. It’s not enough to simply take the smartest kids and make them smarter. What’s just as important is teaching these young people to seek out strangers, to resist the tug of self-similarity and homogenization. Diversity can seem like a such a vague and wishy-washy aspiration, but it comes with measurable benefits. To the extent our meritocratic institutions diminish our social diversity—are your college buddies just like you?—they might actually make us less likely to succeed. Perhaps Bill Gates knew what he was doing when he dropped out of Harvard."
diversity  entrepreneurship  management  success  sociology  startups  psychology  networking  business  creativity  jonahlehrer  interdisciplinary  looseties  homogeneity  crosspollination  networks  scoialnetworks  tcsnmy  toshare  strangers  topost  harvard  meritocracy  martinruef  michaelmorris  paulingram  bias  culture 
july 2010 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » TEDGlobal: Steve Johnson – Chance favors the connected mind
"Johnson has been thinking about coffeehouses because he’s interested in question, Where Do Good Ideas Come From? (more or less...his new book.) He tells us that we have shortcomings in our language in discussing ideas. Our language – flash of insight, stroke of genius, epiphany – focus on ideas as atomic & disconnected. But an idea is a network – it’s a new configuation w/in your brain. How do you get your brain into new places where ideas can form?...

Great ideas aren’t flashes of insights – they’re the cobbling together of diverse ideas into a new configuation. So we need to let go of the image of Netwon, the apple & discovery of gravity. It’s rarely about individual contemplation – it’s more about the sort of chaotic, free-flowing ideas that happen in the coffeehouse or around dinner table. We need to build spaces like this, including in their offices...

People tend to compress their stories of discovery into a Eureka moment. In truth, most great ideas a “slow hunches”."
stevenjohnson  ted  chance  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  connections  innovation  mind  hunches  coffeehouses  ideas  conversation  design  ethanzuckerman  brain  discovery  howwework  workplace  tcsnmy  lcproject  schooldesign  science 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Raph’s Website » Games and the Creativity Crisis
"since around 1990, American kids have been getting measurably less creative. Alas, early in the article, we see games getting blamed...Is this in fact the case? After all, the rest of the article (and the rest of the research in the field) seems to suggest that handing students problems and obliging them to think about possible solutions, is a much better way to go than rote memorization. And that is what the best games do. But it is also definitely true that many games these days “come with the answers”...Personally, I have always found creativity to be all about juxtaposing concepts and ideas from different fields and places, making unexpected connections...it behooves us as game developers to at least attempt to make games that encourage creative thinking, if not out of some sense of civic or moral obligation, then as a way of “paying it forward” — something made us creative enough to make the games in the first place, so we shouldn’t hog all the fun."
children  seriousgames  creativity  development  games  gaming  gamedesign  education  trends  youth  tcsnmy  problemsolving  raphkoster  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  innovation  learning  lcproject  glvo  pokemon  larp  imagination  pokémon 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Facebook and the Enterprise: Part 9a: Meandering around with ecosystems – confused of calcutta
"An ecosystem is a system whose members benefit from each other's participation via symbiotic relationships (positive sum relationships). It is a term that originated from biology, & refers to self-sustaining systems...

* An ecosystem is a community, an integral functional unit.
* An ecosystem consists of living organisms as well as physical & chemical environmental factors.
* An ecosystem promotes the flow of nutrients & energy.

The borders of the enterprise will have to get more & more porous, until a time comes where the border has disappeared. People will belong to multiple communities, those multiple communities will overlap in many & varied ways. Innovation will blossom at the edges of the communities, as professions collide, as the distinctions btwn some of the professions continue to blur. And it is up to us to ensure that technology does not become a barrier for such creativity."
community  tcsnmy  transparency  freedom  autonomy  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  interdisciplinary  jprangaswami  facebook  relationships  conversation  sharing  ecosystems 
july 2010 by robertogreco
correct me if i’m wrong: » The Paradox of Self-Education
"The paradox of self-education is that there are intellectually stimulating endeavors which don’t have a direct impact in the job market or in school. While learning is generally a valued skill, and the knowledge attained by it sought after, there is a limitation of the desire to learn (and by extension, produce) due to these systematic social constructs...

It seems that perhaps the only way to fulfill the quest of self-education is to have a flexible job that teaches you one specific area, and thus allows you to utilize your free time for the remaining ones. I believe that’s how Da Vinci did it as a painter. Did other polymaths do the same? What happened to the Renaissance Man? As the human race advances, will it become more difficult to become a generalist?"

[Continues and a great comments thread follows, including this: http://raamdev.com/the-pursuit-of-knowledge ]
education  self-education  society  learning  paradox  genius  renaissancemen  generalists  unschooling  deschooling  life  work  livetowork  worktolive  cv  knowledge  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  capitalism  infooverload  storyofmylife  retirement  sabbaticals  yearoff  via:cervus  frugality  simplicity  culture  peace  mindset  counterculture  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  autodidacts  autodidactism  autonomy  autodidacticism 
june 2010 by robertogreco
The Pursuit of Knowledge
[Response to: http://www.adambossy.com/blog/2009/02/19/the-paradox-of-self-education/ ] [Very close to my concept of taking retirement every few years as creative sabbaticals rather than in a lump sum at the end of my career.]

"My goal now is to live frugally so I can set aside big enough bucket of money to get me through year w/out work. Then...I’ll spend a year learning something of interest, possibly making small amounts of money on side. When needed, I’ll start working & hopefully keep repeating this process. If something I do makes me tons of money, great. If not…well it’s not about money.

pursuit of knowledge is more important than money...Sure, money would make that pursuit easier, but life isn’t easy. This is where society gets it wrong. We put money & status 1st & education & knowledge 2nd, using latter to obtain former. Imagine a society where pursuit of knowledge defined our standards of living...

If we’re willing to sacrifice high-strung lifestyle for ability to spend time learning & increasing knowledge...can accomplish amazing things, both individually & as society. A world pursuing money & status has reason to fight & start wars, but world pursuing knowledge & advancement...peace."
education  self-education  society  learning  paradox  genius  renaissancemen  generalists  unschooling  deschooling  work  livetowork  worktolive  cv  life  knowledge  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  capitalism  infooverload  storyofmylife  retirement  sabbaticals  yearoff  via:cervus  frugality  simplicity  culture  peace  mindset  counterculture  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  autodidacts  autodidactism  autonomy  autodidacticism 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Nonformality | The Learning Revolution
"We will learn in the future by

* following rhythms of inquiry and learning rather than rhythms of compartmentalised structures and times,
* moving away from memorising and teaching towards exploring and learning by doing,
* turning away from sitting and listening passively to constructing and collaborating actively,
* facilitating learning from failure instead of punishing every little mistake,
* accepting uncertainty as the only certainty there is within the complexity of learning,
* relating learning and living in ways that are fruitful and enriching both ways,
* not teaching what to learn and think, but by teaching how to learn and think,
* inventing and facilitating new and integrated learning formats, combining subjects and approaches,
* turning away from instruction and control towards facilitation and support,
* moving away from spaces controlled by educators towards spaces controlled by learners,
* providing encouragement and support instead of criticism and barriers.

Admittedly, this list is generic—quite possibly, too generic—but it’s a start. Wir fangen schon mal an."

[via: http://twitter.com/cervus/status/16081012365 ]
education  future  tcsnmy  lcproject  learning  teaching  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  instruction  facilitators  facilitating  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  collaboration  complexity  uncertainty  adaptability  doing  making  exploration  memorization  control  support  hierarchy 
june 2010 by robertogreco
On unplanned and unplannable moments - Artichoke's Wunderkammern
"The best moments of life are usually unplanned for, indeed unplannable. The most one can do in designing a house to further intimacy and family living is to allow enough space to have one occupation take place beside another, so that people will meet spontaneously even when they are not drawn together by a common job. What is wrong with too sedulous a division of labor is simply the fact that it divides people." Mumford PEDIATRICS Vol. 55 No. 2 February 1975, pp. 265
janejacobs  serendipity  crosspollination  intimacy  family  glvo  design  unplanning  unschooling  planning  homes  houses  artichokeblog  pamhook 
february 2010 by robertogreco
things magazine: The Age of Cross-pollination
"The age of cross-pollination. Curation Culture, for want of a better term, thrives on cross-pollination. Everything is interesting, and what's more, we've developed the tools and the aesthetics with which to create the deep levels of analysis that would overwhelm a masters thesis from the 80s or 90s. ...
crosspollination  curation  thingsmagazine  web  online  internet 
january 2010 by robertogreco
sevensixfive: Losing My Edge: Architectural Informatics (and others)
"(Disclaimer: This is quick and unconsidered)

It is fascinating to watch other disciplines inch closer and closer to the territory that was once claimed by architects. As the profession of architecture continues to shrink, the ground that is ceded does not remain unclaimed for long, and there is new and interesting territory to be discovered at our borders that we no longer seem to have the resources to explore.

Sustainability Consulting, Strategic Masterplanning, Landscape Architecture - all of these other disciplines are very interested in architecture: its literature, its history, and its scope of services. Now add to that the relatively new fields of Service and Interaction Design. Recent articles here and here (and here(and here!)) have all implied that there is a strange relationship between services, distributed computing and cities, with a parallel strangeness in the design of interactions and the design of buildings.

Despite having several friends who are actively working in these fields, I admit that it is sometimes very difficult to understand what it is that they actually do (besides organize, attend, and speak at conferences). Many of them have backgrounds in architecture, and almost all of them are avidly reading Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, Archigram, Situationists - all of this neglected literature from the 60s and 70s that architects themselves had almost forgotten, in our (perhaps bubble-powered) accelerated criticality (and the inevitable post).

So there are all of these people moving in this direction, and there are a few general observations that are worth making about that:

- They seem to think that they have something to learn from the theory and practice of architecture, so let's help them figure out what that is.

- They are creating their own discourse from scratch, outside of academia. Architectural discourse has been supported by schools for so long that it is difficult to remember any other way. The fields of Service and Interaction Design seem to be supported by something more like the feudal corporate patronage structure that architects relied on in the Renaissance. That's very interesting, no? Not the least because despite any purse or apron strings linking them to the corporate world, they still seem to want to talk about ideas, even some of the more out-there quasi-marxist corners of critical theory that academic architects like to frequent. That's kind of fun, right?

- They have no history. Though some might disagree, this is probably a good thing for now (but not for much longer).

- They bring an entrepreneurial startup culture with them. A lot of the work in this area is coming directly out of computer science by way of the old dot.com and web 2.0 pathways, but the thing is, these aren't the casualties, they are the survivors. Many of the people involved with these offices have lived through several busts, and they are thriving. They know about venture capital, public offerings, and bootstrapping. They have business plans. This is kind of exciting, yeah?

For Archinect's '09 predictions last year, I hoped that there would be this massive flow outward from architecture to other disciplines: underemployed architects as secret agents, implanting methodologies into other fields from the inside out. It hasn't happened. Instead, we've lost even more ground to others who are doing the things we do, and it's like the song says: "... to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent ... and they're actually really, really nice." They want to be friends, they want to talk about cities and buildings.

So in the New Year, let's all spend more time hanging out: architects can trade some of our thoughts on cultural context, historicity, and the public realm for some of you all's ideas about agility, narrative, strategery, and business planning, and we'll all hopefully learn a lot."
design  architecture  history  discipline  discourse  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crosspollination  janejacobs  christopheralexander  archigram  fredscharmen  interaction  interactiondesign  reanissance  academia  patronage  servicedesign  situationist  theory  criticaltheory  via:migurski  baltimore  cities  culture  designthinking  interdisciplinary  urbanism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Bétonsalon
"Bétonsalon is designed as a place for work, production, activities and leisure, for the students, teachers and university staff, inhabitants, shopkeepers and employees of the neighbourhood, and people working in various disciplines: artists, philosophers, playwrights, choreographers, scientists ... and all of those who wish to contribute to make it a space of exchange."
education  culture  art  performance  france  paris  artists  exhibition  everyday  contemporary  glvo  lcproject  science  philosophy  exchange  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  discourse  conversation  thirdspaces 
december 2009 by robertogreco
YOU MIGHT FIND YOURSELF - David Simon interview with Vice Magazine
"A lot of the people who came to write for The Wire were not from a traditional TV-writing background.

If there’s anything that distinguishes The Wire from a lot of the serialized drama you see, it was that the writers were not from television. None of us grew up thinking we wanted to get to Hollywood and write a TV show or a movie. Ed [Burns] was a cop, and then he was a schoolteacher. There were journalists on the writing staff. There were novelists. There were playwrights, too. Everyone began somewhere else."
davidsimon  thewire  outsiders  writing  television  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  transdisciplinary  journalism  via:russelldavies  outsider 
december 2009 by robertogreco
russell davies: compare and contrast
"Not many people would argue that creating something useful, distinctive and successful requires hard work. Though I might argue with this particular definition of working hard. I would definitely take issue with the idea that constantly hanging out with people from your industry is a good idea, but I don't have to because Anil Dash has already done that."
anildash  russelldavies  groupthink  web  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  business  entrepreneurship  nyc  siliconvalley  sanfrancisco  vc  startups  work  workethic  innovation  bayarea 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Why Design Thinking Won't Save You - Peter Merholz - HarvardBusiness.org
"Obviously, this is getting absurd, but that's the point. The supposed dichotomy between "business thinking" and "design thinking" is foolish. It's like the line from The Blues Brothers, in response to the question "What kind of music do you usually have here?", the woman responds, "We got both kinds. We got country and western." Instead, what we must understand is that in this savagely complex world, we need to bring as broad a diversity of viewpoints and perspectives to bear on whatever challenges we have in front of us. While it's wise to question the supremacy of "business thinking," shifting the focus only to "design thinking" will mean you're missing out on countless possibilities."
adaptivepath  anthropology  complexity  business  creativity  designthinking  thinking  leadership  innovation  critique  collaboration  2009  design  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  strategy  administration  tunnelvision  falsedichotomies  diversity  diversification 
november 2009 by robertogreco
In Defense of Generalists | The Institute For The Future
"The most pressing problems in science and technology, and more broadly in business and the economy, don't lend themselves readily to specialists' solutions. They require not just inter-discipinary teamwork to make progress, but transdisciplinary thinking - literally, we need people that can have converstaions between disciplinary appraoches to problems inside their own head. In fact, you could argue that most of the gridlock around big problems like global warming, health care, and so on, stem from the inability of narrow specialist and interest groups to speak each others' language, translate heuristics and integrate complex concepts and data. They're too specialized, having become more and more isolated in focused communities, thanks to the web."
generalists  specialists  specialization  thinking  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  crosspollination  interdisciplinary  problemsolving  diversity  integration 
october 2009 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » John Hagel on serendipity
"I’m interested in questions of how we stumble onto information and ideas we’d be unlikely to find within our present sphere of weak ties. One possibility is to radically expand that circle of weak ties - start paying attention to the perspectives and opinions of people far outside our realms of ordinary experience. This isn’t easy to do - it tends to require the assistance of bridge figures, who’ve got connections to our circles and to very different circles. I also wonder whether serendipity always needs to focus on personal connection - I think we often get serendipity from media, from pop culture, from news. All that said, I like Hagel’s idea that we can change environments to increase serendipity."
ethanzuckerman  johnhagel  serendipity  homophily  online  media  information  trends  weakties  crosspollination  discovery  inspiration  casualconnections  change  informallearning  via:preoccupations 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Innovations emerge from interdisciplinary meeting of minds - Aaltoyliopisto.info
"Why is it important to bring students of different expertise and from different disciplines together for creating ‘good ideas’? This is the fundamental question that Professor Jayanta Chatterjee from Indian Institute of Technology (ITT) has tackled in Design Factory since March’09."
interdisciplinary  aaltouniversity  learning  crossdisciplinary  problemsolving  projectbasedlearning  education  deschooling  unschooling  teaching  lcproject  tcsnmy  crosspollination  design  innovation  pbl 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Blind Leading the Deaf - Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect - "At its best [ethnographic research]..."
"inspires, informs & delivers insights that can shape & sustain ideas/products/services/resources through the organisation all the way to the consumer, it's cost effective, timely, responsive. Its as much about bridging corporate culture as bridging cultures...it's all about finding the right people w/ skills that stretch across multiple disciplines & the right blend of project management, strategic thinking, diplomacy, leadership, humility, media awareness, extrapolation, psychology, street smarts combined with an instinct for bridging experiences from the field & understanding what it takes to make them relevant. I probably forgot listening. Damn. (ability to apply academic rigour to task at hand is a bonus, but [can] get in the way of best interests of project & client.) It's what my design studio colleagues would probably call an in-between job - living in a space between existing disciplines...Not sure quite where that sits in the corporate career path. Not sure I care to know."
janchipchase  education  interdisciplinary  ethnography  anthropology  cv  generalists  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  connecting  facilitating  connections  crosspollination  careers  research 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Welcome to the Imaginary Gadgets Project | Beyond the Beyond from Wired.com
"You are likely getting useful, provocative insights from people who were never your colleagues in the past. These are people with thought-processes somewhat orthogonal to your own, who nevertheless show up repeatedly on your search engines as you perform your own work. ... I think this situation is a fact-on-the-ground for a densely-networked, digitized society. I also think the pace of this phenomenon is accelerating. I don't believe we will get a choice about it. If it's inevitable, then we should exploit the inevitability. Now, my larger suspicion here -- let's call it a hypothesis -- is that there is some grand unified theory for speculative cultural activity. In other worlds, "speculative culture" is not a crazy-quilt, it is a nexus. Every creative discipline has methods to shake up its preconceptions and think inventively. I want to catalog, compare and contrast those methods. I surmise that they have some inner unity, a consilience."
via:preoccupations  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  technology  culture  future  creativity  consilience  networks  writing  imagination  speculative  futurism  retrofuture  inventions  scifi  sciencefiction  design  brucesterling 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Quid Pro: A-Rod is a flashlight
"This is a term I learned from a banker I worked for 20 years ago, people who shine brightly in one direction, but don't let off too much light otherwise. Flashlights are kind of useless as board members, despite big reputations and good resumes -- they're just not lateral thinkers and don't really want to dig in. Every company is allowed one flashlight, but it better be the CEO. It's hard to know where to go when the light is shining in two (or more) different directions."
administration  leadership  management  tcsnmy  vision  strategy  business  organizations  via:kottke  apple  collaboration  crosspollination  stevejobs  baseball 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Douglas Rushkoff » New School: The New School
"I’ll be teaching my first course next Fall, Technologies of Persuasion. The beauty of the New School University’s model is that courses are not limited to those enrolled in a particular school or program - or even to full time students. So this means people from the real world can come in on an a la carte basis and just take my course. Meanwhile, grad students are exposed to people from the real world, already working in the industries we’re studying."
technology  academia  douglasrushkoff  propaganda  education  learning  aternative  open  realworld  crosspollination  thenewschool  highereducation  tcsnmy  explodingschool  alternative  deschooling  unschooling  openclassroom 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Understanding knowledge, George Oates, Flickr and building learning communities in school.
"liberating for 2 teachers to go undercover at a conference for uber_librarians, (e)_historians, anarcho_archivists, web designers, museum_istas...George identified 2 key ideas learned from Flickr; People don’t like being told what to do. People do like to feel that they belong...insight for thinking about new ways of designing learning communities in schools & between cluster schools...challenge is to build flexible places/spaces online & f2f where we change our current focus on compliance reporting. If we are genuine in building a learning community then we need to reduce all the telling people what to do stuff & rark up all the opportunities for belonging– the contributing & participating stuff...Can we create learning experiences where we scaffold for both an economy of energy & the opportunity for pleasure? Where in planning for a student learning outcome we ask ourselves; Where is the opportunity for play? Where is the possibility for waste? Where is the prospect for communion?"
learningcommunities  learning  lcproject  tcsnmy  schools  flickr  georgeoates  play  conferences  crosspollination  design  communities  knowledge  policy  artichokeblog  pamhook 
december 2008 by robertogreco
robertogreco {tumblr} - Unschooling and Messiness
"Jessica Shepherd reviews the recently published How Children Learn at Home in the Guardian. The review seems to focus more on the unschooling subset of home education and the part that I find most interesting is the comparison to the messiness that often results in creative leaps. It reminds me of a variety of articles that have been emphasizing the importance of random events and cross-pollination or hybridization of traditional fields of study."
unschooling  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  postdisciplinary  nassimtaleb  glvo  crosspollination  messiness  davidsmith  julianbleecker  nicolasnova  robertepstein  design  learning  deschooling  education  creativity  comments  lcproject  schools  technology  consilience  creative  children  homeschool  research  books  blackswans  tinkering  serendipity  specialization  academia  grantmccracken  lelaboratoire  ted  poptech  etech  lift  picnic  lacma  art  science  medicine  us  terminology  vocabulary  specialists 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Seedmagazine.com | Revolutionary Minds | The Re-envisionaries
"The more science advances, the less, it seems, that any one discipline holds all the answers—even to the problems that a discipline was originally conceived to answer. So it's not surprising that some of today's most innovative scientific thinkers are making breakthroughs by hybridizing multiple fields. In this installment of Seed's Revolutionary Minds series, we feature five young researchers whose work fuses seemingly disparate disciplines. By drawing upon the techniques, insights, or standard models of other scientific fields, these individuals are redefining their own. Among them are a computer scientist who rethought the concept of information after studying immune systems; an archaeologist who believes material culture is an important driver of human cognitive evolution; and an astronomer who has discovered how to take an MRI of the cosmos. These thinkers are doing more than merely crossing disciplinary boundaries—they are altogether shattering them."
science  innovation  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  seed  neuroscience  astronomy  genetics  fringe  neuroarchaeology  geneticacculturation  immunocomputing  stochasticbiology  biology  physics  astronomicalmedicine  lambrosmalafouris  cognitive  cognitiveevolution  extendedmind  multidisciplinary  archaeology  gamechanging  anthropology  philosophy 
august 2008 by robertogreco
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