The Gotham Innovation Greenhouse was formally founded and incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in New York City in the spring of 2013, with a three-part mission:
1. Augmented Collaboration: next-generation tools, expertise, and media for creative artists, citizens, and communities to IMAGINE alternative futures for local built environments, worldwide.
2. Deep Social Media: the same, at the scale of New Soft Cities;
3. Future-making: developing new scenarios at the systems level– we make Art, Science Fiction (more art), and then we make it real (design, engineering, advocacy).
For every game-changing breakthrough developed by a homogenous team of specialists, there are a hundred that need to bring together creative experts from very different domains around shared values and vision: an architect may actually need to collaborate not only with structural engineers to make the most of the new “smart building” technologies, but also interaction designers, software developers, and installation artists; new coalitions of schools and community groups might need to work with new kinds of collaborative design tools, and the developers of those tools… where are they? Who knows where the right people are, and how to coordinate their efforts? Some of the biggest firms in the world, and the governments they provision, are struggling to make sense of the new forms of e-governance, participatory planning and design, and educational networks that are becoming possible… developing, and testing the operational effectiveness and sustainability of some of the most promising use types, must necessarily be a joint venture on a new scale of complexity, and with a new level of ambition. Sometimes, these projects will take the form of works of art. At others, they will present as engineering, or organizational innovation.
G.I.G. is an innovation, but it’s no “shot in the dark”. Inspired by the foundational visions of fellow optimists like Walter Gropius, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Ada Lovelace, Alan Kay, and Douglas Engelbart (for instance), our plans are also grounded in the expertise and lived experience of Max Matthews, Jane Jacobs, Grahame Weinbren, and Ove Arup.
G.I.G. brings together, supports, and disseminates the work of some of the next generation of art and technology in the public interest. The program format is flexible: terms of engagement between participants and member organizations/sponsored are designed and negotiated on a per-project basis, as needs and potential require. Proposals for new projects may originate in-house, by open call, or on the initiative of partners or third-party sponsors.