Three Shapes Make One New Space: A Conversation on Creativity with Janos Stone
His brother’s birthday present. A 3-D scan of Mickey Mouse. A copy of The Big Orange Splot. His bike. And the Foundry’s icon in metal.
These – and many more – are the objects in Janos Stone’s office at The Weissman Foundry, the new open-door design studio on the Babson campus that had its official ribbon cutting ceremony during the Back To Babson festivities. Janos, Manager of Innovation and Design Spaces, artist, teacher, and serial entrepreneur, picks up each of these objects in turn as they support his thoughts on hyper-creativity and individualism.
The Foundry is open to Babson, Olin, and Wellesley community members. As a BOW initiative, the Foundry will represent each of the three schools and, Janos hopes, create a “fourth culture” bringing together critical thinking, exploration, and action. The Foundry icon itself is three shapes – a rectangle, a triangle, and a circle – forming a new, unique shape. Don’t bother asking Janos which shape is which school – Ultimately, it is the totality, the hybrid culture, that is important and distinguishes the Foundry from other maker spaces. Janos goes further and says, “Culture is what will make us successful.”
Similarly, Janos is weaving together his three backgrounds in art making, teaching, and entrepreneurialism to form a fourth stage, which he terms as exploration in his role at the Foundry. With breadth and depth of experience in product design, 3-D modeling and printing, and fabricating, years as lecturer and faculty member at Northeastern University, and multiple founder roles, Janos is both a critical thinker and a nimble, adaptive one, diving into Japanese art and The Big Orange Splot in one breath and responding to a student’s request for a mallet in the next.
Janos suggests “art thinking” as a framework to understand what the Foundry can offer – an opportunity for explorations fueled by curiosity and a place and culture that can help individuals to “reach their innate creativity.” And for those just beginning their creative journey, Janos offers advice to galvanize action: “You just never stop. No matter what, you never stop making your art ever. You can quit [a project] but never stop.”
Interested to see the Foundry in action? Tour the Foundry or join a Monday night campfire – and be ready to get hands on. Janos makes no distinction between someone who comes specifically to innovate at the Foundry and someone who stops by just for a tour: “I’m always looking for ways when people walk in to instantly engage and to start making things.”