The mission of the Clarke Center for Human Imagination is to help our world become more effective at harnessing the gift of imagination. By combining perspectives from the sciences, arts, humanities, engineering and medicine, the center pursue issues that are timely—but currently under-explored—through UC San Diego and its global network of scientific and cultural partners.
CUE seeks critical intersections across environmental, territorial and geo-political spatial conditions, form global trans-border zones to regional and local sectors of conflict in the contemporary city. CUE has been creating bridges between scholarly research, top-down urban policies, and grass roots social organization, bringing together studies and works from the fields of architecture and urbanism, environment and social practice. A particular focus is the theory and practices of equitable and participatory urbanization in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. UCSD sits just twenty miles north of the most trafficked international border in the world, a vibrant but largely untapped “global” research laboratory at the very threshold of north and south, rife with some of the most poignant conflicts in globalization and urban development. The Center also deploys innovative examples of urban transformation across Latin America, which provide an important critical alternative to failed public policies, and unsustainable models of metropolitan growth in many US cities, including San Diego.
CUE also houses workshop and laboratory space for the UCSD / BLUM Cross-Border Initiative.
A space designed for critical dialogue and experimentation in curatorial and discursive practices, with workshops for research into art practice, the aesthetics of materialization, and the cognitive and pedagogical potential of aesthetics.
A space for the intersection of disciplines that engage in the practice of drawing in its expansive range of forms. Artists, engineers, architects, writers, designers, animators, and media practitioners use this studio to explore the role of drawing in their research.
Active Structures and Materials is a space dedicated to cross-fertilization, experimentation, and conversation among artists, scientists, engineers, and other scientific and creative researchers who are engaged in exploring the potentials of new forms of structural and materials intelligence. As a distributed, "intelligent" landscape becomes part of the fabric of everyday life, the functions of all manner of material, spatial, and systemic actors are integrated with those of humans in composites that can sense, think, and act in the world, in ways that complicate ontological categories.
EML functions as a faculty initiative for mentorship, scholarship and workshop-based Media pedagogy. A laboratory for drafting and testing contemporary faculty and graduate research, enabling filmmakers, designers, animators, sound-artists, engineers, and scholars to draft and test the progress of their media work.
This studio supports faculty, guest artist, and graduate student projects, production, materials testing, staging, collaborations, and exhibitions. It is a space to work on small to large scale experimental sculpture, unconventional structures and fabrication methods, explorations into new materials and applications, painting and active surfaces, and models.
D:GP is a think-tank devoted towards using Art and Design to develop new models for how planetary-scale computations transform political, urban, and ecological systems. D:GP begins with the supposition that the heavy carbon econooes have reached an insolvable impasse, and must at their core be redisigned, reformed, and replaced.
An incubator for experimental design, The UC San Diego Design Theory and Research Platform aims to link projects and programs from across campus and across the world. This new program establishes a core design discourse, bringing a global design-theoretical conversation to UCSD that will serve multiple intellectual and research interests and provide a hub for design research across disciplinary encounters, from critical and speculative art to biotechnology, from interaction design to global urbanism. The Platform is directed by faculty member Benjamin H. Bratton.
This workspace supports collaborative projects, interdisciplinary dialog, and creative research at the intersections of art, science, technology, feminism, and experimentation in media documentation strategies. The lab is home to Catalyst: Feminism, Theory and Technoscience, a peer-reviewed, open-source online journal and is a center for activities linked to the FemTechNet, an international network of feminist scholars, artists, and teachers of technology, science, and digital media engaged in projects including the development of feminist media archives and distributed online collaborative courses.
This initiative seeks to develop new research methodologies and new forms of criticism and analysis appropriate to collaborative, participatory and socially engaged art practice. Field will develop projects that encourage dialogue across the boundaries between art history and criticism and adjacent disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, urban studies, and political theory. The initiative will also produce FIELD: A Journal of Socially-Engaged Art Criticism, a new on-line, peer-reviewed publication supported by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Division of Arts and Humanities, and the Department of Visual Arts.