On Sunday night, more 70 students packed into the top floor of RISD’s Ewing Multicultural House to socialize, eat pizza and discuss their visions of entrepreneurial grandeur. The lively mixer was hosted by members of Brown’s Entrepreneurship Program and E’Ship, a new student club founded by Winston Cuevas 15 ID, Amrit Mazumder 15 GD and Ryan Murphy 15 ID.
The trio of enterprising sophomores founded E’Ship to help RISD students find resources – financial and social – to support their own ambitious business ventures. “We want people to bounce ideas off each other,” Murphy explains. “With some encouragement, I think students will be able to get their plans off the ground.”
According to Murphy, cross-campus collaborations have been set in motion thanks to the informal mixer. “Brown students are looking at design as a vehicle to drive entrepreneurship instead of seeing it as a way to make something pretty,” Murphy notes. “The projects that will come out of these collaborations are really exciting.”
Hoping to make some pro-business connections on campus? The next E’Ship meeting will be held on the second floor of 204 Westminster Street in Providence this Sunday, May 5 at 4 pm. And you can sign up for updates from the new RISD org!
As President John Maeda noted in his post this morning, he’s at the Tribeca Film Festival today to accept what has got to be one of the best-named accolades out there: a 2013 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award (TDIA).
The TDIA is an outgrowth of Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation Theory, which explains how simpler, cheaper technologies, products and services end up decimating industry leaders. Now in its fourth year, the annual award showcases applications of disruptive innovation that have spread beyond the realms of business and technology to the fields of healthcare, education, international development, politics and advocacy, media, the arts and entertainment.
President Maeda is in color company today, sharing the limelight with such creative business forces and pop cultural figures as Psy, Twyla Tharp, Norma Komali, Quirky founder Ben Kaufman, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya (“the Steve Jobs of yogurt” :) and many more.
President Maeda speaking with Perri Peltz, who presented the TDIA award today.
The award is in appreciation for RISD’s STEM to STEAM initiative to add art and design to the national education agenda rather than just placing increased emphasis on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math). After all, as RISD people already know, it’s the critical thinking that goes on in art and design studios that will lead to the breakthrough innovations needed in the 21st century.
In this new article in The Seattle Times, President John Maeda writes about growing up in the city “before it became cool” – at a time when being good at both art and math somehow cancelled each other out rather than signaling an exciting symbiosis.
Maeda’s article makes a case for STEAM – introducing an A (for art) into the national agenda pushing for more STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.
And he cites Seattle’s stunning new Experience Music Project museum as an example of “the perfect marriage of science and art…from its current exhibition on The Art of Video Games to the mathematically informed sculptural surfaces of its Frank Gehry design.”
p.s. Note that Associate Professor Dan Cavicchi, RISD’s interim dean of Liberal Arts, was involved in developing the exhibition curriculum for EMP.
A great article in Saturday’s National Journal – called Design and Conquer in the print edition and The Art of Techhology online – supports RISD’s efforts to focus national attention on the value of art and design to innovation and the economy.
More specifically, the story by Ron Fournier focuses on the burgeoning STEAM initiative to add art and design education to the current emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects.
“At a time when economists, corporate executives and the president talk about the need for national excellence in science and engineering – [John] Maeda is… trying to ensure that the arts aren’t forgotten,” the article notes. “The 46-year-old president of the renowned Rhode Island School of Design leads a high-powered drive to draw attention to the value of arts education. His growing legion of academics, business honchos and tech-savvy politicians say that art and design are national imperatives, too.”
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who visited RISD to speak with students earlier this month, is cited in the story as “a major STEAM proponent.” And RISD alum Bob Schwartz MID 75, a healthcare designer at GE who helped develop the award-winning cardiology X-ray device shown below, notes that an artistic approach helps bring much-needed “emotional benefits” to high-tech medical devices.
This Thursday, February 14, RISD is co-hosting a STEM to STEAM briefing in Washington, DC in cooperation with US Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Aaron Schock, co-chairs of the Congressional STEAM Caucus.
You can still register to attend the Congressional briefing, which runs from 2–3 pm in the US Capitol Visitor Center, HVC Room 215.
“Artists will emerge as the new business leaders,” according to an inspiring article recently published in Fortune Magazine. In the piece, writer Tim Leberecht credits President John Maeda as being one the foremost authorities on the matter.
Lately, a number of business thinkers and leaders have begun to embrace the arts, not as an escapist notion, a parallel world after office hours, or a creative asset, but as an integral part of business - from the management team to operations to customer service.
In addition to reflecting on the importance of creativity in the business world, Leberecht makes the case that innovators should actively strive to emulate artists’ behavioral patterns “to see the world afresh and create something new.”