The Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) at New York University has established the Poiesis Fellowship, an international, interdisciplinary research program that aims to understand the forces that shape everything from the design of consumer products to complex social institutions. The Fellowship and its 10 inaugural Fellows were formally introduced in April at an inaugural meeting at Munich’s Literaturhaus. The theme of the Poiesis Fellowship’s first year is “Remaking the City”.
NYU Sociologist Craig Calhoun, director of IPK, says the goal for convening a diverse group of scholars is to produce new knowledge and provide multiple tools of understanding new, complex problems.
“The Poiesis Fellowship will nurture this creativity by bringing together young scholars, artists, engineers, architects, and physicists to build collaborative relationships on an international scale,” Calhoun explains. “Our collective efforts will transcend existing disciplinary frameworks and divisions between fields of professional and artistic practice.”
Commenting on the Fellowship’s inaugural theme, NYU Professor Richard Sennett, co-director of the initiative, observes that “as cities are now home to more than half of humanity, they are both sites of global connections and interactions across basic lines of cultural and social difference. They reveal new forms of cooperation but also new conflicts.”
“Poiesis Fellows will explore the juxtaposition of urban planning with spontaneous settlement and diffuse repurposing of the built environment,” he adds. “As hubs of innovative design and re-appropriation, cities must be thought about in terms of complex systems, not simply isolated buildings, and in terms of social forces, not only aesthetics or planning.”
Joining Calhoun and Sennett as mentors of the first group of Poiesis Fellows are a renowned group of scholars, including: Richard Burdett (Architecture, the London School of Economics); Bruno Latour (Sociology, Sciences Po); Klaus Mainzer (Philosophy of Science, Munich Technical University); and, Saskia Sassen (the Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University).
From New York-based filmmaker Cassim Shepard to Wolfgang Pietsch, a philosopher in Munich, the Fellows have diverse backgrounds, countries of origin, fields, and research interests. Importantly, they share a history of innovative work and a strong desire to participate in an interdisciplinary community. Other Fellows include architect Nerea Calvillo, based in Spain, whose work focuses on data visualization and cartographies, and Orit Halpern, assistant professor in the Committee for Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College, whose current book project is a historical and philosophical excavation into the relationship between the archive, memory, and perception in digital systems.
The Poiesis Fellowship is a partnership supported by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, based in Berlin and Munich, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, located in Düsseldorf, Germany.
“Working closely with leading scholars and prominent thinkers on social change on an international scale and thus creating a high level interdisciplinary dialogue offers a great opportunity for young scholars and practitioners at an early stage of their careers,” said Markus Hipp, executive director of the BMW Foundation.
For more information, click here or contact Samuel Carter, assistant director of the Institute for Public Knowledge, at 212.992.9561 or email@example.com.