|The Design, Art & Technology Symposium began as the Digital Arts Symposium at the UNC School of the Arts in 2005, with funding from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. Hosted at UNCSA, the symposium grew during the next three years to include collaborators in higher education and industry throughout North Carolina's Piedmont Triad region.
As the seed grant wound down, the collaborators planned to sustain the event through an annual rotation among participating sites in the Triad. In 2008 UNC-Greensboro hosted as the name changed to the "Design, Art & Technology Symposium" – or DATS for short. In 2009 High Point University took a turn and in 2010 CDI, together with a wide range of area collaborators, orchestrated the event at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in downtown Winston-Salem.
Signs at an early event captured the optimistic spirit of our economic development mission:
There once was a place, just east of the mountains, where people grew plants they fashioned into cloth and furniture. They wove and stitched, hammered and carved, bartered and sold, until the region flourished. They created places to worship and learn, to dance and sing, and to dramatize age-old lessons about human condition. As materials evolved they continued to hone their arts, crafts and design – until one day, everyone could see that they were the seedbed for a new era of creative vitality.
The designers exhibiting here demonstrate the Piedmont Triad's potential for transformative growth. Through a range of materials, tools and techniques, they show resourcefulness in seeking inspirations, ingenuity in conceiving ideas, adeptness in developing renditions, and finesse in delivering solutions.
Check the links below to learn about each year's symposium. DATS continues to grow as a core event cultivating and promoting the Piedmont region's creative economy.
In 2008, CDI joined design aficionados worldwide to honor the legacy of Charles & Ray Eames. Collaborators continued the theme in 2010 as the Design, Art & Technology Symposium became a fall event. Aspects of the DATS'10 program honored 10/10/10! – Powers of 10 Day.
CDI works with the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and a host of community organizations to celebrate and encourage cross-cutting thinking and community action, through a smorgasbord of event offerings.
CDI's 2009 program featured making musical instruments, software for creating music, animations and video games, and consideration of how arts, crafts, science and technology may combine to innovate public art, data visualizations, community building, and self-directed learning.