The A+D Parkour: Creativity and Its Prototypes

By Shannon Jackson



We hear a great deal these days about the importance of “creativity.” City planners tout the importance of attracting it; education leaders try to figure out how to cultivate it, and industry employers lament the dearth of employees who have it. Meanwhile, those of us with long-term allegiances to the arts and design keep making, playing, fabricating, composing, and re-composing available materials into new combinations, ready to welcome new friends and new fields to the process.

Indeed, the first year of our Arts and Design Initiative at UC Berkeley has meant featuring our campus’s powers of creative recombination–even as we do the work of recombination ourselves. It has meant collecting information and assessing needs across dozens of departments, centers, student groups, and presenting organizations that represent thousands of campus constituents, and it has meant assembling the goals and resources of those organizations onto a shared platform.

I often felt that I was running a parkour, traveling from one creative site to the next, encountering unexpected opportunities, and taking a leap in the absence of an established path of travel. The risk turned up wonders, including new ideas about what “creativity” means on a campus as intellectually bold and as publicly engaged as ours. So too it turned up new ideas about how our creative fields might re-invent the nature and structure of the university itself.

To read the complete end-of-year reflection, click here.

Exciting Berkeley News story about UC Berkeley and the new SFMOMA | Online now!

“Berkeley and the new SFMOMA — partners in art and public engagement”
By Kate Mattingly


“When the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) opens its doors to the public next week, it will be the largest modern and contemporary art museum in the United States and the largest museum in Northern California. As impressive as these statistics are, they don’t include the numerous ways that the museum is much more than a physical building. Or the ways that UC Berkeley’s faculty, students, and alumni play pivotal roles in SFMOMA’s projects and plans.”

Read more here.


Berkeley News Feature: Learn more about the artists and makers that make Berkeley great!

“Arts lessons: Personal tales from campus”
Interviews by Gretchen Kell; Photos by Brittany Murphy; Web design by Melani King

“You know them as faculty members, school officials, researchers, co-workers and alums. But the people below are artists, too, and part of a campus community that’s rich in both celebrated and hidden artistic talent. Click each photo to read, in their own words, a little about why the arts and design — including music, dance, painting, theater, architecture and photography — give them joy and insight. They’ll also tell you about the importance of looking at life through multiple lenses, a major focus of Berkeley’s new Arts + Design Initiative.”

See the portrait grid here