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The Art of Innovation Gets Even More Artful

Posted by Emily Peck
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The Art of Innovation Gets Even More Artful

A recent post on the Fast Company blog Co.Design explores the 20 Tech Trends that Will Define 2013.

 

Frog design company executive editor, Reena Jana, predicts that artists will have an even larger role in innovation. Reena writes:

 

"In 2013, we’ll see more of the world’s engineers, scientists, and business people look to art--yes, to sculpture, architecture, fiction, film--for creative inspiration.

 

Of course, there’s been a long history of well-rounded innovation dating back decades (IBM hiring sculptor Isamu Noguchi and designers Charles and Ray Eames in the 1950s) and centuries (the Italian Renaissance). More recently, a few wide-ranging examples of a growing trend include the New York Times’ hiring of an artist-in-residence to experiment with compelling data visualization as a competitive advantage; Intel naming musician will.i.am as director of creative innovation, to share his deep awareness of popular culture; and robotics startup Willow Garage collaborating with a Pixar animator to develop more attractive machines.

 

Academically, Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda--himself a media artist--has spoken before Congress on the importance of adding arts education to science, math, and engineering curricula in the United States to promote inventive thinking. And arts education does have its proof of success in the $1 billion valuation of Airbnb, founded by two RISD graduates.

 

Companies focused on traditionally “left-brain” tech fields, from health care equipment to enterprise software, will be wise to experiment with crossing over into right-brain territory. Doing so could enhance their methods of finding fresh ideas and then, more important, adding emotional appeal and details to potential products. In this way, consulting with artists could complement design beautifully: Imagine a world with not only more usable and relevant, but also more poetic and resonant, objects and experiences."

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