CASCI Talk: Information infrastructures for creative knowledge work
What would our information infrastructure look like if it were optimized for creativity? Effective infrastructure is indispensable for enabling routine, effective work: so much of what we enjoy in modern civilization is under-girded by effective infrastructures like telephone networks, the Internet, shipping routes, truck highways, railroads, airways, standards for time, electrical systems, and so on. Information infrastructures such as search engines, classification systems, and libraries control how we access and assemble information to do information work. But are they designed with creative work in mind? What would our information standards and highways look like if they were designed so that creativity becomes more of a choice and less of a chance occurrence? To answer this question, we need to integrate a deep understanding of how creativity works (what is) with an exploration of design possibilities (what could be). I am keen to discuss one particular thread we are exploring: how to build authoring tools that enable scholars and scientists to record their ideas (e.g., notes on literature they read, novel hypotheses and theories) in a way that makes it easier for themselves and others to remix for creative sensemaking and synthesis. The overarching goal is to significantly increase knowledge workers’ access to the full range of relevant knowledge for their work, including those that might lie outside their domains of expertise.