All the talk about Steve Jobs passing has included much discussion about the essence of his innovative genius: that it was due to him living at the “intersection of technology and humanism” or technology and the arts. As a consequence, in the last week or so there have been numerous articles out examining the imperative that any company interested in innovation better have one foot in tech and the other in the arts…and ensure artists and technologists collaborate as equals.
The Walker Art Center blog, one I highly recommend you follow if interested in any aspect of art and design, had this post which pointed to a highly interesting factoid about my own State of Minnesota:
“A new National Endowment for the Arts survey finds there are 2.1 million Americans employed as artists, including more than 42,000 right here in the Land o’ Lakes. Minnesota ranks fairly well: We’re among the top 14 states that have the highest percentage of the workforce employed in the arts: 1.5 percent, compared to the nation-leading New York, where 2.3 percent of the labor force is involved in arts industries. Minnesota leads the nation in the concentration of jobs in book publishing, with eight times more publishing jobs — largely in the Twin Cities — than the national average. Minneapolis’ concentration of theater jobs is twice the national average.“
Why should you care? The artists and designers among you are OK…if you have the strategic chops to see what’s coming next in your category or within the industry. If you are in product engineering, hopefully you are aware that your artistic and design skills most likely are pretty weak and you can make great product, but there’s just something missing.
If you want to ensure your products are embraced by the masses, then make certain you engineers and product designers are engaged and collaborating with people whose artistic and design sense is equal to your engineering abilities. Artists and designers, connect with your engineering and product design peers and connect.
Download the report here (PDF) and see how your State ranks.