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Opportunities and Issues.

There is a significant opportunity to broaden the scope of research to include new approaches, new methods, and new ways of collaborating to encourage research and practice of creativity within information technology, science, and engineering. In order to achieve this, the workshop participants focused on what reform is needed to encourage and recognize research excellence.

One recurring theme in the discussion and the presentations was a special kind of interdisciplinary collaboration. The people within the interdisciplinary group had to have a special rapport, or empathy, for the others in the group. It is not sufficient for the individuals just to bring their expertise to a difficult problem, the individuals had to see the world from the others’ perspective. While this is achieved in some collaborative research, it is often overlooked in favor of managing diverse individuals and maintaining their isolated expertise. Design studios provide a forum for this kind of collaboration, where people with different expertise come together to explore the problem space and the solution space when given a difficult problem specification. While interdisciplinary research is not a necessary ingredient for creativity, it is an approach that has the potential to change the participants and their knowledge of their own domain, and therefore, open up new areas of research.

A second recurring theme is the idea of bringing artists into a research community as a contributing member of the group. This kind of collaboration brings a special view to the research that also has the potential to open up new areas of research as well as a mechanism to solve difficult research problems. A typical approach is to bring different individuals together, although there are examples of a single person that is both an artist and a scientist. This makes it possible to draw parallels between the underlying structures of art (paintings, music, sculpture, etc) and structures or models in information technology, science, and engineering. Identifying the common structure or language provides a way of understanding both fields from a different perspective.

In order for this opportunity to be realized, there are a number of reforms that need to be considered:
  • Interdisciplinary research is a means to achieve a goal and not a goal in itself.
  • Recognize that it takes almost as much creativity to recognise creativity.
  • Recognize that it is difficult to publish interdisciplinary research.
  • Consider multiple levels of funding similar to the way NSF funds Centers and SBIR grants: small seed-funding grants as a first round of funding followed by a second round of funding.
  • Allow a grant to have different stages in which the goals can be re-evaluated in response to new ideas generated during the project.
  • Consider design as a research methodology.
  • Evaluate proposals in the way you evaluate design rather than the way you evaluate a research plan.
  • Creativity is about building new worlds, which you can't evaluate until you know something about it.
  • Emphasize the evaluation of the person/group more than the research plan or methodology.
  • Provide a matchmaking service for artists, designers, engineers and scientists.
  • Encourage the investigators to suggest relevant reviewers.

Defining relevant topics for research in creative IT provides some guidance for people interested in this area. The topics should be open to include any research that improves our understanding and ability to be creative. Some topics suggested at the workshop are:
  • social processes in creative design groups
  • design guidelines for creativity support tools
  • evaluation methods for creativity support tools
  • cognitive processes in creativity
  • evaluation methods for social creativity design tools
  • creative explorations of advanced technologies
  • creative exploration of new technology
  • tools to support creativity
  • situated technologies
  • creative approaches to computer mediated interaction
  • geographically distributed interactions
  • creative coaching
  • role of diveersity in creativity
  • computational modelling of the diffusion of ideas
  • studying people in creative processes
  • research in entertainment - economics, technology, psychology, sociology
  • role of intuition in creativty
  • understanding intuitive problem solving
  • creativity and innovation
  • high speed learning in creative groups
  • changing the reward structures to encourage creativity
  • studying the experience of creativty in a person
  • creative digital media
  • computational models of creativity
  • what is the relationship between individual and social creativity?
  • creative approaches to enhancing motivation for learning
  • what is the critical mass and duration for creativity to occur
  • mechanisms of improvisation
  • computational agency as a metaphor for understanding collaboration and creativity in an IR and IT setting
  • formation of teams for creative problem solving
  • understanding understanding, creativity as understanding
  • roles of emotion and motivation in creativity
  • what are the social/group conditions that optimize for promoting/nurturing individual creativity
  • the effect of informal vs formal education in creative people
  • early age (school and before) creativity and Interdisciplinary education
  • studying creative designers

Last modified 22 May 2007 at 5:32 pm by haleden