In February, we continue our dive into the eclectic with Art by Design, a look at how the worlds of pure artistic creativity and design come together. Join us for talks by a neuroscientist dance choreographer and the designer of some of the most popular music creation apps ever built.
Mindfulness and Creativity are what allows us to live our own message. Having access to our creativity gives us the freedom to self express and be who we are moment to moment. When given the space to self express, creativity affords peace, openness, grace, curiosity, wonder, ease and beauty. In this workshop, scientist + artist Nkechi Deanna Njaka will explore her path to discovering the artist within and molding that power into a creative career and way of living. Through her research, study and practice, Nkechi will share how her work has fostered a meaningful bridge between mindfulness and creativity. By the end of this inspiring talk, participants will have a fully crystallized idea of how it is truly possible to merge science and art.
Nkechi Deanna Njaka, Msc. is a designer and geek at heart, having studying neuroscience and dance— pursuing both professionally before starting her own creative agency. She is the founder of NDN lifestyle studio, co-founder of Sitting Matters and is a YBCA Artist Fellow. Nkechi majored in neuroscience and dance at Scripps College and went on to complete an MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh.
She has spent the majority of her life investigating the relationship between the brain and the body and has always felt the significance of their integration. Through this work, she discovered that mindfulness and creativity are crucial for sustaining individual and global well-being.
She art directs, choreographs, and teaches at the intersection of radical presence and progressive wellness . She believes that our truth and our power have everything to do with mindfulness. When not exploring mindfulness, creativity and other wellness practices, Nkechi spends her time discovering ways to participate more fully in the arts and travel. She currently lives in SF.
What does it mean to design well? To design ethically? How might the things we engineer reflect our human values? In a world shaped by technology, these may be the most difficult and ongoing questions facing every engineer, builder, designer. To address them, the way we think about design may need to fundamentally evolve. Drawing from Ge Wang's new book ARTFUL DESIGN, and using music technology as a vehicle, we will examine everyday examples of design: programming languages, toy-like mobile apps like Ocarina, instruments for laptop orchestra, and social technologies. Through these, we will consider how and why, more than addressing our practical needs, technology could and should be beautiful, humanistic, and socially meaningful.
Ge Wang is an Associate Professor at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He researches artful design of tools, toys, games and social experiences. Ge is the architect of the ChucK music programming language, director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, co-founder of Smule and designer of the Ocarina and Magic Piano apps for mobile phones. He is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of ARTFUL DESIGN: TECHNOLOGY IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME, a photo comic book about the ethics and craft of shaping technology. Based on the book, Ge is currently teaching a new critical thinking course at Stanford, "Design that Understands Us."