Herberger Institute

Dean’s Message

Now, more than ever, the world needs an abundance of creative thinkers and practitioners. Without individuals who think differently, who can reimagine reality and reinvent the rules, we will never solve the complex challenges of today. "Same old" thinking will not help us solve the puzzle of sustainable life on our planet, repair the world’s distressed financial systems, or write new public policy which attends to the well being of each individual. And let it be said that creative thinking in a vacuum won’t do either. If creative thinkers are not firmly grounded in the essential human experience, their solutions, too, will be of limited value.

In April 2009, Arizona State University created The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to address this challenge.

Our Institute is built on a combination of disciplines unlike any other program in the nation, comprising schools of: Art; Arts, Media + Engineering; Design; Film, Dance and Theatre; and Music; as well as the ASU Art Museum. At a time when many universities are choosing to reduce or eliminate studies in design and arts disciplines, ASU has elevated creative practice to one of the core values of the nation’s largest research institution.

We believe that designers, artists, architects, performers, and creative scholars are essential to our world today. We know that creativity not only enhances our culture, it broadens our vision, deepens our understanding, and enables us to innovate, grow and change.

At the Herberger Institute, we honor the historic traditions which underlie our many areas of study; our students have access to a rigorous, quality education which will support them in achieving their professional goals. But our commitment to our students goes farther. We believe that through the study of design and the arts, each student gains knowledge and skill which will allow them to succeed in the world regardless of career choice. We want to make sure that our students understand who they are, what they know and why it is important. We want to make sure that they are prepared to respond to the world with the full force of their knowledge and understanding and experience. We call this: success.

We invite you to work with our outstanding faculty and collaborate with gifted, fellow students in new multidisciplinary partnerships. We believe that you will create innovative work that will transform how we understand our relationship to our world – that you will explore the interaction of arts and design disciplines with developing digital technologies – that you will reinvent the role of the performer in the context of our increasingly mediated hybrid environments. We expect your work to have meaning and substance because we want you to drive change that will make this world a better place and allow us to be better people within it.

While some might describe our current world as a challenging time, we see it as a time of discovery. As we enter into the exciting work of defining who we are and who we can be, I hope that you will join us at the Herberger Institute in our exploration of what it means to be human in the 21st Century.