November 29, 2010
“Hybrid thinking” …it’s what is going on in the minds of successful innovators, according to Dev Patnaik, founder and chief executive of Silicon Valley growth strategy firm Jump. He defines it as “the conscious blending of different fields of thought to discover and develop opportunities that were previously unseen by the status quo …”. By nature, “hybrid” thinkers embrace new vantage points. They create new connections and landmarks. So, just what happens when you cross-pollinate a handful of creative hybrids?
Steambot is a collaborative exhibition up now at the Kirkland Arts Center, featuring artwork that combines both current and Industrial Age technologies. In creating the curatorial model for Steambot, Cable Griffith and I stewarded a thoughtful and flexible process that allowed these artists with diverse backgrounds to mine each others’ expertise, share studio practices and develop effective working relationships. Our aim was to set up the gallery itself as a working platform for their collaboration. With generous funding from 4Culture’s Group Arts Project Grant (we heart 4C!), Steambot became an incubator, a collaboratory, a fablab, an heritage archives and a virtual community hub.
Starting with an architectural landmark as muse (the Peter Kirk building)…and toggling between to industrial eras, these 5 hybrid thinkers, Rusty Oliver, Pat Gallagher, Rebecca Cummins, Randy Moss and Simon Winder, explored ideas around industrial heritage, technological advances, craftsmanship and collective authorship. They honed new skills and forged meaningful partnerships while creating a body of work together.
Peter Kirk’s imagined steel hub, along with a veritable palette of archival ideas including oracles, time travels, Victorian Spiritualism, magnetic fields, weights and measures, recoding instrumentation, telegraph, early astronomical devices, clear cut forests, powered flight, X-ray technology, diatoms, steam powered turbines, steel mills, helium balloons, Morse code, rotoscopes, stereoptics, dirigibles, telegraphic cameras, portraiture were investigated by the group. These notions served as fertile ground for collaborations and blue prints for potential fabrications. The result…a steam engine generating powerful, poignant and whimsical site specific works of art that speak to place, partnership and possibility.
ALL ABOARD, STEAMBOT…before it pulls out of the Kirkland station on Dec. 3, 2010.
Kirkland Arts Center (620 Market St, Kirkland, WA 98033 | (425) 822-7161)
Photo credit : Steambot portraits by Marty Oppenheimer. From left to right: Randy Moss, Simon Winder, Rebecca Cummins, Patrick Gallagher, Rusty Oliver, Cable Griffith, Genevieve Tremblay
November 13, 2010
Earlier this Fall, Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director of Microsoft’s Global Community Affairs was in NY for the Clinton Global Initiative and then in Washington, DC, attended the Business Civic Leadership Center Global Corporate Citizenship Conference. After his active engagement at both of these summits, Akhtar shared his thoughts on the shifting the economic and political dynamics shaping our future on his Microsoft Unlimited Potential blog… later published in the Huffington Post.
Toward a New Normal — Visions for Development Leaders (Huffington Post)
In this article, Badshah calls upon everyone, especially those in the development community – businesses, governments, international donors, NGOs and individuals, “to embrace change, chart a new path, and to become more relevant to the communities they serve”. Armed with a well-rounded perspective and a depth of expertise in the realms of global economics, corporate philanthropy, information technology, architecture, environmental and urban planning, as well as arts and culture, the insights he shares in this piece focus on the positive opportunities at hand for a myriad of global development initiatives. Inspiring ideas, indeed, but more importantly, scalable ones that can be mapped and adapted to smaller, grassroots level cultural and community development efforts. So I took note.
Akhtar’s practical, yet visionary call to action so resonated in me, that it triggered associations of biblical proportions. I have taken some poetic license to rename his “common elements” and now refer to them as, “Badshah’s Beatitudes: 9 Common Elements of Development”. With his permission, I edited them down and borrowed a format from another familiar sermon on a Mount. They hang in clear sight on my bulletin board…to remind myself to create a “new normal” everyday. I hope you’ll do the same…
BADSHAH’S BEATITUDES: 9 Common Elements of Development
Blessed Be the Innovative…
for they look at things anew. The fresh edges they carve will both preserve and restore.
Blessed Be the Relevant…
for they design and deliver necessary solutions.
Blessed Be the Visible…
for they are actively engaged and extend their knowledge.
Blessed Be the Transparent…
for they share knowledge and incite collective growth.
Blessed Be the Collaborative…
for they bring people together to solve big problems.
Blessed Be the Focused…
for they keep their eye on the end goal.
Blessed Be the Risk-takers…
who tolerate ambiguity and failures on their path to new worlds.
Blessed Be the Geeky…
the seekers who reinvent the “new normal”.
Blessed Be [the] Change…
unpredictable, shifting, but necessary to survive and flourish.
September 11, 2010
Tomiko Jones is busy stitching up the sails for her environmental installation, “Uncovering the West Tributary”, a one evening only event on Sept. 24 from 7-10pm along the hidden reaches of Kelsey Creek in Bellevue. Jones’ installation is funded by Bellevue’s Arts Program, through its Special Projects program with help from the Utilities Department. This public art event is the first of what hopefully will be more site-specific art events held in the Corridor.
This multi-media installation (projection, sound, sculpture) will quietly transform this forgotten wetland pond into a community reflecting pool…using it as a platform to re-imagine this forgotten wetland waterway as restored, revitalized green and open space. Jones’ temporal work not only serves to “daylight” the critical task of restoring our stream system in Bel-Red, but daylights the potential creative uses of this pioneering area.
Bel-Red is actually GREEN…and is OPEN for the business of CREATIVITY!
City Arts Magazine, Curator’s Eye: Tomiko’s Floating World by Tim Appelo, December 1, 2010
Contact: Mary Pat Byrne, Arts Specialist, Bellevue Arts Program; 425-452-4105
May 26, 2010
Matt Terry, the Director of Planning for the City of Bellevue was honored last night at Meydenbauer for his 30 years of leadership and public service at a retirement celebration at Meydenbauer Ceneter last night.
Among Matt’s many accomplishments, he leaves a visionary master plan for the Bel-Red Corridor. As part of that landmark planning effort, the Bellevue Arts Commission was invited to the table to contribute to the cultural vision for Bel-Red. As a result, the development of an arts/cultural district, as well as integrated public art and the identification of environmental art opportunities were thoughtfully considered in the planning process. Exciting developments for the BAC!
As a gesture of gratitude, the members of the Commission (Mary Pat Byrne, Betina Finley, Judy Holder, Brad Smith, Valentina Kiselev, Roxanne Shepard, Bill Ptacek and myself) privately commissioned Seattle artist, Mariko Hirasawa to create an embroidered interpretation of the sub-area map of the Corridor. The piece entitled, “The Cultural Fabric of Bel-Red”, identifies exisiting arts and cultural assets such as the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Francia Russell Performing Arts Center, Mike Lull Guitar Works, Donn Bennett Drum Studio, Evolution Studios, Northwest Guitars, American Music, Mill Music and others with colorful French knots.
“Cultural Tapestry of Bel-Red”, by Mariko Hirasawa, 2010
Aside from his many citywide contributions, Matt Terry has stretched and primed a beautiful canvas with his team’s master plan. With such a solid foundation, the community now can begin to imagine the possibilities and start to apply color (and MORE FRENCH KNOTS!!!) to this pioneering frontier that is perfectly poised for creative and entrepreneurial industry settlements.
March 22, 2010
As part of the University of Washington Commercial Real Estate Development Certificate Program (‘09), we were part of a team that created BRINC: The Bel-Red Incubator, a Real Estate Strategy and Analysis for a Mixed Use Redevelopment. Our mission was to develop a catalyst real estate asset that would be one of the first bold new strokes in the newly rezoned area of Bellevue, the Bel-Red Corridor…a pioneering frontier, perfectly poised for creative and entrepreneurial industry settlements.
BRINC: The Bel-Red Incubator: 132,000sf facility, providing workforce housing (75 apts, 7 live/work lofts, 45,000 sf office, 7000sf sound recording studios/motion capture lab, 15,000sf of street front retail and cultural amenities.
The BRINC development is targeted toward the growing fields of interactive media technology on the Eastside and timed to coincide with adjacent EastLink light rail system. It is sited in the heart of the future business district of Bel-Red and is closely aligned with City’s vision. The BRINC Dev Team included: Kate Wells Driscoll, Genevieve Tremblay, William Riley, Heidi Ehrbar.
The UW CRE project inspired us (Gen and Kate) to create BRINC: the blog…to further explore innovative strategies at the intersection of urban design, cultural development and innovation.
for more: About BRINC: The Bel-Red Incubator: