Obviously there’s human rights that have to do with water and air and safety and shelter, but I think education is right there with it because it really is a public good. I have such a hard time with people who say, for example, who don’t have children and say, “Well why should I pay those taxes. I don’t have anybody in the schools. It’s not benefitting me.” And I think how can you possibly say that? Those are the people that are servicing you, whether they’re servicing your roads or your supermarket or your medical offices.
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You might have heard that this week Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced that they’re going to give away 99% of their Facebook stock in hopes of making the world a much better place for their newborn daughter and her generation. Now, I just want to be right up front with you. I have no inside information about this fascinating development. But what I do have is inside information, the inside story, on a gift that this couple made five years ago in their first act as philanthropists.
What does it mean to be antidisciplinary? To me, it means struggle. Sometimes, working in interdisciplinary fields, I felt like I’ve maybe tried really hard working and working and working on a project, and I wasn’t seeing any difference. Sometimes people would look at me and be like, “What are you even doing?” So, to me antidisciplinarity means not only not working in one specific field, but rather instead drawing from elsewhere to imagine something new.
Instead of having our children become consumers of robotics technology, consumers of products, we’d have to train them to be producers, to realize that they can use robotic technologies to build something with their intuition, their creativity, and their sense of purpose, that has meaning to them. Then we’d have a technologically fluent society.
Education has remained largely unchanged for millennia. In any classroom, you see a set of students gathered around a teacher who’s writing on the board, or maybe now we’ve added a PowerPoint deck. But, as in many other fields that have been slow to change, the data revolution is coming for education.
If you are given the task to lecture on design somewhere in the Middle East, do you think you’ll need to tailor your approach? Maybe think about your references, the language, the vastly different background? The answer most probably is “yes.” But the reality of design education in the Middle East, and more specifically the Gulf Region, prove otherwise.
I like to diversify the way that we work with technology, and I like to think of it as an art object, and an installation where we rethink and reinvent computation, especially focusing on alternative possibilities of the computer as not driven by war agendas or corporate mass production.
Puerto Rico has been developing an interesting art and technology community for the past few years, and it would not have happened at all if it weren’t for two people, Carola Cintrón Moscoso and Alejandro Quinteros.