The region's most creative technology stars grabbed the spotlight for the third annual
2011 DATA Awards
last week, an accolade that singles out the best design, art and technology individuals and companies.
The Pittsburgh Technology Council took the event this year to the Pittsburgh Opera, a evening that not only was about winning a DATA--made of a colorful, twisted Bayer polymer--but inspiration.
Lyn Heward, director of creation for Cirque Du Soleil, spoke to the audience at length about how the Canadian circus has emerged as one of the most creative performances of human, artistic and technical expression today. Cirque is all about blending human performance and cutting--edge technology to evoke and provoke imagination and emotion.
Never underestimate the impact of a human solution when it comes to technology, she told the group. A pool of floating candles can be far more powerful than a laser show surrounding a performance.
This year's awards included several new categories as well as the presentation of the CMU Entertainment Technology Center's 2011 Pausch Prize to Will Wright, creator of The Sims and co-founder of Maxis, now part of Electronic Arts. The prize is given annually in memory of CMU's Randy Pausch who exemplified connected right-left brain thinking when it comes to creating technologies.
"This (Wright) is the man I want to be when I grow up," joked Jesse Schell, who had the honor of presenting the award to the rock star game creator.
Winners of the 2011 DATAs went to…BodyMedia
in The Maker Category, given to the company or person who has entered the most creative and innovative marketplace design.Deeplocal
in The Icon Category for using emerging technologies to create innovative user experiences, including but not limited to web and mobile apps, video, flash or new marketing strategies.Schell Games
and Evil Genius
in The Joystick Category (an audience favorite) for a compelling electronic game, animation edutainment or gaming crossover technology.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
in The Art+Tech Category for Cellphone Disco.
Finally, The CRIB, or Creative Rooms in Business, award went to Inventionland
for the most creative workplace incorporating unique, non-traditional design or space that encourages creativity.
The 2011 DATA Awards were presented in partnership with The Consulate General of Canada and in collaboration with CMU's Entertainment Technology Center and the Pittsburgh Entertainment Technology Project.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Pittsburgh Technology CouncilImage of Will Wright and Jesse Schell courtesy of the Pittsburgh Technology Council