Autlook ChAnCe-it! hAptodeon listen up Where do We sleep?



ability spaces

Alex Bedoya-Skoog Combined Program Education and Psychology Meagan Drewyor Sociology Rachel Petrak Health Behavior and Health Education

Our project is a collaborative effort to improve the social climate on campus for students with disabilities. Currently, the more than 1100 students with disabilities at UM have no way to connect with each other to share resources, experiences, and social support. To meet this need, the Autlook Project brought together a team of social and computer scientists to explore the role of digital safe spaces for students with disabilities. An on-going program, Allies for Ability, is working to create ability-friendly physical safe spaces by raising awareness about the experiences of people with disabilities and increasing visibility of allies. The Autlook Project is collaborating with this program to develop digital safe space to facilitate advocacy, accessibility and expressiveness among students with disabilities on campus. The main features of the tool are the Expression Playground, which will enable users to interact artistically with other users with a mutual interest; the Accessapedia, a tool that will enable easy assessment of the disability accessibility of campus locations; and Ability Talks, a polling tool for examining community attitudes toward important disability issues. The Autlook Project tools, in collaboration with Allies for Ability, will facilitate a more ability-friendly social climate at UM. The next stages of this project include community outreach to increase awareness about the availability of the tools among current and incoming students and collaboration with other student groups to diversify uses for these tools.
Advisor: Cathleen Connell, Health Behavior and Health Education * And Elliot Jankelovitz, Sociology (not shown). Software development by Brad Anderson

creating ability friendly digital and physical spaces


seeing your own creative process in relation to others on a multi-touch coffee table

Yi-Wei Chia School of Information, Human-Computer Interaction

Jessica Hullman School of Information, Informaton Visualization

Tze-Hsiang (Stan) Lin School of Information, Human-Computer Interaction

Zhang Zhang School of Art & Design

We propose to study synthetic thinking in the creative process by developing a multi-touch table application and custom table. Our idea combines chance operations, a collaborative data set, information visualization, and multi-touch to ask how seeing how one’s own synthetic thinking in the creative process in relation to the choices of others affects one’s enjoyment and engagement with a tool. After presenting users with randomly selected digital content such as images from a collaborative data set, our application shows the users how their own choices about which files to keep, and where, compare to those of other users. The user is encouraged to reflect on the larger lifespan of the table and application. The application is simple to understand and use, opening it to the possibility of being used differently depending on users’ subjective preferences. We realize our application on a multi-touch table which we designed to support multiple users in Design Lab 1’s casual context.
Advisor: Mick McQuaid, School of Information, School of Art and Design


Huai-Ning Chang Mechanical Engineering

Yashar Ganjeh Mechanical Engineering

Anish Joshi Mechanical Engineering

Eric Sihite Mechanical Engineering

Colin Zyskowski School of Music, Media Arts

the purpose of this new instrument is to challenge traditional ideas of what an electronic instrument is, and incorporate traditional ideas into new interfaces

This is a new musical hardware and software interface that includes haptic force feedback. Built to resemble a music stand, this unassuming device uses a spherical mechanism to map tilt in two dimensions, which is then translated to correlating pitches. The performer uses his/her hands to tilt the platform, and their feet to trigger notes and determine volume. The more the user tilts the platform, the more resistance they feel from the tilt mechanism. There are two modes of use for this instrument: 1. Pitch Training Mode, in which the user, as they tilt the platform, receives a haptic force feedback in the form of vibration in their hands. The amount of vibration correlates to the degree to which the note is in/out of tune. 2. Performance Mode in which the instrument produces discrete pitches. The interface includes a wide array of synthesized sounds that can be combined in various ways to produce a variety of sounds. New digital instruments have been criticized for the lack of proper force feedback that is found in traditional instruments. For example, the resistance a trombone player feels as he/she moves the slide or in an accordion when the bellows are pulled and pushed. The haptic force in our instrument will be designed to resemble the force provided by a modern, high-end gaming joystick. The purpose of this instrument is to challenge traditional ideas of what an electronic instrument is, and incorporate traditional ideas into new interfaces.
Advisor: Brent Gillespie, Mechanical Engineering

listen up

Justin Crowell School of Music, Media Arts

Sipkje Pesnichak School of Music, Oboe Performance

Caroline Poon School of Information, School of Music, Carillon Performance

to make music is not to complete an object of attention, fixed and frozen, but to engage an audience on the level of audition, in the moment of sound’s becoming

What is the social relationship between performer and audience? How do the parameters of music define and structure space? Can musicallydefined place be leveraged as a tool for community and expression? The carillon experiences unique problems of space, while providing unique solutions. Evolved from the time-keeping bells of the Low Countries, early carillons gave sonic and affective coherence to market day crowds through sharing music in a public setting. In America, they are church, public park, and school bells, continuing to provide music, foster communities, and define spaces. Yet the carillon could do more than provide background music. By engaging its audience, the carillon can transcend ambience to awareness--of the elements of music and of the construction of a communal place.

To accomplish this, the carillon must collaborate with its audience in a way that goes beyond established concert procedure. We created an installation that uses a touch screen networked to a MIDI-controlled hammer system in conjunction with the live carillonneur to create interactive musical works. Passing listeners, gallery visitors--as community members with a stake in the space defined by this music--are encouraged to participate. In Cage’s philosophy of composition, “to make music is not to complete an object of attention, fixed and frozen, but to engage an audience on the level of audition, in the moment of sound’s becoming.” (Brandon LaBelle) The act of listening, the state of being a listener, is as vital to the life of the music as its composition and performance. To collaborate with the carillonneur from the ground is to become aware of this role. Here, the computer serves as an interface to enhance listening by engaging the audience in a participatory act of music-creation, and through this draw attention to the sociality of this music, in this space.

where do we sleep?

what will the homeless say when their voices are loud or united?

Kristen Muehlhauser School of Nursing

Elizabeth Skene School of Information

What if we gave those who are homeless a chance to speak? What would they say? Would you listen? We are exploring this question and using technology as a medium to try and build meaningful interactions. We have an opportunity to think about how many small strands might form a stronger web than a few thick ones and about the lives that could have been ours. We intend to provide a voice to those who are too often misunderstood, and facilitate a conversation between the disparate, yet intermingling communities of those who are experiencing homelessness and those who are not. Furthermore, we ask how this conversation can be translated into meaningful, though possibly brief, interactions, from which both groups will likely emerge with increased insight. To do this, will have set up a public display and have invited those experiencing homelessness to answer our question of the day. These questions and answers will be broadcast to the wider Ann Arbor area, along with ways in which the average person can help eradicate homelessness. By starting and encouraging this interaction, we hope that our small drop in the pond will ripple out, spreading understanding, compassion and inspiring change.


Zydeco is an iPhone application designed to facilitate inquiry-based learning and engagement among students in a museum by guiding and enabling active interactions and investigations with exhibits (for example, visiting different exhibits in a Natural History Museum in search of information to help them design a super-animal). Zydeco incorporates “scaffolding features”, such as guiding prompts and tools, that aim to support and motivate students to mindfully collect and organize data and information in the museum while maintaining free-choice to visit exhibits that they find most interesting. The data that students collect – including descriptive titles, information tags, and audio notes centered around photographs that students take in the museum – can be accessed later on Flickr, allowing students to maintain connections to the exhibits even after they leave the museum.
Advisor: Chris Quintana, School of Education, Learning Technologies

Clara Cahill Science Education and Museum Studies

Alex Kuhn Computer Science and Engineering

Alex Pompe Information Science

Shannon Schmoll Astronomy & Astrophysics and Science Education

motivate students to mindfully collect and organize data and information in the museum

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 2010 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]

grocs projects: 2005 / building islam in detroit / cave capture / haptic theater of cruelty / mates / mushi / organelle view / 2006 / blue puddle / digital kami / google buddy / msigns / virtual anatomy atlas / 2007 / ace for art / blimpbots / diagnosing the digital divide / eat this michigan! / prospero: a “visual commons” framework / 2008 / casepedia / noteworks / ouroboros / talking points / 2009 / august 23, 1966 / digitizing knowledge / grouploops / our changing world of sound / refab / slowly kinetic ambient pavilion

Grant Opportunities [Collaborative Spaces]

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