Our approach to is inverted from the normal university research structure where undergrads work for the grads who work for the professors who work for the funders. Our classes are research––students are invited and expected to develop and pose interesting questions and search for answers. This bottom-up approach results in a place of radical flexibility, where research topics emerge organically, not according to a long-term plan. Rather than predict the future we can just pay close attention to our students’ work to see what is emerging. Then we support great projects, and often hire exceptional students to continue in various roles at ITP after graduation. But all of this require diversity at intake. While we have great diversity of disciplines and backgrounds we need greater socio-economic diversity. We’ve established the Red Burns Scholarship Fund, in honor of our long-time chair, for this purpose. The following are a few examples of students projects from last year.
From The Dark by Surya Mattu. Anonymous data is a myth. From The Dark offers insight into the hidden mechanisms and power struggles within our current communications infrastructure. It brings to light the data we generate with our smart devices and what it reveals about us.
Ecstatic Computation by Mike Allison is the union between human and machine (when thought becomes bit) explored through a mythopoetic lens that includes virtual reality rituals, mystical infographics and other computation related artifacts.
Woven Signals by Anne-Marie Lavigne aims at fusing new technologies with the fabrication techniques characteristic of traditional textile design to create functional fibers and integrated interactive textiles, specifically a woven display.
ControlEase by Gal Sasson is a node-based graphical programming environment that provides an easy and intuitive way to control, interconnect and prototype programs by providing both textual and graphical programming elements in the same environment.
Tiya by Su Hyun Kim is an experimentation towards finding physical manifestation of the emoji language usually seen only on screens. It’s a mobile app paired with robotic ears that are programmed to deliver physical interaction when somebody sends you a message.
Hack It Back by Patricia R. Zablah is a workshop mentoring program focused on teaching media literacy to teenage girls. The girls combat sexist media by creating their own, new media that “hacks it back” and portrays more accurate representations of women.