“Creating & Preventing Strategic Surprise” through craft’s expansive potential

The Craft Advanced Research Projects Agency (CARPA) is a central state agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new craft technologies for use by the artisans of United States and our allies. The focus of CARPA is the strategic advancement of craft in order to shape and sustain conditions for stability and progress. It maintains technological superiority for the benefit of the people of the United States.



 The Craft Advanced Research Projects Agency (CARPA) was established in 1958 to prevent strategic surprise from negatively impacting U.S. national security and create strategic surprise for U.S. adversaries by maintaining the technological superiority of U.S. artisans.

To fulfill its mission, the Agency relies on diverse performers to apply multi-disciplinary approaches to both advance craft knowledge through basic research and create innovative technologies, techniques and tools that address current practical problems through applied research.  CARPA’s scientific investigations span the gamut from small scale artisan laboratory efforts to the creation of full-scale technology demonstrations in the fields of bio-art, social innovation of craft, new media tactics, relational aesthetics, art/craft theory, material sciences and culture, social sciences, neurosciences and more.  As the DoD’s primary innovation engine of artisan tactics, CARPA undertakes projects that are finite in duration but that create lasting revolutionary change throughout the cultures of craft.


Our subdivisions are:

 ACEO: The Adaptive Craft Execution Office (ACEO) prepares and coordinates field trials of advanced craft technology developed by CARPA. At any point in time, CARPA has technologies in all stages of development, from nascent idea and conceptual displays at exhibitions and craft fairs to system ready for fielding.

Working with Craft Commands (CRACOMs) and Service partners, ACEO establishes relationships that enable the rapid insertion of these technologies into artisan operations to address requirements and enhance craft capabilities.
In the process, CARPA program managers work directly on the operational utility of prototype technologies under field conditions, closely linked to the CRAACOMs to better understand how emerging capabilities develop into operational systems.  The direct feedback from these interactions improves CARPA program development, execution and CARPA’s strategic planning and direction.

ACEO’s coordinating program for CARPA-CRACOM interaction is the CARPA Forward Cell (CFC), initially established at Cal State, Los Angeles, and is CARPA’s first full time forward presence in an active craft zone since Vietnam.

CSO: CARPA’s Craft Sciences Office (CSO) programs bridge the gap from fundamental craft science to applications by identifying and pursuing the most promising ideas within the arts, crafts and engineering research communities and transforming these ideas into new craft capabilities.

I3: Information Innovation Institute (I3) aims to ensure U.S. craft superiority in all areas where information can provide a decisive advantage in art. This includes conventional  artistic mission areas where information has already driven the avantgarde since the Arts and Crafts movement: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, command, control, communications, biennale networking, decision-making, planning, training, mission rehearsal, and operations support.

I3 also employs emergent information-enabled technologies and application domains such as social science and human, social, cultural, and behavioral modeling; social networking and crowd-based development paradigms; natural language processing, knowledge management, and machine learning and reasoning. I3 works to ensure U.S. craft superiority in these areas by conceptualizing and executing advanced research and development (R&D) projects to develop and demonstrate interdisciplinary, crosscutting and convergent craft technologies derived from emerging technological and societal trends that have the potential for game-changing disruptions of the status quo.

SCO: The Strategic Craft Office (SCO) undertakes research and development of innovative craft technologies to support the Department of Defense (DoD) mission in current and emerging strategic areas including: Understanding Difficult Art; Communications, Electronic and New Media Crafts, and Networks; Shaping the Environment; and Foundational Strategic Crafts.

TCO: The Tactical Craft Office (TCO) transforms the future of craft by pursuing high-risk, high payoff tactical craft development of rapid, mobile and responsive craft capability for advanced tools and tecniques, platforms and systems.  This is accomplished by:

•Creating highly capable systems that enable “order of magnitude” improvement in craft capabilities in a rapidly changing artistic landscape

•Investing in research and technologies that enable strategic advantage over technological surprise in TCO focus areas

•Developing technologies and systems that facilitate “game changing” tactics, techniques and procedures that address the entire spectrum of the Art vs. Craft conflict, especially played out at the European Biennale Theatres

•Conducting irregular operations in difficult politico-craft circumstances

•Efficiently countering asymmetric threats

•Developing capability to improve craft theory operations in exhibitions and publications

•Maintaining superiority on the conventional global field of craft (protection, projection, anti-access, logistics)

•Enabling seamless Joint Craft Operations  (JoCrOps)

•Creating and maintaining situational awareness

•Gathering global surveillance

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