AuGuSt 23, 1966

Jiangang Hao Rackham Graduate School, Physics

Brian Nord Rackham Graduate School, Physics

Chris Peplin, Literature, Science and the Arts

John Walters School of Art and Design

The intellectual barrier to even a surface level understanding of the themes and ideas in astronomy and cosmology are intimidating, and for many people the challenge lacks incentive. The scientific exploration of cosmic origins is far removed from celestial folklore of the past. This project aims to return astronomy to a position of cultural importance through the organized presentation of scientifically gathered data in a way that highlights the importance of spatial and temporal awareness beyond this planet. We aim to construct selfguided experiences that allow for a clear understanding of astronomical phenomena, and that integrate the participant’s humanity with the project’s composition, thus transforming the observer into an actor.
Advisor: Joe Trumpey, School of Art and Design

As Mark Weiser writes, “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Astronomy gains meaning through personal contexts, and we will use visual and auditory aesthetic with technology to cement a connection between them. We target especially the accidental passerby, the person whose curiosity has not yet been piqued or has perhaps been doused. We will provide access to the hidden world that surrounds us so that participants may gain a deep appreciation for vastly disparate scales and find personal significance in our shared physical cosmology. Joseph Campbell claims that “Life has no meaning. We bring meaning to it.” This project is an effort to facilitate the infusion of meaning for the scientifically uninitiated. For the School of Art & Design’s astronomy themed show in May and for the GROCS showcase we will deploy an interactive installation that engages both physically and virtually through a combination of digital and non-electronic media.

ZOOminG pASt A mASSive SpheROid yOu ARe tuGGed tOwARd it, but yOuR Speed quiCkly CARRieS yOu tOwARdS AnOtheR nexuS Of impOSSibly bRiGht liGhtS...

diGitiZinG knOwledGe

explORinG ARChivAl COlleCtiOnS in viRtuAl SpACeS

Urmila Venkatesh School of Art and Design

Kiara Vigil Rackham Graduate School, American Culture

Ricardo Punzalan School of Information

Colleen Woods Rackham Graduate School, History

Our interdisciplinary project aims at answering questions about the proliferation of digital archive collections and the potential impact this has on both research and teaching. In particular, we are interested in the different research experiences that scholars have when they use a digital archive as opposed to (or in conjunction with) a physical archival site.

Should a digital archive attempt to mimic the research experience of a physical archive? And if so, what is gained or lost by the process of digitizing what scholars typically describe as a tactile experience? If the archive does change, and does not mimic how collections are traditionally arranged, in what ways does a virtual experience force researchers and teachers to re-conceptualize their practices? For instance, the American Social History Project, under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, recently launched a new initiative entitled: “Picturing United States History: An Online Resource for Teaching with Visual Evidence” under the aegis that “visual materials are vital to understanding the American past.” Our project relies on diverse disciplinary methodologies through the questions we ask and the expectations we bring to research and teaching.
Advisor: Tiya Miles, LSA, American Culture

whAt iS GAined OR lOSt when yOu diGitiZe A tACtile expeRienCe?


Jonathan Cohen School of Information

David Fienup School of Music

Jacek Spiewla School of Information

Adam Torres School of Information

Learning how to play an instrument and compose music takes a long time and a lot of effort. Electronic devices lower the barrier to music creation by removing procedural technique from this learning curve. However, music composition software shares a different barrier with instruments: it’s hard to learn how to make a musical work that sounds good. Our research explores how the iPhone and iPod Touch could teach music theory while participants collaborate on a group track. The experience might be similar to a jam session, but with digital instruments that fit in your pocket and don’t require years of practice to play well.

We’ll use interaction design methods like contextual inquiry, prototyping, and user testing to research and develop an interface that’s easy to use, instructional via constraints and recommendations, and fun. Our goal is to develop a proof-of-concept for co-located, synchronous, and collaborative music composition software for the iPhone and iPod Touch that would educate and inspire creativity in music theory novices.
Advisor: Eric Santos, School of Music

A jAm SeSSiOn with diGitAl inStRumentS thAt fit in yOuR pOCket... ...And dOn’t RequiRe yeARS Of pRACtiCe tO plAy well...

OuR ChAnGinG wORld Of SOund

Colin Campbell School of Music

Jeremy Edwards School of Music

Sentagi Sestoya Utami Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning

Close your eyes and simply listen. Listen deeply. After several minutes, begin to take an inventory of all the discrete sounds that you hear. A watch ticking, a bird calling, the high-pitched whir of a fluorescent light, the drone of running water…

What do these sounds tell us about a specific time and place? Of the sounds that you hear, which are unintended byproducts of our modern world? Which sounds have been a part of the collective sonic backdrop for less than 50 years? Are there sounds that pre-date us? What are the elements of the sonic landscape that change from generation to generation, and what elements are permanent? Do sounds go extinct? To what extent do we pay attention to ambient sound? We propose to study the integration of intelligent computing and active structures as two interdependent factors in the built environment.
Advisor: Michael Gould, School of Music

ClOSe yOuR eyeS And Simply liSten... liSten deeply.


McLean Echlin College of Engineering, Materials Science

Paul Tierman Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning

Alan Bush School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Brian Trump Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning

ReFab is a sustainable design project which combines members from the Colleges of Engineering, Architecture, and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. We aim to identify building strategies which will minimize energy expenditure and maximize dwindling material resources by repurposing prefabricated objects. To achieve these ends, we will use a combination of field work, lab investigation and digital exploration using parametric modeling. At the conclusion of this investigation, we intend to produce a catalogue of our findings which can be used by others as a resource for design projects and as a basis for similar investigations.
Advisor: Karl Daubmann, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

minimiZe eneRGy expendituRe And mAximiZe dwindlinG mAteRiAl ReSOuRCeS by RepuRpOSinG pRefAbRiCAted ObjeCtS...

SlOwly Ambient

Kendra Byrne Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning

Evan Hall Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning

Brendan Byrne College of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering

Brent Utter College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

A deployable shelter finds it shape in the form of environmental mimicry, taking cues from wind speed, temperature, and humidity. The shelter is a prototype for a system that can create a loop of information and action between the structure, the environment, and its inhabitants with subtle motions and changes in light and atmosphere. The shelter attempts to make visible connections between natural and artificial environments and their occupants in ways that are usually unrealized through visualization and interaction. The form of the shelter becomes a collaboration between the inhabitants and the environment. We propose to study the integration of intelligent computing and active structures as two interdependent factors in the built environment.
Advisor: Malcolm McCullough, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

A deplOyAble ShelteR findS it ShApe in the fORm Of enviROnmentAl mimiCRy...

GROCS - Grant Opportunities [Collaborative Spaces] - is a program launched in 2005 that provides collaborative space, equipment and funding for students to engage in interdisciplinary research of their own design. The six projects selected for the 2009 awards received high scores from 12 reviewers for encompassing four criteria: a vision for enhancing academic activity (teaching, learning or research); collaboration as a means to improve the quality of academic activity; rich media and/or locative technology as a tool for enhancing academic activity; and interdisciplinary perspectives among the team members. For more information, contact Linda Kendall Knox, managing producer of GROCS, at (734) 764-1434 or GROCS is an experimental project of the Digital Media Commons in the Duderstadt Center. Created in 2002 by the Office of the Provost, DMC is a dynamic collection of spaces and programs that assists students and faculty members who are integrating rich media and traditional media in collaborative teaching, learning and research.

Grant Opportunities [Collaborative Spaces]

Grant Opportunities [Collaborative Spaces]

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