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I’m not creative, but…playfully investigates the role of creativity in all career paths, well beyond the so-called creative industries. Science tells us that one-half of our brain, the right, is what we use for expressive and creative tasks, the left side for logical and analytical thinking. Yet, at some level, both need to work together, to achieve optimum results. I’m not creative, but…asks five of Sydney University’s leading academics representing diverse disciplines including design, history, IT and philosophy to explain their views on creativity and its role in their careers to date. Do they consider themselves creative people? What does a creative approach to academia look like? Can you be a successful academic without being creative? What is the very core of creativity?
- Rick Benitez, lecturer in classical philosophy
- Wendy Davis, researcher in light and colour
- Judy Kay, researcher in human computer interaction
- Iain McCalman, historian and author of the award winning book, Darwin’s Armada
- Martin Tomitsch, lecturer in design computing
Rick Benitez was born in El Paso, Texas. He received his Ph.D. from the Joint Program in Classics and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, and has taught at Sydney University, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, since 1992. He is the recipient of several faculty, University and national teaching awards, including, most recently an Australian Award for University Teaching (2012). Rick’s speciality is ancient Greek philosophy, including the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. He is currently Chief Investigator on the ARC funded research Discovery Project, “Plato’s Myth Voice: The Identification and Interpretation of Inspired Speech in Plato.”
Wendy Davis is an Associate Professor and Director of the Illumination Design program in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. She was previously a Vision Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Wendy’s research focuses on lighting and colour, with particular interest in applications of emerging lighting technologies. In 2009, she was recognized with a US Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award for Scientific/Engineering Achievement. She serves on committees for professional organizations, including the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Wendy earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Vision Science from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of Minnesota.
Judy Kay is Professor of Computer Science and leads the CHAI: Computer Human Adapted Interaction Research Group at the University of Sydney. Her research aims to create new technologies for human computer interaction (HCI). Her interface research has created the Cruiser Natural User Interaction (NIU) software framework. This provides new ways for people to make use of large interactive tabletops and wall displays. By mining the digital footprints of such interaction, this research is creating new ways for people to learn and work more collaboratively.
Iain McCalman AO, Professorial Research Fellow, University of Sydney is a historian and author of the award winning book, Darwin’s Armada and documentary TV Series, Darwin’s Brave New World. http://www.iainmccalman.com/ Iain McCalman likes to take his research to general audiences. The Last Alchemist (2002) was translated into fourteen languages and Darwin’s Armada (2009) became the international TV series, Darwin’s Brave New World, as well as the basis of two Museum exhibitions and a Film Australia educational website. His new book, The Barrier Reef — A Passionate History, is in press with Penguin, who are also working with him to develop it as a new type of electronic-movie book and a proposed TV documentary series. He has just been awarded a grant from the USA Andrew Mellon Foundation to establish an Australia-Pacific Observatory (think-tank) in environmental humanities and been appointed co-director of a new Sydney University Centre for Environment, Culture and Society.
Martin Tomitsch is originally trained in informatics with a focus on human-computer interaction design, which he studied in Vienna, Paris and Stockholm. He has worked as interaction designer in Europe for five years before moving to Sydney. At the University of Sydney he is a member of the Design Lab, an interdisciplinary research unit in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning. He is Director of the Design Computing program, state chair of CHISIG, and a founding member of two non-profit organisations – the Media Architecture Institute and ICT4D.at – the Austrian network for information and communication technologies for development. His research focuses on the creative use of emergent technologies to improve everyday life.