TED Conversations

Tabor Williams

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How can art, technology, and design be combined to influence creative leaders?

I think that Maeda's talk outlines how these three seemingly disparate ideas can come together to form something positive. My question then would be, what are some ways in which they can be combined?

Simply living life and coming to these conclusions the same was Mr. Maeda did, or is there a process, or a way in which these three ideas can be merged into a new school of thought?

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    Oct 11 2012: Art and design have no place in the progression of technology. Art and design are merely the outward expressions of our perception. They hold no value at all. Technology and innovation should focus on the progression of green industry and other such solutions. I don't believe any benefit exists to pretty iPods or cleverly designed computers.

    If it helps people on a global or even local scale...great. However, many people purchase technology they don't ever fully get a grasp of. People buy iPads and personal computers with all kinds of devices and specifications they don't understand.

    Technology is beneficial...but when it is massively reproduced to create profit...the focus is no longer progress.
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      Oct 11 2012: I'm gonna disagree entirely.

      Technology moves rapidly, and there's no point in having a sophisticated technology if no one knows how to use it due to poor designs or poor communications with the users.

      "I don't believe any benefit exists to pretty iPods or cleverly designed computers."

      If that's the case, then you should just stop using the web browser, desktop applications, and all these Middle overlays should just begone and you should just do everything on DOS terminal commands.

      "If it helps people on a global or even local scale...great. However, many people purchase technology they don't ever fully get a grasp of. People buy iPads and personal computers with all kinds of devices and specifications they don't understand. "

      This may not be a completely bad thing. That's like saying that people are required to know how a microwave works in order to use it. The only thing you need to know about microwave ovens are you put food into it, you set a timer, it heats it up within the amount of time setted, and eat.

      For a computer, the only thing you really need to know is how to create documents and use its applications and tools and such, you don't need to know the stuff behind the scenes to use the technology. Albeit it's good to know, but it shouldn't be necessary. I don't need to know how the circuit boards work, or the details of a specific algorithm the processor uses for a certain task, or even what really goes down when a computer is turned on, asleep, or hibernating, or how the computer computes things using a complex series of logic gates, or how the computer stores information in transistors.

      I also don't know how a car works, but that doesn't mean I don't know how to use it.
  • Oct 10 2012: Architecture for one.

    However, I think a person is at least partially a sum of their experiences. How you solve problems, create new designs, and influence people with you deeds, words, or writings is the manifestation of the synergistic effect of the influences discussed by John Maeda. There are other influences as well, such as nature, your understanding level of different concepts, your communications ability, and many other things.

    I think the key is to build on your skill sets. Look for ways in which one skill, technology or creative thought can be used in a new situation. Serendipitous discovery (such as penicillin or the yellow sticky pads) is often born of this sort of cross-pollenization of ideas. Look at journals like the NASA Tech Briefs, Machine Design, Design News, Design World, Nature, Popular science, Gizmag and perhaps art publications. Pay attention to the ads as well as the articles. How are other designers solving problems? What new technologies are on the frontier? Skim through the patent office on-line patents. Visit art museums. Learn to weld, paint, and take photographs. Learn to cook, woodwork and dance. It is this mixture of experiences that will provide you a set of tools unlike that of any other person.

    Pay special attention to learning effective communications techniques. Writing, drawing, and speaking of course, but perhaps things like argumentation theory, critical thinking, and LISTENING. Be selective about how and where you share your ideas. Use your time and energy wisely with your selection. When you do share, be prepared, thorough, and focused on communicating your points to your audience.

    Learn how to learn. Structure your independent learning efforts on the questions you think are important and relevant. Pursue these answers with passion. Try and relate them to your current knowledge base. Did they fully answer the questions...or create new ones? Dovetail your structured learning with your independent study.
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      Oct 11 2012: I agree with you that a person is partially a sum of those experiences, and it is all of those experiences that inform their decisions and their ideas. Studying one thing for hours on end can eventually outweigh the gains it's giving you while expanding your experiences in knowledge in other areas can subconsciously or indirectly come to influence the work or things which you are most interested in.
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    Oct 10 2012: Hypothesis: ANY field can influence the creative leader, as most fields embody a way of considering, exploring, and beginning to address problems. This is one reason an interdisciplinary education can be more fruitful than narrow specialization. Better yet is gaining a real command of the tools of multiple disciplines.
  • Oct 29 2012: Where does one procure that amazing organization app? Can I use it for project planning? Great video. Loved the view of an org chart obviously but the usage of text in varying fonts/positions truly told a unique story.
  • Oct 12 2012: Whenever art, technology and design come together, good things come to life. Creativity is not just imagination but the ability to apply art, technology and design to bring up new ideas that solve problems. Remember that the first trips to the moon, the first trek around the world under the sea, where written by Jules Verne. Later we brought this submarines of Verne's imagination to real life, Verne's trip to the moon was accomplished and now we are going beyond. In our everyday jobs we come out with creative solutions to common situations. And we will always do it as long as we feel free to do it.
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      Oct 12 2012: Sky's the limit! Imagination is definitely needed to make incredible things happen in the future.
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    Oct 11 2012: Art, Technology, and Design is exactly what I study in Georgia Tech as a Computational Media major.

    Nearly all common technologies that you see nowadays are a result of art, technology, and design. Cinematic movies and film, entertainment, internet, current evens, the election, Wikipedia, music, Ted, mobile apps, sports, and other forms of media and modern communications. These all involve art, technology, and design.
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      Oct 18 2012: How do you like being a computational media major? I've never heard of that major before, it sounds interesting.
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        Oct 18 2012: It's one of the coolest majors out there :). Most people go into it to do games and usability design with background in programming like Java and C/C++. You can also get exposed to a lot of things like Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Mobile App development (iOS or Android), web applications (HTML/CSS/Javascript), as well as other computer science knowledge. Then there's the theoretical side like studies in Media and New Media, of how digital media changes old media and questioning the ways we experience/interact with newer technology vs the old technology.

        Then one of my favorite things I've done is Processing: http://processing.org/

        I made this an audio visualizer on it: http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~jzhang300/AudioVisualizer.html

        And then of course it's really the people there that are great, both faculty and students. CS and CM majors are fairly close to each other.
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    Oct 11 2012: What I was trying to say was that art's influence on technology isn't an aesthetic one, it's one that opens our mind and makes us ask questions. It's about influencing how technology is made, or inspiring someone to make technology through their interactions with art.

    While I think that art shouldn't be the main focus of technology, I think that it does have a place. People want to buy items that look present or shiny. I think given the choice between something that is ugly, and something that is pretty, why wouldn't you want to buy the prettier technology? While I know that isn't always the case and sometimes more deserving technology isn't adapted because of it's eye appeal, I think that keeping an eye on design and function could overcome this hurdle.

    What do you think?