Research & Creative Ventures Series

Curious about research at CAMD? Join us this semester to engage with our faculty about their exciting work.

The Dean’s Office is pleased to introduce the CAMD Research and Creative Ventures Series, a four-part event to showcase and celebrate the research, scholarship, and creative practice funded and supported by the College through our competitive internal grant programs, and to facilitate follow-on discussion and collaboration.

The series is structured around four overarching themes, each one explored in several sessions designed to maximize participation and opportunities for robust discussion.

 

Creative Ventures Series: Week 1

Health, Communication, and New Technology

CAMD disciplines lend themselves to interdisciplinarity and cross-pollination. This is particularly evident in the areas of health, communication, and new technology. Experience design and game design faculty are collaborating with colleagues in nursing to leverage new technology to address mental health challenges. Music faculty are collaborating with colleagues in psychology to explore how amplitude and frequency modulations impact cognitive health. Faculty from communication studies, architecture, and design are investigating the impact of climate change on young adults’ health behaviors. Architecture faculty and colleagues in civil and environmental engineering are using community-based participatory research to analyze the social factors that contribute to a community’s resilience to extreme temperatures.

Please note we will be using the same Zoom link for all events in this week, so you only need to register once per week. Once you register please save the events in your calendar along with the Zoom link for easy access to the rest of the events that week.  

Topics, Speakers, and Abstracts:

12:00-12:15pm

Multimodal Brain Stimulation for Healthy Neurocognitive Aging

Psyche Loui, Assistant Professor, Music
Art Kramer, Professor, Psychology

 

Music that we listen to every day contains amplitude and frequency modulations, rapid changes in acoustic signals that convey meaningful information to the listener. The human brain’s ability to receive and interpret meaning from these amplitude and frequency modulations is implemented by firing patterns of groups of neurons that track the music with rhythmic activity, known as neural oscillations. These neural oscillations develop over the lifespan and are reduced in aging, especially in dementia. Restoring these neural oscillations will have crucial implications for brain and cognitive health. Recent work in music cognition has developed a neural network model that simulates neural activity using nonlinear dynamical models. This neural network model can detect the beat in music in real-time, and is set up to blink colorful LED lights, thus creating a music-driven, frequency-tuned light show for use in the home. We hypothesize that amplitude modulations inserted in music and lights, that is frequency-tuned to individual brain network dynamics, can replace the decreased neural oscillations that are reduced in aging. Furthermore, we hypothesize that during this brain stimulation, older adults will perform better in working memory tasks, at a level more similar to young adults. As this system is currently running in the Loui lab, we propose the first double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled EEG and behavioral study to test its efficacy in affecting brain and cognition.

 

 

12:15-12:30pm

Reducing Anxiety among Older Adults and Caregivers in the face of COVID-19 with Mental Health Focused Game-Based Interventions

Miso Kim, Assistant Professor, Art + Design

with

Casper Harteveld, Associate Professor, Art + Design
Elina Tochilnikova, Part-Time Lecturer, Art + Design
Valeria Ramdin, Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Nursing

 

 

COVID-19 disproportionately affects older adults. New and worsening anxiety in older adults and their caregivers may be a response to sheltering-in-place, social distancing, and increased mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even prior to the pandemic, a significant number of adults 65 years and older reported struggling with isolation. Isolation, similar to the experience of solitary confinement, can trigger mental and physical illness. Meaningful activity and stimulation are known to help distract from the negative impacts of anxiety. To address this ongoing problem among older adults, a team of researchers in experience design, game design, nursing, and psychotherapy are collaborating to design a  gamified therapeutic intervention to decrease the anxiety of isolated older adults. Our gamified therapy will draw upon input from the end users. Our long term goal is to develop a gamified therapy with a clinical intervention, which will help determine the effect on the mental health needs of older adults with an emphasis on anxiety outcomes. The study is grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy and narrative therapy, which are both widely used in psychotherapy to successfully influence emotional well-being.

 

 

12:30-12:45pm

Emerging Technologies for Health

Casper Harteveld, Associate Professor, Art + Design

 

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard seeks to develop techniques and instruments that will enable continuous and real-time quality monitoring and management of physical rehabilitation via combination of Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT), Machine Learning (ML), and Virtual Reality (VR). In this approach, patients enter a VR environment to perform their physical rehabilitation regimen along with a physical therapist that could be both real or virtual. Simultaneously, multiple skin electrode cuffs are circumferentially secured around the target muscles to perform live EIT and signals are analyzed by ML algorithms to monitor muscle engagement and degree of stretch. The EIT and ML results are used to modify and improve patient movement via VR. Our goal is to enable a remote, adaptive, accurate, interactive, easily accessible, and low-cost physical rehabilitation method. Physical rehabilitation is a key component for successful treatment and post-surgical care of common musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. Yet, there are fundamental problems with the access and delivery of traditional physical rehabilitation programs. Maturation of the proposed technology will lead to remote and real-time in vivo monitoring, quantitative assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. The unique combination of our approach advantages (i.e., low cost, adaptive, physiologically benign, and remote monitoring) will lead to a paradigm shift in physical rehabilitation.

 

 

12:45-1:00pm

Open Discussion with Presenters

12:00-12:15pm

Climate Change and Health

Michael Arnold Mages, Assistant Professor, Art + Design
Sara Jensen Carr, Assistant Professor, Architecture
Susan Mello, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

 

 

This group is seeking to understand attitudes in young adults (18-22) regarding climate change and how it affects mental health and health behaviors. We hypothesize that the environmental risk wrought by climate change and the national conversation on sustainability likely leads to a spectrum of beliefs, behaviors, and values regarding personal agency and resilience, which we are loosely defining as climate nihilism, climate ambivalence, and climate hope. In 2019–2020, the working group will pursue two phases of data collection using complementary, cross-disciplinary methods (i.e., activity kits delivered by mail, online surveys) to explore collective and relational aspects of climate change and health. We hypothesize that climate may be experienced emotionally by young adults in two key ways: as stress (ongoing underlying feelings of concern, malaise or anxiety) or as shocks (coping with a sudden catastrophic environmental event, like a flood, storm, landslide, or wildfire).   

 

 

12:15-12:30pm

Community Resilience in Extreme Temperatures: Solutions for Citizens, Government, and Utilities through Big Data and Community Engagement

David Fannon, Associate Professor, Architecture and Civil & Environmental Engineering
Michelle Laboy, Assistant Professor, Architecture
Michael Kane, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

 

 

Extreme heat is the deadliest weather-related hazard in the United States, causing 17k hospital visits in California in July 2006 and an anticipated 200k deaths in 12 US cities by 2100. Power outages during extreme cold can displace thousands of residents for days into community warming centers and overcrowd ad hoc warming centers like public libraries. Without electricity for cooling or heating, a typical home can reach dangerous temperatures within a few hours. The immediate goal of this research is to map the vulnerability of homes to extreme temperatures and to help individuals, governments, and utilities improve community resilience. We will achieve these goals by carrying out two parallel research activities: one focuses on analyzing technical factors of the housing stock, the other centers on community-based participatory research (CBPR) to acquire an understanding of the social factors that contribute to a community’s resilience to extreme temperatures. We hypothesize that combining these factors will allow residents and decision-makers to better understand their community’s vulnerabilities to extreme temperatures and will inform policies and strategies for preparedness.

 

 

12:30-12:45pm

A Legible Flaw: Writing and Reading Bug Reports

Ryan Ellis

 

 

In the past decade, “bug bounty” programs have become common. Each year, hundreds of companies pay thousands of independent security researchers—”hackers”—to find and report flaws in their own software and platforms. This project builds on my earlier research on the market for bugs. As part of a federally-funded project, I am currently working on collecting detailed interview data with market participants. Initial research suggests an interesting avenue for expansion: ​authentication. The sale of a bug requires authentication that the discovered flaw is both real ​and novel (non-duplicate). Authentication is a fraught process. A valid bug is legally defined by terms of service that map what is and is not in scope for a bounty program (certain types of flaws are presumptively invalid). Additionally, the price a bug returns is linked to a bug’s severity. These questions—is a bug in scope? Is a bug novel? What price is assigned a bug?—are sites of frequent disagreement and conflict. Focusing on the institutional mechanisms and organizational practices that govern these questions provides an opportunity to consider how power circulates within this emerging market.

 

 

12:45-1:00pm

Open Discussion with Presenters

10:00–11:00am

Faculty Idea Exchange*

Moderators:
Katherine Calzada, Assistant Dean for Research Development, CAMD
Sara Jensen Carr, Assistant Professor, Architecture
Ryan Ellis, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

 

 

*This session is faculty only. Faculty will receive the Zoom Link via email a few days prior to the meeting, no registration needed.

Creative Ventures Series: Week 2

Social Justice and Anti-Racism Research

As our nation grapples with a complicated history of racial and social injustice, CAMD faculty engage in research and creative activity that illuminates challenges and solutions in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Faculty in theatre, music, and architecture collaborate with colleagues in health sciences, the humanities, and the community to reimagine the role of the arts in advancing racial and health equity in Boston. Faculty in journalism explore new methods of engaging with and responding to underrepresented and marginalized communities. Faculty in architecture discover and document the contributions of Black architects to the American built environment. Faculty in music highlight the work of BIPOC scholars and create resources to support anti-racist curricula. Faculty in communication studies document and display the evolution of images in film, television, and advertising that have contributed to the marginalization of African Americans from dominant conceptions of citizenship and belonging.

Please note we will be using the same Zoom link for all events in this week, so you only need to register once per week. Once you register please save the events in your calendar along with the Zoom link for easy access to the rest of the events that week.  

Topics, Speakers, and Abstracts:

10:00–10:15am

Canonical Interruptions, Creative Interventions: The Future of Critical Creative Practice

Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, Associate Professor, Theatre
Rebekah E. Moore, Assistant Professor, Music
Amanda Reeser Lawrence, Associate Professor, Architecture

 

 

In this presentation, we share the outcomes of our two-year collaborative inquiry at the intersection of art, research, ethics, and action. As Center for the Arts Fellows (2020-2021), we have supported broad-ranging interdisciplinary conversations between artists, humanistic and scientific researchers, community organizers, and healthcare clinicians around the ways in which established modes of practice and hierarchies of academic “value” shape inequity, undermine capacity, and foreclose collaboration in and across our fields. The Fellowship also served as an incubator for a new interdisciplinary study of art, race, and health equity and the award of a Tier 1 grant to generate needed knowledge on the role of the arts in advancing racial and health equity in the City of Boston. We will highlight our current research collaborations with BCHS, SOL, and CSSH to produce law and policy and health science literature reviews, cultural asset mapping, and oral histories to support the next experimental phase of the research. As Northeastern University increasingly probes the ethical issues attending our social, political, and technological futures, the arts should be at the very forefront of inquiry. In the wake of a global pandemic that has disproportionally harmed individuals and communities of color, we continue our collaboration in order to better understand how the arts can further collaborations across disciplines and particularly within the disciplines of health science.

 

 

 

10:15–10:30am

Texting Hope: Sharing Covid Community News Resources via SMS 

Meg Heckman, Assistant Professor, Journalism 

With Graduate Student:  

Lex Weaver (Journalism) 

 

 

For Bostonians navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the new year brought both hope and heartache. New vaccines are slowly becoming more available, but the virus and the many economic challenges caused by the pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. These same communities are all too often overlooked or mischaracterized by traditional news coverage—something this project aims to remedy by distributing pandemic-related news via text message. We’ll also ask community members to tell us what their neighborhoods need to fully recover from the pandemic. Their responses will help guide coverage in The Scope, the journalism school’s digital magazine focused on Boston-area stories of justice, hope and resilience.  

 

 

10:30–10:45am

Fact-Checking Racism 

Jonathan Kaufman, Professor, Journalism 

With Students:  

Brandi Griffin
Tyler Stitt

 

 

This project, developed by two Journalism graduate students – one African-American and one white – and using the skills of our diverse student body, will explore ways in which people of color and concerned citizens can report and document these forms racism perpetuated by taxpayer employees and those in power using the discipline of journalistic fact finding, research and fairness.  In the spirit of Northeastern’s commitment to experiential learning and the urgency at this moment of linking the university and CAMD to communities of color, it will find ways to authenticate, investigate, and publish its findings in a publicly accessible archive and work with community activists to share and build upon it. 

 

 

10:45–11:00am

Open Discussion with Presenters

12:00–12:15pm

Hand’s Up! (Don’t Shoot)

Derek Curry, Assistant Professor, Art + Design 

With Students:  

James Andrews Jr. (Computer Science & Game Development)
Rayshawn Hughes, (Religious Studies & Game Design Minor)
Chris Boyd, (Computer Science and Game Development) 

 

 

Hands Up! (Don’t Shoot) is a prototype for a first-person shooter (FPS) game where the goal is for the player to find alternatives to shooting other players and non-player characters. The game is intended as a pedagogical device that encourages players to find solutions that do not involve the use of lethal force while also working to depict people of color as valuable members of society. 

 

 

12:15-12:30pm

The Black Architects Archive: A Collaborative and Community-Driven Platform for Spatial Analysis

Jay Cephas, Assistant Professor, Architecture 

 

 

In 1968, Whitney M. Young, civil rights leader and then president of the Urban League, delivered a speech to the American Institute of Architects whereby he implored architects to take a proactive stance on the urban environment. Young accused architects of standing idly by while cities burned during urban riots and mostly Black neighborhoods were leveled under the guise of urban renewal. Young attributed architectsindifference to civil rights to the lack of diversity in the profession. In the fifty years since Youngs speech, both architectural education and architectural practice have struggled to heed his call to action.  

The Black Architects Archive works to surface under-represented architects across history as a means to diversify the architectural canon while also serving as a public history resource that documents the impact of Black spatial practices on the American built environment. The project furthers the work towards equity in architectural education and in the profession by helping to diversify the curriculum, in part by acknowledging and highlighting the role of Black architects in the making of the built environment. Recognizing that many Black architects were marginalized in history because they could not be formally recognized for their work due to racial discrimination, the Black Architects Archive relies on crowd-sourced and community-based contributions to grow its repository of Black shapers of the built environment. More than simply an encyclopedic digitization of practitioners, however, the Black Architects Archive offers tools for analyzing the spatial history of towns and cities while foregrounding a collaborative and community-driven public history practice. 

 

 

12:30–1:00pm

Open Discussion with Presenters

2:00-2:15pm

Reframing the Music Classroom: Incorporating Anti-Racist Practices and BIPOC Voices  

Francesca Inglese, Assistant Professor, Music 

With Students:  

Avery Kelly (Music Industry)
Rose-Laura Meus (International Affairs and History, Minor in Recording)
Debra Mandel (Director, Recording Studios and Liaison, Jewish Studies, Media & Screen Studies and Music) 

 

 

As students, scholars, and teachers, who we cite in our research and teach in our classrooms has the power to make and remake our fields, centering certain forms of knowledge and ways of being musical, and silencing others. Our research team’s goal is to highlight BIPOC scholars, both those that fit the traditional definition of an academic scholar and contemporary scholars and critical practitioners that fall outside of the restrictive borders. Much of the work being done today is by music industry professionals that, in the colonial, White-centered world of music studies, are often passed over. Our project will create four subject guides that can help Northeastern faculty and students reshape their research and teaching practices by centering scholarship by BIPOC. The first three will collectively gather scholarship by BIPOC scholars and critical practitioners. The fourth annotated list will gather material (readings as well as multimedia) that will aid music faculty in the creation of an anti-racist music classroom. An accompanying bi-weekly newsletter and spring 2020 event are also part of our work this term.  

 

 

2:15-2:30pm

Marginal Bodies: Women of Color, Representation, and the Struggle for Citizenship and Belonging, 1920-2020 

Patricia Davis, Associate Professor, Communication Studies 

 

 

This project aims to create an exhibition centered on issues of African American women’s representation in a variety of media, including film, television, print advertising, and black-centered newspapers and entertainment magazines. It will adopt an historical approach, with the specific goal of tracing, documenting and displaying the evolution of the images that have contributed to the marginalization of African Americans from dominant conceptions of citizenship and belonging in the U.S. These images have manifested in contemporary social inequities, including those associated with access to healthcare, education, and voting, as well as the equal protection from state-sponsored physical and economic violence. The exhibit will connect the current sociopolitical discourse articulated through the resurgent Black Lives Matter Movement and the national discussions of racial inequality that have emerged from it to their historical precursors, beginning in the 1920s and including the contemporary moment. 

 

 

2:30-3:00pm

Open Discussion with Presenters

12:00-1:00pm

Faculty Idea Exchange*

Moderators:

Amy Halliday + Katherine Calzada

 

 

*This session is faculty only. Faculty will receive the Zoom Link via email a few days prior to the meeting, no registration needed.

Creative Venture Series: Week 3

COVID-19 Research

The unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are inspiring ground-breaking new research across academic areas. CAMD faculty are leveraging their disciplines to contribute to these discoveries. Faculty in design are developing user-centered solutions to address people’s needs and emotions in 11 different countries during and after the lockdown. Faculty in journalism and communication studies are exploring connections between the sources of media people consume and their responses to the pandemic, using Twitter data to create a repository of crowdsourced COVID-19 experts​ ​at the county level, and examining WHO and CDC messaging strategies and audience engagement on Instagram. Faculty in theatre are studying the ways in which people build connections in digital environments via performance. Faculty in experience design are collaborating with faculty in health science and computer science to examine the digital information-seeking practices of vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Please note we will be using the same Zoom link for all events in this week, so you only need to register once per week. Once you register please save the events in your calendar along with the Zoom link for easy access to the rest of the events that week.  

Topics, Speakers, and Abstracts:

3:00-3:15pm

Media Use and COVID-19  

Myo Chung, Assistant Professor, Journalism 

 

 

As COVID-19 has spread around the globe, the importance of information is getting bigger than ever. Given the uncertain and volatile nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are constantly seeking useful, reliable, and accurate information that can help them navigate this unprecedented crisis. Nevertheless, the source or channel from which people obtain information on COVID-19 can vary. Some get information from mainstream media or social media, whereas others rely more on the information from their friends or family. Depending on their political stance, some people turn to CNN to learn about the rapidly changing situation, while others tune in to Fox News. Then how would such difference in media use influence the way people perceive and react to COVID-19? This project aims to answer this overarching question.  

 

 

3:15-3:30pm

Examining Crowdsourced COVID-19 Experts 

Brooke Foucault Welles, Associate Professor, Communication Studies 

 

 

As the information about the pandemic shifts on a near-hourly basis, people have turned to social media for rapid dissemination of information about COVID-19. This information is variable in quality, and subject to manipulation by malicious actors. It is vitally important to leverage experts to spread scientifically accurate information online. This project focuses on Twitter, a key information source for citizens, journalists, and politicians alike. Prior research by Foucault Welles and colleagues suggest that, during moments of high-stakes, geographically local events, people tend to eschew national news and political leaders in favor of local and regional. We have developed a method of identifying locally-influential Twitter opinion leaders to assist in rapidly spreading high-quality information about the novel coronavirus. Using Twitter data panel (provided by our collaborators), we will computationally identify Crowdsourced COVID-19 Experts​ ​at the county level​. ​We will assess their communication for impact and scientific validity, then produce a list of Crowdsourced COVID-19 Experts that can be used as trusted partners in spreading timely, accurate information about COVID-19. We will make the list available to local and state leaders (elected officials, public health officials, etc.) and to regular Twitter users via curated lists.   

 

 

3:30-4:00pm

Open Discussion with Presenters

3:00-3:15pm

Human Connections, Community Resilience: Digital Theatre & Performance in a Time of Social Distancing  

Dani Snyder-Young, Assistant Professor, Theatre 

 

 

This study examines the ways humans are forging connection in digital environments via performance, with a particular eye to the ways in which people are using rehearsed and scripted performance forms as we adapt to social distancing measures required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Through this project, the research team will conduct digital ethnographic data collection and analysis. We will attend digital performance events of various forms as participant-observers through the spring and summer of 2020, keeping field notes and analytic memos making sense of audience/participant experiences of these events. We’ll track themes emerging from across events and theorize the ways in which people are using scripted, rehearsed performances in digital environments during the period of prescribed social distancing.  Concurrently with this process, the team will develop an annotated bibliography of readings on digital performance and write literature review memos situating what we see within the current conversation on digital performance.  We will develop grounded theory from this process to theorize the ways in which humans make use of scripted, rehearsed performance forms to adapt to social distancing measures. 

 

 

3:15-3:30pm

Examining Information-Seeking During COVID-19 

Miso Kim, Assistant Professor, Art + Design 

 

 

COVID-19 is profoundly impacting our world, with some populations in the United States being affected especially severely. During this pandemic, millions of Americans are turning to the Internet to gather information about COVID-19, such as the progression of the pandemic, how to prevent its spread, and how to cope with its profound social, cultural, and economic implications. Information-seeking online has thus become a crucial lifeline for many individuals as they search for knowledge and resources to counteract a myriad of social, health, safety, and financial COVID-19 challenges. At the same time, this vital information may be less accessible to populations such as low-income and older adults. There is a need for research that investigates the digital information-seeking practices of vulnerable and marginalized populations amidst COVID-19, the barriers to and impact of information-seeking amongst these populations, and opportunities for creating digital COVID-19 information that better serves these communities. We will conduct an experience sampling method (ESM) study to investigate how vulnerable populations are using technology for information-seeking and psychological coping during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of such information-seeking on psychological wellbeing (e.g., depression and anxiety) and behavior (e.g., adherence to COVID-19 prevention recommendations). ESM entails repeated capture of participants’ real-time behaviors, psychological states, and contexts as a crisis is unfolding, and helps minimize participant recall biases inherent in studies conducted after a crisis has passed. 

 

 

3:30-3:45pm

Communicating COVID-19 Risk on Instagram: A Content Analysis of Strategic Messaging from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention During the First Year of the Pandemic 

Susan Mello, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Elizabeth Glowacki, Postdoctoral Teaching Associate, Communication Studies 

 

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have employed various channels and evidence-based communication strategies to disseminate information during contemporary public health crises, including SARS (2003) H1N1/swine flu (2009), and Ebola (2014). The current COVID-19 pandemic, however, presents greater challenges for informing and motivating audiences to take protective action due to the virus’ novelty, high transmissibility, and persistent spread. During this time, the social media platform Instagram has also surged in popularity as a source of health information, with 11 million combined users following the official WHO and CDC accounts.   

The goal of this project is to examine WHO and CDC messaging strategies and audience engagement on Instagram duing the first year of the pandemic (January – December 2020). We have harvested and are actively conducting a quantitative, multimodal content analysis of 799 COVID-related posts, including visuals and captions. Using models of fear appeal message processing, we are investigating how both organizations (1) communicate the threat of coronavirus and the pandemic (e.g., susceptibility and severity of physical and mental health consequences); (2) promote self-, response, and collective efficacy to equip audiences with knowledge, skills, and confidence to alleviate fear; and (3) frame messages in terms of individual or social gains and/or losses to motivate protective action. These results will be valuable for contextualizing other forms of COVID-related audience research (e.g., population surveys) and improving risk communication during this critical time. 

 

 

3:45-4:00pm

Open Discussion with Presenters

1:00-1:15pm

SoundHealth.io: An Interdisciplinary Network for Music and Health

Psyche Loui, Assistant Professor, Music

 

 

1:15-1:30pm

Design for Emergency 

Paolo Ciuccarelli, Professor and Director, Center for Design 

 

 

Design for Emergency - As a consequence of the lockdown enforced to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, people found themselves in a state of social isolation, uncertainty, and vulnerability. Design for Emergency is a data and design open platform launched to ideate and develop user-centered solutions addressing people’s needs and emotions during and after the lockdown. The project is composed of four steps: data collection, data analysis & visualization, design, and implementation. The initiative was launched in Italy, but it soon became global, covering 11 countries in three continents. As a result, data about people’s experiences during the pandemic have been collected and visualized at a global level. The ideas repository, still growing, includes 36 seed ideas of solutions helping individuals and communities to cope with the pandemic. Ideas are openly available for development, and some of them are currently being implemented. This initiative can be used as a reference and a pilot project to create a framework for designing under uncertain conditions and in situations of emergency, or crisis, where design can quickly discover and address emerging feelings and needs. 

 

 

1:30-1:45pm

StudyCrafter COVID-19 Community Effort

Casper Harteveld, Associate Professor, Art + Design
Giovanni Troiano, Visiting Assistant Professor, Game Design

 

 

1:45-2:00pm

Open Discussion with Presenters

1:30-2:30pm

Faculty Idea Exchange*

Moderators:

Susan Mello + Matthew McDonald

 

 

*This session is faculty only. Faculty will receive the Zoom Link via email a few days prior to the meeting, no registration needed.

Creative Venture Series: Week 4

Creativity, New Technology and Data Representation

The explosion of new technology and the expanding methods of presenting and interpreting data are central to a new body of CAMD research and creative activity. Faculty in art and design are building on scholarship in communication studies, data visualization, and participatory theatre to create experiential modes of understanding information. Faculty in design and public policy are using data physicalization to create physical representations of air flow and evaluate the environmental threat of contagion. Faculty in architecture are exploring how the use of demographic maps and urban data diagrams has shifted academic discourses on race. Faculty in journalism are examining the workings of social media information filtering systems and how they affect the formation of misbeliefs. Faculty in music, art and design, and theatre are developing and testing machine-based tools that enable group creativity.

Please note we will be using the same Zoom link for all events in this week, so you only need to register once per week. Once you register please save the events in your calendar along with the Zoom link for easy access to the rest of the events that week.  

Topics, Speakers, and Abstracts:

10:00–10:15am

Histories of Race in Urban Data Analysis

Jay Cephas, Assistant Professor, Architecture

 

Spatial data analysis has long been a necessary component of urban systems. The geographic information systems underlying urban data have evolved over the years into complex, real-time protocols, having replaced the hand-drawn maps of the past. Demographic maps have been especially important, not just for communicating information about cities, but for serving as the basis for a range of critical socio-political decisions upon which complex urban system rely, such as drawing boundary lines for voting districts, allocating funds to public schools and libraries, and making decisions about where to locate hospitals or fire hydrants. In this project, I focus on W.E.B. Du Boisgroundbreaking 1899 study, The Philadelphia Negro, where he pioneered the use of demographic maps in the nascent field of urban sociology. I argue that Du Bois deployed those maps in conjunction with urban data diagrams to shift academic discourses on race away from previous focuses on Black bodies to instead interrogate the social body of the Black community. As an outcome of this project, I will produce an interactive archive of Du Bois1899 study as a companion to an article being written on the topic and as part of a broader interest in recreating historical urbanism through interactive maps.

 

 

 

10:15-10:30am

Understanding Compliance with AI Advise for the Design of Better Human-Machine Hybrids

Casper Harteveld, Yael Karlinsky Shichor

 

 

10:30-10:45am

Enabling Creative Social Interactions 

Psyche Loui, Assistant Professor, Music 

 

 

The modern study of creativity, while rooted in the arts, has become intertwined with cognitive science, computer science, and data and network science. As such, the study of creativity is strategically important to CAMD and Northeastern. With the CAMD Collaborative seed grant, we propose to catalyze a multidisciplinary workgroup on Enabling Creative Social Interactions. Based on productive discussions hosted by CAMD in Fall 2020, we have identified a group of faculty who are motivated to develop and test machine-based tools that enable group creativity. Group creativity refers to interpersonal (social) interactions that result in the generation and refinement of novel, original, and useful ideas. This includes scientific brainstorming, collaborative art-making, performer-audience interactions, and musical and theatrical improvisation. Through planned discussions, we will harness current leadership on the faculty to engender collaborative opportunities, while identifying needs for hiring future core faculty to strengthen the proposed University Cluster on Creativity in Human and Machine Agents.   

 

 

10:45-11:00am

Research Initiatives and the Center for the Arts  

Amy Halliday, Director for the Center for the Arts, CAMD, NU

 

 

In addition to affiliated projects presented by faculty members throughout this series, Amy Halliday will share three strands of research and partnership that the Center for the Arts is engaged in: original curatorial and community-engaged work in Gallery 360; the “Catalyst Conversation” series with the PhD Network; and the international and interdisciplinary ”Pattern Recognition” collaboration unfolding at the intersection of art, technology, law, and philosophy.  

 

 

11:00-11:30am

Open Discussion with Presenters

10:00-10:15am

Information Filtering in Social Media and Formation of Misbeliefs 

Myojung Chung, Assistant Professor, Journalism
John Wihbey, Assistant Professor, Journalism
Mike Peacey, Senior Lecturer, Economics, NCH
Sara Colombo, Assistant Professor, Design, Eindhoven University of Technology
Paolo Ciuccarelli, Professor and Director, Center for Design 

 

 

Never has information been available so easily, updated so quickly, and shared through so many channels. At the same time, the prevalence of misinformation or disinformation is also increasing, while public trust in the news is decreasing. The Cambridge Analytica scandal raised the possibility that commercial companies can now manipulate and influence the outcome of elections. Against this backdrop, our project addresses how the new media ecosystem influences the way individuals consume and process media messages and how this, in turn, shapes their beliefs and attitudes. We will examine how information filtering systems in social media operates, and how it affects the formation of misbeliefs or misperception. This approach would allow us to better understand the mechanisms by which social media platforms are utilized by various players for political or other interests. Also, the project findings will enable us to feed into the current debate about how existing analogue regulation can be updated to meet new digital needs as well as the discussion on digital literacies 

 

 

10:15-10:30am

Embodying Information – The Physicalization of Data Through Performance 

Rahul Bhargava, Assistant Professor, Art + Design and Journalism
Laura Perovich, Assistant Professor, Art + Design 

 

 

The Embodying Information Project explores two body-centric approaches to bringing people together   around information: Data Theatre and Data Dancing. These approaches move beyond traditional flat data representations to leverage experiential modes of understanding information. They are intentionally designed to create common space for diverse groups of people to converse around data. Our focus is to take a co-design approach to iteratively design workshops where community members and/or performers are invited to find stories and express them via movement, dance, or acting. Our workshops are informed by expert interviews and literature review in diverse fields such as science, communication, data visualization, participatory theatre, and more.  

 

 

10:30-10:45am

A Touch of Air – Material Perspectives on Contagion 

Dietmar Offenhuber, Associate Professor, Art + Design and Public Policy 

with 

Laura Perovich, Assistant Professor, Art + Design 

 

 

We propose a set of experiments exploring the concept of material data and its use for evaluating environmental threats of contagion. The experiments examine how people interact with their environment to inform design decisions that minimize risks of infection through contact and inhalation. We develop visualization strategies to make surface contacts and airflows visible, using design research methods that both generate actionable data and enable the sensory experience of the underlying causal mechanisms. The first experiment uses UV fluorescent gel to record and visualize how people touch objects in their environment when presented with a particular task. Beyond evaluating potential exposures, the experiment reveals how we “think” with our hands (e.g., when reading a building map), a current research concern in data physicalization. The second experiment focuses on visualizing indoor airflows, a problem that still lacks a universally applicable approach. In this open-ended design research, we explore methods for visualizing airflows and human exhalation, from Schlieren and shadowgraphs to tracer materials such as smoke and compare them with data from CO2 sensors and AI-driven digital imaging methods. 

 

 

10:45-11:00am

Faculty Idea Exchange*

Time: TBD
Moderator: TBD

 

 

*This session is faculty only. Faculty will receive the Zoom Link via email a few days prior to the meeting, no registration needed.