In 2009, the Dean of the School of Information Studies, Liz Liddy, and the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Anne Clarke, recognized strong synergies between information, technology and design. They spearheaded what was to be a year-long initiative to cultivate ties between the two schools. The endeavor was dubbed CommonGround, referring to the boundary-spanning nature of multidisciplinary projects, especially those that bring together information technology and the creative arts.
What was planned to be a one-year exploration has transformed into an ongoing relationship.
Over the course of the last two years, faculty and students from the iSchool and VPA have engaged in a range of collaborative activities including community-based projects, co-taught classes, workshops, guest lectures, student mentoring, fundraisers and even the development of cross-disciplinary academic programs. We have developed especially strong ties with the Department of Design. Up until this point, many of these events have been announced and chronicled on the CommonGround blog. You can visit this site to learn more about the initiative and read about past projects.
Zeke Leonard, head of VPA’s fabrication shops, gives a tour of facilities at The Warehouse to iSchool faculty and PhD students
In Spring 2010, Design Department faculty presented a Design Thinking Workshop for iSchool faculty and graduate students held in the Innovation Studio
Collaboration Between CommonGround and Information Space
Students and faculty from both schools have been enthusiastically taking advantage of CommonGround-inspired opportunities at a steady pace. Due to the great success of the initiative and its hectic schedule, maintaining the original CommonGround blog became a challenge greater than what was originally anticipated. Ultimately, the activity of the initiative outpaced the activity of our blogging, and we saw a great opportunity in partnering once again with the iSchool, here on Information Space.
So, we’ll be making some exciting changes this semester. We’ll be contributing our posts to the iSchool’s Information Space blog, which has blossomed into an active information resource. Make sure to keep an eye out for posts in the new CommonGround category. Our former CommonGround blog will remain accessible, and will continue to provide general information about the motivation and goals of the CommonGround initiative. From now on, though, all new events and projects will be documented here at Information Space.
Welcoming our New Bloggers
I’m very excited to have recruited a few graduate students to cover events and post about all things related to information, technology, art and design. The CommonGround blogging team has expanded to include three stellar iSchool graduate students: Josh Kitlas, Gwynnie Frey and Jennifer Liddy. All three of these bloggers were students in my Information Design class this spring and I have no doubt they will shed interesting light on CommonGround projects and issues.
In addition to covering iSchool/VPA collaborations, we’ll also be highlighting some of the other multidisciplinary research and teaching the iSchool is involved with across the university. If you know of an interesting collaboration happening on campus, let us know! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re excited to begin our work with Information Space this semester, and we’re planning some great things. Make sure to check Information Space regularly for CommonGround content, and much more!