Huffington Post Publishes President Walter Massey’s “The Art of Innovation”July 20, 2012—On July 19 Huffington Post College published "The Art of Innovation," an essay by SAIC President Walter E. Massey about the current and potential roles of art and design education in the historically scientific realm of politically supported global innovation. His writing draws from the April keynote address he delivered at the Committee on Institutional Cooperation's Global University Summit, and asserts—using as example the work of SAIC alumna Emily Pilloton (MFA 2005), as well as a recent New York Times editorial by columnist David Brooks—that the interdisciplinary curriculum of SAIC and peer institutions like it effectively support socially responsible individuals so that they might maximize their impact on society.
Departing from his perspective as both a physicist and a "longtime cultural enthusiast," Massey delivers a history of the scientific paradigm surrounding innovation that dates back to the founding of the National Science Foundation—which Massey directed from 1991 to 1993—and its roots in post World War II America. While he writes that this paradigm has worked and in many ways is still valid, he notes, "a closer examination of the innovative process reveals it is not that simple or straightforward.... We certainly need more scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, but we may have been missing an opportunity by not more effectively engaging in the innovative process one of the most creative groups in our society—artists and designers.... Whether the issue is sustainability, public education, or social justice, artists and designers engage, adapt, reimagine, and continue to move the definition of innovation forward."