Dream pitches “How to create things and have them matter”

Today I went to the Dreampitches of the Harvard course “How to create things and have them matter” (ES20). This course is facilitated by David Edwards, the founder of the ArtScience Labs (see previous blog). Harvard undergraduate and graduate students have worked in mixed teams to imagine ways of skiing in balls, talking in halls (in post-Google ways) – and making art through physical rehabilitation. I saw some ‘naive prototypes’, which underlined their ambition to dream.

I found it interesting that most of the prototypes had a focus on connecting people facilitated by a new kind of social media. Fun and gaming were aspects that were mentioned often, with the intention to make it more attractive for people to act. None of the groups had invented something useful but boring (for instance a new machine to clean your toilet, a new fence for my garden, or a new kind of bond). Apparently Fun and Socialization are important when you give young people the space to dream.

I think that it would be interesting to create such an environment / space for professionals in the Netherlands, with the objective to become creative and dream again about the future. What would for instance a mixed team from different industries come up with? A new kind of bank that connects people and with the focus on making the lives of their participants better? Or a training institute were the participants train each other?

Afterwards I spoke shortly with David Ma, a student in this course, about his lessons learned. Thanks David for your flexibility to act in an instant! And thanks to your team mates who said that you were their spokesperson;) They were right!

ArtScience Labs: Youngster creating the future!

In creating something new, you often have to break or bend the existing rules. Or you call yourself an Artist, so you can easily create your own rules and call it Art. This gives a lot of freedom to experiment and less reason for justification. Half a year ago I searched on the combination between Science and Art, and came in this way in contact with the ArtScience Labs in Boston. A inspiring place where youngsters create what wasn’t there before.


What is the ArtSience Prize?

The ArtScience Prize (www.artscienceprize.org/asp) was originally developed by Professor David Edwards of Artscience Labs at Harvard University to help young people develop the ability to think in cross-disciplinary, creative ways that will inspire them to create change in the world and to tackle some of society’s most pressing problems. Each year, this curricular program engages hundreds of young people from many countries across the globe in art and design projects with a cutting-edge scientific theme. Through exploration of these themes within the context of a curricular program, young people have developed groundbreaking ideas for new ways of eating (such as Le Whif, a new form of inhalable chocolate), new humanitarian organizations (including Lebone, which grows energy from dirt in various parts of South Africa), novel artistic experiences (including Water Walkers, a public art installation that raises awareness about water access in the developing world), innovative companies (including MuseTrek, a cultural services provider that harnesses the power of user-generated content and GPS technologies), and much more. All of these groundbreaking ideas help to engage young people in creative ideation at the intersection point of their personal passion and the needs that exist in today’s society. The ArtScience Prize currently works with students from secondary education to post-graduate levels in France, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, South Africa, and the United States with programs launching in the UK, Canada, Korea and Germany in the coming years.

Round Table In Amsterdam

We’re now organizing a Round Table conference in Amsterdam, to look at the possibilities of the presence of the ArtScience Lab in the Netherlands. As a member of Amsterdam’s innovation community through my work at the de Baak institute, I was excited to learn about this project and to think of the possibilities that it presents for the Netherlands community. While de Baak does work at the professional level with many members of the Netherlands community, we realize that creative thinking must begin at younger ages, within exciting innovation environments for students. The world that our young people will grow up in is uncertain in a variety of ways, but one thing that we know for sure is that our young people will have access to a wealth of information, and their power to impact the world and come up with creative ideas will lie in the ability to synthesize and use that information in globally-relevant ways. I see the approach of the ArtScience Prize to help children “learn how to learn,” become excited about the creative potential of combining different disciplines in new ways, and figure out how to bring ideas from conception to realization as key strengths of this unique educational approach. Additionally, building on a concept that is also central to de Baak’s work, the ArtScience Prize provides a framework through which community members, professionals, companies and organizations, and a global network of other ArtScience Prize students can network and engage with Netherlands youth to support the development of collaborative, creative ideas.


Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more about the Round Table Conference in June, and I would love to involve you!

Thank you Andrea Sachdeva (Director at the ArtScience Labs), for most of the above text. Writing is a lot of fun when you can copy good sentences from others:)