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XSEAD: Collaboration starts with a community

XSEAD, headquartered in ASU’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering, is a new digital platform for sharing collaborative projects across science, engineering, arts and design.

The project aims to build a community of researchers who share research methods, code, media and other tools of the trade, form new collaborations and define new ways for researchers, artists and designers to publish their work and curate knowledge outside of the traditional system of peer-reviewed, text-heavy scholarly journals. XSEAD is a hub for emerging networks of creativity and innovation. It helps creative people working in the intellectual hinterlands find one another and define new types of research outcomes and intellectual adventures.

One of the things we love about XSEAD is that it lifts the veil on the messy process of collaborative research, providing a space to share works-in-progress and seek feedback from unexpected sources. In academia we are accustomed to seeing our peers’ work only when it is polished, fine-tuned and imbued with an air of unquestionable authority by a journal, a gallery exhibition or a book from a university press. But if we are truly dedicated to collaboration and openness, to challenging questions and bursts of inspiration, we need to create a culture where the unfinished and imperfect are valued. We need to recognize and honor the struggles and setbacks that are inevitable during the journey to a spotless, burnished final product.

We’ve created an XSEAD set about one of our most intensively collaborative projects, Emerge2013. We’ve found the platform easy to use, replete with useful features and utterly gorgeous. You can also take a tour to learn about all of the tricks that XSEAD has up its metaphorical sleeve.