The Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab explains why artists and designers are crucial to technological innovation.
The Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab explains why artists and designers are crucial to technological innovation.
March 13

“Art School Is the Place to Be,” says Nicholas Negroponte

On March 8 SAIC lecture series Conversations on Art and Science welcomed Nicholas Negroponte, professor and Chairman Emeritus of the MIT Media Lab. Addressing an enthusiastic crowd in the historic SAIC ballroom, Negroponte underlined the increasing demand for creative, design-oriented problem solvers in today’s global marketplace during a lecture entitled “Artists/Designers/Entrepreneurs: Is the Art School the New Business School?” Dedicated to the implementation of affordable educational devices for students in developing nations, Negroponte founded One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization that has distributed over two million laptops since 2011. This increased access to technology has contributed to significantly higher rates of literacy among an estimated 100 million children without a pre-school education—a statistic that illustrates the growing importance of creative thinkers: “Increasing literacy equals an increased need for design,” he argues. Highlighting the establishment of the MIT Media Lab in 1985—a revolutionary moment in the convergence of technology, multimedia, and design—Negroponte emphasized crucial contributions made by artists and designers in the development of major technological advancements like touch screen technology. “Art school is the place to be,” he asserted. “Business schools have come and gone.”