The Role of Techno-Vernacular Creativity in STEAM Education


Renegade Futurism

Sanford Biggers' research for "The Cartographer's Conundrum," 2012. Sanford Biggers’ research for “The Cartographer’s Conundrum,” 2012.

Techno-vernacular creativity refers to cultural art and technology made by underrepresented communities of practice for their entertainment (think: DJ remixing, jazz/funk, Flex dancing). This thesis identifies the ‘techno-vernacular’ as an area of practice and investigates the characteristics of this tradition of practice. My study explores the hypothesis that techno-vernacular creativity can play an important role in helping underrepresented ethnic groups – Indigenous, or African and Latino Diasporas – generate the interest and intrinsic motivation they need to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, or STEAM.

Techno-vernacular creativity describes a capacity to “synthesize,” see relationships between seemingly unrelated fields, detect broad patterns and invent something new by combining elements nobody else thought to put together

The image above is from a visitor’s brochure for The Cartographer’s Conundrum, a 2012 exhibition at MassMoCA of Sanford Biggers’ artwork. In the brochure and…

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