World of Creativity | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

World of Creativity

By Termeh Rassi

Republic of Imagination. That is what Iranian American writer, Azar Nafisi, calls the land of belonging for those that don't belong anywhere but belong everywhere. As she puts it, it is a place that is intensely personal but shared globally.  


The Republic of Imagination. Sublime.  


Sublime because nothing drives the need to belong and connect like not belonging and not connecting. Sublime because The Republic of Imagination belongs to all of us. Sublime because I am a resident of that republic.  


Today, we are announcing a three year partnership with Tsinghua University and Zhuangshi Journal of Art and Design.  During this time, we will publish three special, bi-lingual issues of Leonardo examining key and emerging concepts in design and technology. Anchored around a global call for papers, we invite and seek to include diverse views on issues impacting our planet and species.  


While we have been in conversations for years, the fact that our journey is beginning at a time of tension reminiscent of decades ago, is ironic.  This partnership is a reflection of our history, our legacy, and our mission. Leonardo Journal's founder, Frank Malina, envisioned international cooperation on earth and believed in open information exchange. This partnership is the natural result of the friendship between Malina and Tsien Hsue-Shen that began in the 1940s and the collaboration with Shao Dazen, co-editor of the journal in the 1970s. This partnership is a natural extension of the work started by Joseph Needham, one of Leonardo's founding editors. Frank Malina looked beyond walls and past curtains to build connections between people and build trust.  This partnership is very Leonardo.


Today, what I think of is the global community connected through our imagination and buoyed by our creativity. What I find ironic is that while some recognize and expand the definition of stakeholders of our future to multispecies participants, others focus on redrawing lines on paper that limit our ability to fully harness our collective power to address critical planetary issues.  


We want to amplify the magic that occurs when hybrid creatives cross boundaries, color outside the lines, and unleash their imagination. We will learn together, learn from each other and create a platform for exchanging ideas on crucial topics. 


We will collaborate, we will critique, and we will imagine together.


Join our boundaryless world of creativity.



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