Founded in September 2017, the Centre for Global Knowledge Studies (gloknos) is concerned with the past and contemporary global production, diffusion, exchange, and use of human knowledges across their different cultural configurations and ideational-material manifestations. In celebration of the launch of www.gloknos.ac.uk, we asked Founding Director Inanna Hamati-Ataya to tell us how the website came to be.
Q. Inanna, congratulations on launching gloknos’s website. How will it help you achieve the aims of the Centre?
Thank you, it’s an important milestone for the ARTEFACT project and I’m very happy to see the website (developed by Chameleon Studios) go live a few weeks after gloknos’s inauguration at CRASSH.
As you know, the Centre’s mission is to develop a network of researchers and partner institutions working on knowledge, its circulation and uses; to foster transdisciplinary research projects across this network and disseminate their results within and beyond academic circles; and to serve local and broader communities invested in, or affected by, contemporary scientific and technological transformations. The website will serve this mission by providing a platform for the ARTEFACT team and the Centre’s associate members and partners to connect, exchange expertise, explore and develop collaborative projects and activities, make their work visible, and disseminate their research in simple and accessible formats to a wide audience. Several projects of this sort have already started (see our Activities pages) and since the website went live new initiatives have been proposed that are under consideration.
As gloknos’s online platform, the website will gradually develop its dissemination and communication functionalities to serve academic and public access to research. We have already launched its blog, which is open to anyone wishing to contribute to gloknos’s mission, and we are preparing the launch of a podcast series later this year. In the meantime, an audio-visual database of gloknos’s activities will also be made available soon. These online fora will complement our in-site dissemination activities happening at Cambridge and other locations, as well as more conventional channels of dissemination that will be announced soon.
Q. Could you tell us more about the logo?
I wanted the logo (pictured above) to illustrate the holistic, anthropological approach to knowledge endorsed by ARTEFACT and gloknos, and also to reflect the mix of historical and contemporary, future-oriented consciousness that animates the whole project. I was very lucky to find a designer (Tarek Kandil), who delivered exactly what I was hoping for, by combining a sleek, modern rendering of the centre’s acronym with the rough contours of an ancient wheel — an object representing one of the most basic and ubiquitous human creations, and associated with a geometrical concept that has informed and inspired human thought from architecture to the philosophy of history. The wheel of the logo carries the four colours that were subsequently used for the website’s main categories. The colour palette I started from was inspired by the agricultural themes of the ARTEFACT project (wheat, water, sun, earth) that are characteristic of ancient Egyptian and Minoan art, and was calibrated more specifically on ARTEFACT’s reference image, Brueghel’s Summer Harvest.
Pieter Brueghel the Younger: Summer: The Harvesters (1623)
Q. How did you decide on the look and feel of the website?
Aesthetically I wanted a simple, elegant, and bright design that served the website’s objective of making our research and activities visible, and of disseminating intellectual output to academic and non-academic audiences in accessible and efficient ways, without unnecessary visual or informational distractions or overload. The structure and design serve the website’s overall purpose while being adapted to the content of the different pages and the expected needs of our members and visitors. I think this makes it both informative and user-friendly, while stimulating interest in gloknos and inspiring others to engage with the community of researchers involved and with the work they are doing.
Q. What do you like most about the new site?
The fact that its organisation, content, and aesthetics convey well the scope and spirit of gloknos’s mission, but also of ARTEFACT’s original ambition to develop a different intellectual space where new conversations can be initiated and sustained across traditional academic boundaries. I think the website will help like-minded researchers identify gloknos as their natural community and stimulate them to contribute to its mission, while also providing appealing and inviting access to non-experts interested in the themes we investigate.
Q. What's coming up next for gloknos?
We are still at the beginning of gloknos’s journey, with a range of activities that are being gradually rolled out over the next two years, and additional dissemination fora adapted to different types of research and events. The centre’s community is growing and a few collaborative projects are already being developed with our partners, such as the Objects project we are starting this year with the Global Food Security Interdisciplinary Research Centre with funding from the Isaac Newton Trust. This is part of the gloknos Transdisciplinary Initiative, which is the most exploratory and ambitious in our range of long-term activities. The next major annual events will be the first editions of the Global Epistemics summer school and of the Deep History symposia respectively, currently in preparation. All future activities will be announced on the website and in our forthcoming newsletters. In the meantime, anyone interested in contributing or proposing events or projects is welcome to contact us.
• Visit www.gloknos.ac.uk.
• Learn more about gloknos.
• Learn more about ARTEFACT.
ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451)