Janos Stone is a faculty researcher in the Art + Design Department in the College of Arts, Media and Design. We asked him a few questions about his work at the University and for some advice on how to break into the industry. He has been working on researching the ability for artificial intelligence to master human-like creativity for over 10 years. Recently he started collaborating with Gillian Smith, a professor of Game Design, on a project called Visual Information Vases. VIV is an artificially intelligent ceramicist that creates 3D-printable vases using inspiration from a user-supplied image.
How did the collaboration with Gillian Smith start?
The collaboration began when I approached her with the idea of a website that would create 3-D printable vases inspired by a human-like response to a 2D image. She invited a newly arrived PhD candidate whose own interests fit this idea seamlessly and so the three of us begin to work together about two years ago.
What do you teach at Northeastern?
I teach primarily courses with a 3D art and design focus. My courses attract a multidisciplinary student body as they are a mix of art and design technique and philosophy as well as integrated emerging 3-D design technologies. My courses explore the potential of new 3-D art and design thinking in a world where objects are becoming easily manipulated, recontextualized, stolen, traded, and sold.
“What does it mean for us as artists and designers when, for the first time in all of human history, the physical objects that we live and work with every day, potentially become as malleable as an image in Instagram or Photoshop?”
Are you applying VIV to any of your current or future classes?
The ideas that created VIV came from thinking that goes into all of my classes. Obversely, the work that I have done on the VIV project has influenced my courses. In particular to understand how 3D technology can accentuate and enable everyone’s inherent creativity.
What’s your advice to students interested in this area of art and design?
My advice for anybody interested in this kind of Art and Design work is to ask yourself this question: What does it mean for us as artists and designers when, for the first time in all of human history, the physical objects that we live and work with every day, potentially become as malleable as an image in Instagram or Photoshop? I would further recommend that anyone interested in this approaching future begin to play with and integrate these technologies into their practice, so that they may explore this wide open, mostly untouched territory of creative thinking and plant a flag of the their own.