May 312016

From: scott trent []
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:24 AM
To: roger malina
Subject: RE: 50 year anniversary – dialog

You wrote, “oh yes- lets do this discussion/work in a way that archives the discussion-
so where should I put this email ~!”

Here are two suggestions for capturing this exchange and trying to turn the conversation into some type of action.  I prefer to see ideas side by side, similar to a whiteboard or large wall.  I’ve never found anything that does a good job of displaying information digitally on the web.  Creation applications such as Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, even Dreamweaver create a “canvas” area to create.  This is nice because you can arrange, order and rearrange text and images to create the best layout at that time.  So, is my interpretation of a whiteboard to display ideas in a non-linear fashion.

I have a blog that I can dedicate to this endeavor

If you’re amenable, I can transfer the dialog into this format.  My question:  Do you want me to edit the posts to include only pertinent information or post all content with the idea that everything will be posted?  For instance, I took out your email address from the email.  Also, I’d like to invite others into the dialog and I can facilitate the conversation.

If there is a better way to exchange information which best fits your process, please let me know.
I’m excited to dig into your email and get back to you, more to come.


May 312016

Just getting over jetlag- just checked out the web site Which I think will be a good platform

One of the things I am interested in as you know is the teaching Of collaboration in art/sci- I have been reading anthropologist James leach and he developed sort of a check list/protocol for People entering into a collaboration

See for instance this project


maybe we should take some time if we are going to pursue this to flesh out what our answers would be to the check list without formalizing too much ?

for me the question/problem- is ‘re-imagining Leonardo’ or the mission of the leonardo organisations- if we closed them down today what would make sense to create to respond to the needs in art science in the next 50 years ?

how to convert your diagram into a vertical axis looking forward as well as back with today as the fulcrum ( see marcus neustetter he is someone I want to try to figure out how to collaborate with oh yes- lets do this discussion/work in a way that archives the discussion-

so where should I put this email ~!

Please use my ************ address


May 312016

From: scott trent []
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2016 9:54 PM
To: Malina, Roger <>
Subject: 50 year anniversary – dialog

Hi Roger,
I asked that you give me something that you’re working on and let me try to apply my approach to help address your challenge.  This is a beginning to the dialog.  Imagine the page as a whiteboard with ideas around the 50 year anniversary for Leonardo journal.

See notes here:


May 252016

HAP snake 2016
The Henderson Art Project was created in 2010 as an experiment to explore the ideal of placing fine art in public spaces.  We challenged the negative preconceptions of art exhibiting next to street signs, lights, telephone poles and busy neighborhood streets.  The project constantly struggled with the balance between the freedom of creativity and constraints of producing art which can safely exist in public spaces.  The foundation of the project was designing win/win/win partnerships between the local community, area businesses and artists.  We were successful on many levels and the project continues today as Art on Henderson.  Today, the scope is modest and less experimental; but, it still strongly promotes the art community.  I have moved the experiment a bit south these days to the Bill J. Priest Institute.  Under the leadership of Byron Zarrabi and the Arts and Technology welding program we have created a 12 week course addressing metal art, large scale sculptures and the business of art.  But, similar to the Henderson Art Project relationship between art and the placement of art, the welding aspect is only a part of the larger experiment of creating art in a collaborative environment.  We are building an innovation laboratory explaining the creative process from imagining, creating, fabrication to maintenance.  Taught on the foundation of Design Thinking we hope to promote and support the creative entrepreneur and continue to build a community of “makers” known as a creative consortium.  We will focus on the convergences of idealism and practicality and build the lab in the space between the conflicting ideals.  The BJP innovation lab district will provide equipment to design and develop ideas and facilitate the process of innovation.  A dialog will emerge between the academy, students and the community.  If you’d like to join our movement to promote the creative entrepreneurs contact

Jun 222014

I find crowd funding strategies similar to gallery shows in the fine art world.

Many times artists believe all they need to do to sell art is find representation in a gallery.  There is a misperception that the gallery will have shows, exhibiting their work and the public will swarm to buy their art.

What the artists do not consider and startup organizations overlook in crowd funding, is the fact that business is still about sales.  Whether your platform is digital or venue is brick and mortar, it still requires creating a product or service which people want or need, and promoting/advertising to drive interested buyers to your product/idea/concept/service.

Crowd funding sites provide a platform where many, many people could view their concept; but, there still must be an incentive, a connection, a reason/mission which inspires potential investors to contribute money.  The video can be well produced, and verbiage well written, but the fact remains that the mission must inspire people to give.  The concept must stand out as unique and something worthy of investing in.

An art gallery is designed to exhibit the art in the best light and potential buyers are invited/enticed to attend showings and purchase art.  It requires sales, marketing, promotions, branding and even customer development.  A successful gallery will develop an active list of people who buy art, noting the type art they buy.  Then, the gallery will seek artists who create work which will appeal to their clientele.  Their customer list is constantly growing, and continually be massaged to provide a unique service to a very specific demographic.  The crowd funding sites are designed to showcase concepts and provide a way investors can contribute to very wide, undeveloped audience.  What these sites do not provide is customer development, sales, promotions or a forum that can turn a mediocre, uninspired concept into a million dollar idea.  Crowd funding sites expect the individual users to develop their own clients and promote their own concepts to ensure the greatest success.

Artist produce work often without a buyer, audience or even venue to sell their work.  Entrepreneurs might be equally optimistic and blind to the importance of conventional business practices as they flock to crowd funding sites in hopes of funding their ideas and dreams.

There’s nothing magical about sales of art or funding of projects on crowd funding sites.  The fact is it requires as much work and dedicated attention as creating the art or developing the concepts.  For those who blindly jump into either endeavor, the numbers for business failures and starving artists is staggering, but certainly not surprising.  It’s a reminder that many artist and entrepreneurs rely heavily on the misconceptions of business in their zeal to create.

Jun 222014

Good design considers the stakeholders.  The site should be intuitive and guide the users to information and links which are relevant.  The site should consider the user’s expectations and needs, and find creative, unique ways to fulfill their expectations.  This web site utilizes a gaming strategy to engage users.  Tenants are awarded points for completing desired tasks, such as signing up for automatic bill payment, or referring new tenants.  The funny part is the apartment does not indicate what you win with the points, or even the purpose for accumulated points.  I created this image for a design interactivity class I teach at the Arts Institute of Pittsburgh to point out the different ways web designers can create interactivity for the site users.



Feb 092014


making a swing_300dpi


This graphic illustrates the different stakeholders within a project, the different perspectives and interpretations involved in a creative collaboration, AND the need for a Design Thinker at the very beginning to align and guide the creative process.  “What the customer really needed,” is accurate to what the customer has in mind; but, there could be one more panel of what was created to exceed the customer’s expectations and WoW! them or completely change the swing industry.  The products and services which revolutionize an industry are those which begin with the “tire swing” and create something that expands the user’s experience.  The Designer considers the gap between the customer’s needs and expectations and what we currently know, to create a new space, a new product and a new experience.

Note:  I am looking for the creator of this graphic.  Please contact me if you know the source.

Dec 092013

John Lasseter is unique because he has created some of the most influential characters and impactful stories of our time.  Lasseter’s work is judged by gross receipts, popularity and how you feel when you view one of his movies.  He is a master storyteller, and artist who reflects narratives which resonates with the masses.

Design Thinkers are those who straddle the two worlds of right-brain and left-brain thinking.  They function within convention and soar in the abstractions of creativity.  They operate in the space between fine art, commerce and function.




Mar 182013

In an effort to continue the exploration of creativity, innovation and Design Thinking, I have created a project called, talk with Roger.

On this web page, I enter into a virtual dialog with Distinguished Chair, Roger Malina.  Dr. Malina holds a dual appointment at the University of Texas at Dallas, as professor of Arts and Technology and physics.  Malina is a physicist, astronomer and executive editor of the Leonardo publications at MIT Press.  He is a leading contributor to the international dialog on design and innovation.

To follow the dialog, go to

Mar 182013

It is important to note that I am fully aware that most academics discount the right-left brain metaphor.  They direct the conversation to neuroscience research which claims the whole brain forms any given thought and the brain function cannot be explained by the separation of two independently functioning brain hemispheres.  The most recent research I’ve read made this point and then slid back to preferential influences from each hemisphere.  In this study, the researcher used a gradient scale of specificity as opposed to a clearly delineated line of separation by the corpus callosum.  I fully understand the complexity of the brain, and the primary reason I am dubious as academia moves to a position more reliant on MRI research and certainty in their latest map of the brain.  The very fact of new research and a closer examination of the glial cells reinforces my inclination to focus on the spaces between the cells and less on the firing of neurons.

I would not argue with my fellow scholar’s new understanding of the human brain, but point to the fact that our new understanding of the brain function does not negate the work of Nobel Laureate Roger Sperry’s work of dual modalities of thought within the brain.  Although, his work was conducted in the sixties, his exploration of split brain symptoms is the ideal metaphor to a psychological phenomenon explored by Dr. Betty Edwards and Dr. Jerre Levy in the eighties.  It’s not an idea of old science, but an ideal metaphor that describes a perspective that affects our thinking, actions and decisions how we approach life.

There are disciplines that benefit from a certain perspective and approach to life.  In the extreme, the artist accesses the abstractions of life and articulates this vision in a fashion that is consumed with the senses; while, the engineer is firmly grounded in the discipline of science and expresses themselves in practical applications.  This requires two completely different disciplines of thought.  For an even more extreme scenario, I have overlaid the artist’s approach to life to the business person’s need for efficiency, organization, structure and profits.  The two perspectives are far apart; yet, the business community talks about the need for innovation.  The issue is artists innovate as if breathing, but suffocate in the structured environment of a business.  The business person prospers in the delineated lines of an organization and flounders in the abstractions of innovation.  The two perspectives can co-exist, but never fully integrate or collaborate.

From personal experiences and empirical evidence, I see dominant traits which influences the way people interact with the world.  Since the focus of my work is creativity and innovation, I have identified the traits that embrace, practice and promote creativity, and those that do not.  The shorthand that best serves my purpose is the term right and left brain thinking.  The individual who accesses and utilizes a “whole brain” approach is practicing Design Thinking, which I will address at a later time.

My request:  Do not use the science of the brain, to be confused with the exploration of the mind, and a distraction from the conversation of creativity.  As the physicist David Bohm once lamented, disassembling the watch will not help one understand time.  I believe our efforts to observe the firing of neurons as we map the brain, does not provide insights into the abstractions of creativity which occurs between the cells.