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grant opportunities
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GROCS 09 Exhibition

Celebrating the 5th anniversary of the GROCS program, all six 2009 projects will be on exhibit in the Gallery of the Duderstadt Center.   Join us for a very special reception Friday evening.

GROCS 09 Exhibition
April 10 – 15, 2009
Reception Friday, April 10,  5-8pm
Gallery Hourse M-F 12-6 pm

Posted in Events by linda on the April 1st, 2009

Moving In – Get Ready for the Gallery Show!

A week off from Design Reviews gave us a chance to meet as a group and discuss our upcoming gallery show. It is looking like all six teams will be able to showcase their work this semester in one space (or one plus a storage area, at least).

More details to come, but for now, block off April 10 from 5 to 8 pm for an opening reception, celebrating all the hard work of the teams thus far!

Posted in Weekly Meeting Recap by on the March 20th, 2009

ReFab Design Review

What do MC Escher, Champagne Mist (a color of Dodge Ram Trucks in 1965), and pneumatic drill presses have in common?

Check out the ReFab Design Review to find out!

View the video archive

Posted in Design Reviews by on the March 18th, 2009

Our Changing World of Sound Design Review

Our Changing World of Sound led us in an engaging discussion about the history of sound scapes and showed us a plan and prototype for their final installation.

View the video archive

Posted in Design Reviews by on the March 13th, 2009

Digitizing Knoweldge – Design Reviews 1 AND 2!

Digitizing Knowledge has finished not one but two design reviews in the past few weeks. Their first review is recapped here, but the videos have finally made their way onto the interwebs.

View the video archive

In episode two, the team shares the results of their interviews and subsequent presentation about digitizing archives.

View the video archive

Posted in Design Reviews by on the March 13th, 2009

Urmila Venkatesh

By Alan Bush

“I believe that everyone has a great story to tell, and often people don’t realize their own narrative gift. I like to tell others’ stories, but more often, I like to empower others to believe their story is worth sharing. Especially when it challenges a narrative being told by a more powerful entity.”

Thus Urmila explains her passion for visual ethnographies, or the art and practice of studying particular communities and representing them visually. While primarily a photographer, she dabbles in drawing to bring to life South Asian communities in urban areas of the US. Recent work has examined “how immigrants root themselves in public spaces to create ethnic enclaves and centers of community.”
Art and community are important themes, one’s that Urmila would like to continue after her studies, either educating on or employing art as a tool for community empowerment, or developing collaborative learning centers within universities. “The Digital Media Commons is a great example of the kind of initiative I am interested in.”

When asked what figure from history she would most like to talk with, she replied, “Raghubir Singh documented his native India in an unparalleled style, with a profound ability to translate movement and power and noise into a still image.” If she had the chance to sit and talk over dinner, she would quiz him on his thoughts behind the published work, “particularly about the Western gaze, about India in a colonial and post-colonial age, about what it means to make photographs as an insider or an outsider.”

Posted in Featured People by linda on the February 27th, 2009

Alan Bush

by Urmila Venkatesh

A member of the GROCS team called ReFab, Alan is a graduate student in the School of Natural Resources. He studies Sustainable Systems, while also taking advantage of the resources in the department of Urban Planning and the Center for Complex Systems. Alan’s overarching goal is to address the needs for our urban spaces to become truly sustainable, and he hopes to identify the institutions that can, or already do, work towards this goal.

Alan grew up in Mentor, Ohio, a rustbelt town surrounded by a variety of ecological and human-made systems, and became fascinated with the relationships between these two environments. Alan moved to Southern California to attend Pomona College, majoring in a very unique concentration: Integrated Political and Economic Systems in Historical Context. Despite his Midwestern roots, he took to eternal sunshine with ease.

Alan’s fascination with the natural landscape frames the list of places he’d like to visit or return to. In addition to Malawi, Australia, and Namibia, Alan names Botswana’s Okavongo Delta and the Sundarban Islands in India as destinations that gave him “a penchant for seeing disappearing ecosystems before they are no more.” This exploratory urge is not limited to locations abroad; if he had access to a car, and an extra day in the weekend, he would be found exploring abandoned areas in Detroit. Lacking a car, however, he is happy to settle for a breakfast of Washtenaw Dairy Ice Cream and a snowy game of Frisbee golf.

Posted in Featured People by linda on the February 27th, 2009

GroupLoops Design Review 1

Is it more fun to imitate an instrument we already know on the iPhone, or to build something completely different? We take a look at a few existing music aps for the iPhone and respond to some possible GroupLoops functions.

View the video archive

Posted in Design Reviews by linda on the February 17th, 2009

Slowly Ambient Design Review 1

Slowly Ambient’s first design review featured a model of the pavilion’s joint structure, complete with actuating parts.   The team’s questions gathered thoughts and ideas about the nature of an “entrance” for the structure, weighing, especially, whether there should be a door-like part, and whether or not it should move itself in response to a human presence.

View the Video Archive

Posted in Design Reviews by linda on the February 16th, 2009

The Group that Rocks Together Stays Together

Thank you so much to Urmila for hosting the GROCS get together last Friday. Between the snacks and the songs of Rock Band, the group got a chance to get to know each other outside of the meeting setting. One of the greatest effects of the GROCS program is bringing together people of all disciplines and schools and allowing them to connect in a way that just isn’t possible in the bounds of a department. And what better way to take advantage of these connections than a party!

While it would be fun to do a gossip column style recap of the soiree, I’ll keep this short. This Friday is a double design review featuring the work of GroupLoops and Slowly Ambient Kinetic Pavilion, so look forward to a more extensive entry next week. Until then, enjoy the warmth!

Posted in Weekly Meeting Recap by on the February 11th, 2009
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