OpenGrounds is a University of Virginia initiative that builds on a legacy of innovation to create new programs, places, and partnerships; to catalyze new approaches to important challenges; and to inspire new collaborations across and beyond the "Grounds." The university was founded as a revolutionary reinvention of higher education. Thomas Jefferson recognized the need for a different kind of institution whose aims and methods aligned with the tenets of the Age of Reason, where the search for knowledge would be unfettered by previous models of thought and institutional constraints. To meet the rapid transformations in contemporary thought and practice, the university has continued this tradition of reinvention by creating a new space, both physical and intellectual, for experimentation, risk taking, and boundary-crossing exploration. Since its launch in 2012, OpenGrounds has engaged students and faculty from all of its schools and disciplines, building partnerships ranging from those between museums and the government to those between innovative corporations and entrepreneurs. It has inspired new directions in research, performance, design, and public service, connecting unlikely collaborators and creative partners.
ink, Learn, Lead, Live introduces to the reader numerous stories from the brief but dynamic history of OpenGrounds. Doctors work with architects on health challenges in Africa. Poets collaborate with musicians to find new forms of expression. Lawyers work with sociologists on impediments to democratization in North Africa. Innovative corporate executives challenge creative students to rethink social media and support healthier life choices. All of these collaborations demonstrate how this unique new initiative translates inspiring intentions into actions with impact.
Distributed for OpenGrounds at the University of Virginia
William Sherman is Founding Director of OpenGrounds. At the University of Virginia he has served as Chair of the Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and Associate Dean of the School of Architecture. Lindsey Hepler is Associate Director of OpenGrounds.