Opportunities and Issues

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:

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: