Thursday, November 5, 2009


Okay, so despite the title, this blog ISN'T in reference to the fabulous gender discussion going on in Jenna's blog. (I just now noticed it, and felt like it was way to late to drop my 2-5 cents in, but wow is it interesting, so if you are reading THIS and you haven't read THAT, I recommend you drop this immediately and go read it.) It is, of course, in reference to the club Stephanie Doll, Laurie Russel, and Tara Black, and I formed on the jungle gym in the third grade. It goes without saying that the club was totally, ridiculously awesome, and we did all sorts of really cool third grade club things (aka created a secret language, gossipped about Abby, the pretty girl, etc).

More than that, though, it's about the world of exclusivity, the gains and losses that we get by sequestering ourselves into groups of common interests, and the fact that, although I KNOW that everyone is equally important and valid, I couldn't help but continually hierarchize IT folks above creative artist folks as I read this week's articles.

Yes, I know this is the wrong answer. I know the POINT of this week was to enlighten us in the amazing innovation that can result from the blend of design and computer technology, and even to point out that, in a very real sense, computer IS mud. (A deliciously messy metaphor.) But all I kept thinking was, yes I love art, and I love looking at cool things, but I love function even more. I want computers to make stuff easier, and more entertaining, and not only by creating crazy-brilliant abstract art.

So the Mitchell et al piece gave some great examples of collaborations that HAVE contributed amazing (dare I say FUNCTIONAL) things: architecture, movies, video games. I certainly see the value in those blending of the lines. But when Mitchell bemoans the evil biases that draw fewer IT folks to art and design than vice versa, I just have to stop and scratch my head. (figuratively of course) When he mentions, significantly, that "there seem to be more resources offering IT skills training and tools than offering arts education," I think, equally significantly, OF COURSE. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE.

I also take issue with the idea that creativity is in no way directly connected to IT, that in order for creativity to be involved, we have to add in art/design people and add a few letters to the acronym . . . ITCP.

My feeling is that we should certainly celebrate collaboration and diverse perspectives, as they can enrich any field, but I'm not so sure that ITCP, in the form Mitchell is purporting, is the most important wave in the future.

(This, from one who got a B- in art class, so, really no surprise.)


  1. Have this funny image of you now with the girls at the jungle gym gossiping about ITCP. which isn't really what happened but I took the liberty to connect a few dots from your post and draw my own conclusions. call it computational thinking, or artistic license, either way works.

  2. Oh yeah- we totally gossiped about ITCP. I mean, seriously, if something is too cool to be understood, you've got to bring it down somehow.

  3. That's too funny! I would have totally pegged you as an arts person -- not in favor of the IT bit... Always a surprise... Coming from the arts, I tend to see this trend a lot... Frequently, artists have issues engaging with technologies but seem to find a way in. It seems much harder to teach IT folks about the aesthetics of their design choices... I totally agree with your notions of creativity -- I think that creativity is possible in any field, especially IT work. I think that report conflates creative with artistic perhaps?