Thousands of people descended on Miami during the first week of December 2015, to experience Art Basel Miami. On Thursday, December 3, hundreds attended a packed discussion on creativity and city building at the FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios. The global forum, CREATE: Miami, was hosted by Florida International University and Visiting Scholar and urbanist Richard Florida, and it brought together a veritable constellation of luminaries in art, architecture, design, fashion, and music.
For an overview of the event, watch CREATE: Miami.
To tune into the entire day's dialogue, watch:
Opening Remarks and Welcome
The President of Florida International University, Mark Rosenberg, welcomed guests with a discussion on why cities are so essential to human creativity and innovation. With their clusters of creative, diverse people, cities have driven advances in arts, culture, technology, and government since the dawn of history. How do we ensure that our cities remain as open as they can be for creatives from all walks of life?
Why the Creative City?
Described as an 'intellectual rock star," Richard Florida opened the day with his views on why cities are such powerful cultural and economic engines. It's a big myth, he pointed out, that creativity is the province of individual geniuses. It's a social process and cities offer the premier platform for the combination and recombination of ideas and innovations.
Cities: Creativity Incubators
Cities are the cauldrons of diversity and difference. The Grammy Award-winning musician Nelly Furtado, who has sold over 40 million records worldwide, grew up in Victoria, Canada and rose to stardom in Toronto; both cities, she told me, were deeply inspiring to her--as was Miami, in the full heat of Art Basel.
Architecture and the Creative City
What roles do architecture and design play in communicating city identity? How do design and built environment foster creativity and innovation? From the St. Regis and Four Seasons hotels to Barneys and Bergdorfs, Glenn Pushelberg and George Yabu are contemporary designers who have received international honors for their contributions to design excellence. They joined FIU Professor and Associate Dean John Stuart, a New York Prize winner, for a conversation about the future of urban design. Architecture and design that is tied intrinsically to its community helps to create an authentic sense of place that is unique and appealing, they noted, while highlighting a community's soul, history, and uniqueness. All of this is immensely attractive to the creative class, and hence to innovative, high-growth industries.
Challenges to the Creative City
Some of the most successful cities are becoming increasingly unaffordable for creatives; they are threatening to become sterile shopping paradises, gated communities for the very rich. What are the implications for creativity and innovation? Richard Florida posed the question to Kenny Scharf, an American artist whose colorful and vibrant works can be found in top museums and galleries around the world, from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York to the Sogetsu Art Museum, Tokyo, and Jerome Sans, co-founder of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, "a cultural agitator who has pioneered new ways to approach and discuss contemporary art. Both shared unconventional strategies that cities can use to recapture their souls.
Urbanism For All
How can we ensure an equitable, inclusive urbanism for all? What's the path forward? At the conclusion of the event, the award-winning educator and FIU Dean Brian Schriner offered insights on how Miami can move its creative agenda forward.