7.4. The collaborative process

The Collaborative Process

In the two forms of work I’ve discussed in detail (Experiential Futures and Systems Games), successful projects require the involvement of both artists and scientists. Practitioners in those fields recognise that they do not possess all the required skills, and are willing to engage experts from other fields as collaborators.

However, even with the best will put forward, it’s not always easy for artists and scientists to find common ground in their approaches.

As part of my Churchill Fellowship (and for months leading up to it) I asked every artist, scientist and producer I encountered with any experience in this field whatsoever for their advice on managing arts-science collaboration.

From the hoard of rules, philosophies, heuristics, and aphorisms I received in answer to this question, I have sifted out six key principles applicable across a broad range of projects. This is by no means a definitive list, but hopefully it offers a sense of the sorts of skills and approaches that effective collaboration demands.