Hill says creativity critical
to universities' livelihood

Institutions of higher learning that do not adapt to change, create change and produce new knowledge will become lower tier universities as the 21st Century will generate more progress in technology, genetics and artificial intelligence than in all of recorded history, said Rodney C. Hill, professor of architecture and an authority on creativity and future studies.

“Institutions of higher learning that are fixated on rigid curriculums will become lower-tiered universities in the future," Hill said. Developing creative potential in students is a requirement for them to survive the future,” he noted.

Hill, who was among several featured researchers at the college's sixth annual faculty research symposium, “Research on the Built and Virtual Environments: Global Symposia Presentations 2004,” said technology is accelerating at an exponential rate and the nations without the creative mind capital to produce new knowledge will be left behind. The number of a nation's population engaged in knowledge creation will predict the future health of a country, said Hill, who is the director of the Institute for Applied Creativity at Texas A&M.

No longer can society progress with instructing students on the present and past when the half-life of most degrees is three years, said Hill. Creativity, he added, must become a fundamental element of education at every level. New curriculums must be developed to achieve optimum behavior in mind capital and knowledge creation.

“It is essential that universities produce knowledge, not reproduce knowledge,” Hill said.

Creative thinking, he explained, will be paramount to the survival of the human species. The world has gone from hunting and gathering to farming, farming to factory, from factory to knowledge work and now from knowledge work moving into knowledge creation, he explained. The creative mind capital of a nation will determine a nation's future place in world power in every category, Hill added.

Morad R. Atif, an internationally acclaimed expert on multidisciplinary research in sustainability, conservation and healthy building design and construction, keynoted the daylong research showcase, which featured 40 faculty presentations previously delivered at scholarly venues around the world. The presentations detailed research initiatives in areas such as energy and conservation; construction technology; architectural theory; past, present and future practices; history and historical preservation; health design and issues; urban planning; hazards and planning; visualization and the arts; computers and design; sustainability; and education.

Atif, director of the Indoor Environment Research Program for Canada's National Research Council-Institute for Research in Construction (NRC-IRC), oversees initiatives aimed at delivering cost-effective technologies for designing, operating and maintaining indoor environments. His program focuses on sustainable building solutions that maximize occupant's heath and satisfaction through improved acoustics, thermal comfort and lighting use.

— The End —

January 10, 2005

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