Even though we’re more digitallyconnected than ever, we need spaceswhere we can be near each other.Bowling Alone talks about the trend inthe U.S. since the 1950s towards lesscivic engagement.
Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, talks about howteens’ brains need social interaction to fully develop. Ourcurrent school systems tell them to sit down and be quiet.Not good.
What are the best predictors for a successful team? This MIT study found C-FATOR these 3 factors lead to successful teams. Theory of mind is the ability for one person to understand 1. high theory of mind skills and adapt to the minds of others. Women are 2. acceptance of failure particularly skilled at this, 3. presence of a woman but the tech community isn’t particularly women friendly. http://singularityhub.com/2011/08/26/mit-unravels-the-secrets-behind-collective-intelligence-hint-iq-not-so-important/
This article makes agood point... diverseteams make morebreakthroughs. Gettingpeople from a widerange of backgroundscollaborating leads tobetter results. http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/fail_accept_defeat/
Brian Eno coined the term “scenius” in GENIUS juxtaposition to the concept of a solitary genius. A scenius is vs composed of many SCENIUS individuals who are inﬂuenced & inspired by one another. A sceniusGod The Genius
1. An orchestra Examples from 1. Silicon valley in 90s GENIUS2. The Church both categories 2. Punk rock movement3. Governments vs in early 80s4. Big companies 3. Women’s rights SCENIUS5. Military movement in the 60s A digital maker space would exist for the purpose of fostering and growing the digital scenius that currently exists in Seattle.
In summary... 1. Being proximate feels good 2. In person is high bandwidth (more knowledge can be transferred) 3. Unexpectedly great things happen when you diverse + motivated groups of people together
The Digital Sceniei of Seattle Lets look at what makes Seattle unique...
All of these variousdigital ﬁelds take placehere.
Software Gaming Mobile appsAudio Devices Graphic Digital design arts
The thing they all sharein common is that theytake place in front of acomputer screen.
But what’s on thosescreens is very differentby discipline. Thesedifferences createopportunities forknowledge transfer andcross-pollination ofideas and processes.
Here’s what I envision... Bringing all of us together in a digital maker space A place where anyone can come to learn how to create digital experiences & collaborate with others. We provide: • Classes • Workspace • Performance space
This could encompass...• UX• Mobile apps• Websites• Digital Audio• Video• Game• Art projects
This movie talks about a school where students can take whatever classes theywant, regardless of age. The mixing of age ranges and expertise levels beneﬁtsboth the young and older students. This would be a key element of the space. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgpuSo-GSfw
This is me helping astudent with theirwireframe diagram duringa class I co-taught atUniversity of Washingtonthis year.Students came into theclass with a mix of skillsets and worked oncreating a project of theirchoosing, taking it fromconcept to high-ﬁdelityprototype.HCDE 598 - http://sg.sg/hcde598
We brought in guestspeakers to keep the classfresh each session and totake advantage of expertswho specialized in variousparts of the UX lifecycle.
Many of the studentslanded internships orreported that they wereable to use their new skillsin their existing jobs.
During a recent visit toNYC, I met Katie Koch, aUX educator who started aproject teachingessentially the same classI was teaching to inner cityhigh school students.
These were students who struggled in normal STEM classes, but really took to multidisciplinary / collaborative UX work. The teachers had trouble supporting the demand for this kind of education.Project Interaction
It’s clear the time hascome for UX education tostep outside the world ofuniversity-level academia.
RML was a space in SF that provided top-notch 360 video and audio for the purpose of small digital artist performances. This is what it looked like with the lights on.RML - Recombinant Media Labs (RIP)
With the lights off, the space comesalive, providing an unparalleledimmersive experience.
For the artists who performed at RML,the space provided a unique andintimate experience to showcase theirwork at the highest ﬁdelity.
In addition to performance, artistscould give talks and engage with theaudience in a way that wouldn’t bepossible in any other kind of venue.
Another space like this is GAFFTA in SF which provides classes and performance space for digital artists. The classes are geared more towards artists than for the corporate environment.GAFFTA - Gray Area Foundation For the Arts
911 in Seattleprovides classesprimarily around videoediting, but also forweb design.911 Media Arts Center (Seattle)
Finding the space seems to bethe biggest hurdle.
Once the space is secured, myhypothesis is that the otherpieces will fall into place.The space may need to start offsomewhere temporarily andthen move to a more permanenthome later. “if we build it, they will come.”
Working with UW is one option...students could use the space,but I’m not sure if the schoolwould be open to letting non-students use it too.
UW has something similar to MIT’s Media Lab, so they may be worth talking to.HITLab
The Henry Art Gallery maybe interested in partneringwith a space like this forhosting special interactive/audio/visual events.Henry Art Gallery
Corporate sponsorship isanother route, but will comewith many strings attached.
Smaller companies in townmay be interested ininvesting in the space andcould be viewed as partners.
Crowdfunding it is another possibility, buttough from a long-term investment strategy.
Funding Avenues 1. Via UW Another idea: students 2. Corp sponsor coming out of the space with their newfound 1.Recruiting angle? marketable skills would be hot commodities. The 3. Community Funded space could be funded by 4. Angel investment companies who want ﬁrst dibs at top students. 5. ???
“Users” of the space Because of the multi-purpose 1. Students nature of the space, there would be different kinds of people using 2. Teachers it. Students would take classes there and work on their projects 3. Creatives using the facility. 4. Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs and creatives could 5. Artists use the space to get their project off the ground. 6. Art patrons Artists use the space to showcase their new work to the public for special one-off events (which provides another source of revenue).
Youngstown in Seattleis a residential spacefor artists (convertedfrom an old elementaryschool.Artists apply to live andwork there.A digital maker spacecould have a similarapplication process tomaintain curatorialcontrol over how thespace gets used.
Reach out if you’re interestedin exploring this idea further. Twitter: @firstname.lastname@example.org