The age of creativity is dawning.
This new era is emerging from the intersection of three movements.
1. Redefining what humans can do in the age of computation
The exponential advancement of technologies such as AI, Big Data, and IoT, is unstoppable. Many aspects of our daily lives are already being operated and synthesized through smartphones, computers, and servers, with new interfaces under rapid development. Systems excel at optimizing, streamlining and rationalizing, tasks that had been expected of us in the transition through automation. As these systems approach maximum efficiency, what can humans do that computation cannot?
We believe the answer lies in CREATIVITY:
the unpredictable nature of serendipity; the raw emotions of desire; the incalculable expanse of imagination; the melty subjectivity of space-time experiences; nonverbal aesthetics; the mystery of love. And fortunately, these are tied to our fundamental core as human beings. In order to shape a world where each person can be human in the age of computation, we must place greater value on creativity, especially in the education of future generations.
2. Shifting focus from manufacturing management to value creation
Businesses are beginning to look for ‘disruptive growth’. As the internet allows people’s behaviors to be traced anytime anywhere, the world economy is slowly heading towards homogenization. At first glance, this homogenization may seem to guarantee the stable growth of each industry. However, the homogenization of the world economy is actually represented by a significant reduction in wealth of the vast majority, for the sake of the profit of a handful of platforms.
As astute business executives and investors desperately look for the next game-changing idea, the competitive advantage of companies will not be measured anymore by productivity and profit margin alone, but by the adaptability of companies’ value propositions and by the integrity of companies’ culture and philosophy. Once again, creativity is a strong reason behind our change in mentality from manufacturing management to value creation, and will be equally vital in making the framework that gives companies the speed and plasticity needed to survive in the current marketplace.
3. Crystallizing the essence of Japanese civilization
Finally, there is a growing expectation towards Japan as a civilization as we enter the new Reiwa era. Throughout its history, Japan has accumulated an abundant repertoire of creativities: a unique intentionality and dedication to detailed ways of living; the connection between body, mind, and soul offered through Zen and Tao; the animistic worldview perpetuated from Jomon era; Buddhist art from Kamakura era; Japanese baroque that flourished from Azuchi-Momoyama era; the humorous pop culture from Edo era; Japanese gastronomy and its continuous innovation; the fetishism in manga and otaku culture; and world-class, iconic Japanese fashion… All these hidden, powerful pieces can now be elevated to a new dimension through the fusion between art and science. The source of Japan’s strategic advantage as a nation, which is limited in geographical size and natural resources, lies in its layered creativity.
Adventurous paradox of researching creativity
Despite the significance and importance of creativity in our lives, there is yet to be a far-reaching organization dedicated especially to creativity. Creativity is a complex concept to structure, as it relates not just to arts and music, but to all fields, including architecture, entertainment, programming, engineering, social design, product design, scientific discovery and education. Moreover, creativity inherently requires a cyclic and recurrent induction and deduction of ideation, a sublimation of conceptualization, imagination, and mastery of skill and technique, with multiple and often transitory forms of expression. For these reasons, it has been nearly impossible to conduct a comprehensively structured research on creativity. Focus too much on a specific topic, and you will blur the big picture; focus on an overly holistic approach, and you will lack deep knowledge in a given field. Creativity is elusive and yet it is the most essential way of worldmaking. Our mission is to solve creativity’s unsolvable conundrum, by researching the incomprehensible and attempting to learn the unlearnable.
Beyond partial optimization to bold visions of future civilization
Are we really living in an explicitly understandable, rigidly arranged world? Is our world simply the sum of each subject, industry, and organization? The history of academia stemmed from Greek philosophy roughly 2600 years ago in the search for omniscient wisdom based on ‘arkhē’, the root of everything. In the Modern Age, after Descartes, academia diverged into natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Each branch differentiated further and deepened within themselves, to try to understand the world through the summation of the parts. As a result, academia nowadays feels more like tightly guarded tiny silos.
Although the fragmentation of academia succeeded in the partial analysis of the world, the dynamic pursuit of an overarching world thesis has been missing. Academic compartmentalization seems to have rendered the universal dynamism of our humanity vulnerable. Despite the impressive progress of convenient technologies, a future where humans are treated mechanically as a mere part of a system will never satisfy us.
‘We are all born creative.’
What if we reconsidered academia, not as the three areas of arts, sciences and humanities, but as a dynamic architecture with infinite aesthetics and values that transcend a single specialization? What would happen if these diverse creativities met spontaneously, colliding and reacting to each other as in a neural network? Although creativity may be remarkably hard to construct, under our philosophy “we are all born creative”, we believe that we can compose unheard of cross-disciplinary explosions and bring about exceptionally provocative futures.
New Ways of Worldmaking, from Japan to the world
Japan is currently at an important crossroads: the new imperial era, Reiwa, has just begun, the fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics continue to be a source of hope for the future. The time is right for us to restructure the world by centering creativity as humans' greatest capital of worldmaking.
We are pleased to announce the opening of University of Creativity;
for the redefinition of humanity,
for the evolution of civilization,
for the renaissance of our earth.