The Future Imagination Collaboratory (FIC) is an artist-led laboratory that supports interdisciplinary, and inter-sectional research and collaborations that identify and solve problems, communicate their solutions, and create a more equitable and more beautiful future. Drawing inspiration from the earliest collaboratories in computer science and engineering - the first research "centers without walls" - this new research environment, launched in January 2020, will enable and facilitate new collaborations across and within NYU as well as with artists, theorists, designers, technologists, community organizations and others.

What are the core questions of the collaboratory?

  • With the rise of emerging media that disrupts our sense of reality, how do we define reality?
  • How are technologies changing humans?

  • How might practices-of self help us to adapt, enjoy, and excel amidst cultural acceleration?

How does it work?

The FIC provides an opportunity for thinkers/makers/doers to cross paths with one another and to pursue the resulting and emergent strategies for discovery and invention. By offering time, space and resources to a small and highly-curated number of Fellows, FIC emphasizes quality of experience over quantity. By inviting the Fellows to bring their creative, collaborative, inter-disciplinary networks into their projects, the FIC foregrounds the intrinsic value of all represented fields of knowledge, creating shared language and practices, cultivating hybrid talent, and strategically embedding artists, technologists, designers, scientists and experts in practices of self in each other’s processes. The inaugural cohort of FIC Fellows were welcomed to Tisch in January 2020 for a one-year experiment. We anticipate extending invitations to a second cohort in early 2021.

Practices of Self 

Throughout history and across cultures, humans have developed systems of practices that awaken experiences and capacities of self often dulled by societal distraction. Ancient wisdom and emergent science signal that these practices-of-self stimulate, kindle, and enhance imagination, increasing the possibility of enlightened innovation.

At the FIC, research and production begins with, and returns to, the self. Typically siloed disciplines are honored, invited, and then politely set aside. The cultivation of self is the compass that guides the creative process. It is this commitment to self that helps actualize the physical, cognitive, and emotional potential needed to engage in revolutionary creative inquiry.