grant opportunities
[collaborative spaces]




Jon Cohen

by Tami

Jon is a masters student in Human-Computer Interaction.  He was born and grew up in Brooklyn.  His GROCS project is about the potential of mobile devices for learning and how people can learn about how to compose music while collaborating on a group track.  He came to U of M to learn about theory and apply it in coursework.  He wants to work at an interactive agency, startup, or software company when he graduates.

Posted in Featured People by on the February 4th, 2009


by Jon Cohen

Tami, whose full name is Sentagi Sestoya Utami, is a violin-playing pre-doctoral candidate in Architectural Acoustics.  Tami is from Indonesia and her name translates into “a perfect chain of diamonds”.  She received a Fulbright Scholarship to get her masters in Acoustic Physics at Brigham Young University, and received her undergraduate degree in Architecture from an “old, big” government-run university in Indonesia.  She became an instructor there and is taking time off from work to pursue higher education.  Tami has three children, ages 9, 7, and 7 weeks.  For breakfast this morning she had rice with stir-fried vegetables and fried chicken.

Posted in Featured People by on the February 4th, 2009

Assessing the Loss – Digitizing Knowledge’s Design Review

Thanks to the Digitizing Knowledge team for taking the leap and hosting the first design review. Here’s a brief recap of what was discussed:

Colleen represented the “user” of the archives and spoke to us about her own experiences researching the US participation, and specifically the role of the University community, in the colonization of the Philippines. She talked about the “aura” and ephemeral nature of archives, and the ability to stumble upon related pieces of information when searching through a physical archive. She also introduced the power diagram the team created, and talked about the political ramifications of creating an archive. Many archives are created from the personal collection of documents donated to an institution, and the issue of who is included and who is excluded from the history that they capture is paramount.

Ricky gave a small presentation of digitizing archives, focusing on the choice to “go digital” rather than the actual technical process of turning things digital. Verifying access was a large concern – who can access the archive? How do we verify their intetions? Do we need to verify their intentions? Another large point was the privileging of textual documents in archive collections. The team hopes to focus on the digitization of images, which will help to increase the identification rate of these materials.

Kiara introduced the interview questions that the team hopes to use in the next stage of their project. As opposed to a traditional interview set up, they have constructed their questions to maximize the creation of a dialogue between the user of the archive and the creator of the archive, two groups that may not have been able to dialogue previously.

Urmilla then focused the group towards two areas of feedback the team was soliciting: the usefulness and structure of the presentation given here to help the team give the presentation in an extended format in March, and the format and content of their interview questions. Any feedback on the wrap was also welcome.

What did the group say? Check out the video in Bluestream!

Any further feedback for the team can of course be sent to the team, or to grocs.info@umich.edu

This week is a more laid back affair for the entire group to bond, chat informally and challenge one another in the epic arena of Rock Band.

Posted in Design Reviews by on the February 4th, 2009

Font 1 or Font 2 – GROCS Meeting January 23

Another week and tons of progress on the GROCS front. August 23, 1966 has been moving rapidly towards a multi-touch table interface. Slowly Kinetic Ambient Pavillion showed us a working model of one of their panels that will eventually comprise their structure, complete with working SMA. Digitizing Knowledge is about ready to start the interview process, and will be hosting a design review this week, January 30. Group Loops have their iPod Touch units in hand and completed a crash course in existing music software for upper-level users. Our Changing World of Sounds has started to move towards a final wrap design, a “sound gallery” of sorts, as well as starting to research the connection between psychological state and sound environments. ReFab is experimenting with both reusable materials and software schema in order to move forward with their database concept.

We also led a sample design review, critiquing this site! Hopefully this exercise got to the spirit of the design review: it’s a time to discuss issues that are plaguing a team, ask specific advice about design questions and present ideas at any stage of development without feeling the pressure of a formal critique. It isn’t a time for other members to solve the team’s questions, or present full solutions, but rather to discuss the possibilities and bring attention to topics or areas of interest that may have been overlooked. The Font 1 or Font 2 issue became a sprawling debate on serif or non serif fonts, but it was the type of discussion that many teams can contribute to, rather than a niche skill or idea that might be harder to discuss with the wide range of skill sets present in the group.

This week we’ll be interviewing each other, and giving feedback to Digitizing Knowledge as they have their first Design Review. Looking forward to see you there!

Posted in Weekly Meeting Recap by on the January 28th, 2009

GROCS 2009 Design Review Schedule

Design Reviews are open to the public!   3- 5 PM Fridays

  • Jan 30: Digitizing Knowledge
  • Feb 13: GroupLoops, Slowly Kinetic Ambient Pavilion
  • Feb 20: August 23
  • March 6: Digitizing Knowlege, Changing World of Sound
  • March 13: Refab
  • March 20: Gallery Exhibition Planning
  • March 27: August 23, Changing World of Sound
  • April 3: GroupLoops, Slowly Kinetic Ambient Pavilion
  • April 10: OPENING
  • April 17: Refab?
Posted in Design Reviews, Events by linda on the January 25th, 2009

Fun and Factual: The First All-GROCS Meeting of the Year

The first meeting of the 2009 GROCS season was a rousing success – a full house, and every team had made significant progress since we met last. We saw models, heard about tire destruction, talked about the possibility of archiving of paper scrolls, realized how distracting background noise is even in DL-1, thought about our place in the universe and discussed iPods – and this was just the first meeting. With energy like this, our weekly meetings should be a stimulating and rewarding place to meet and share ideas.

I am hoping to capture bits about each team to publish in a weekly update, gleaned from the meetings on Fridays. In addition, look for links to the web presence of individual teams to appear here in the next few weeks. There should be a variety of media and information online for you to help keep track of the progress of the teams, from media assets in Bluestream to team wiki pages.

More extensive entries will follow Design Reviews, to serve as both a capture of the review and a place to direct any future thoughts for the team. I’m hoping to capture video of each design review for the archive as well. Design Review Guidelines and Worksheett are here for your convenience.

Head shots were also taken, so look for a brochure to be coming out soon!

As always, this Friday’s meeting (from 3 to 5 pm in DL-1) is open to drop-in guests. See you then!

Posted in Weekly Meeting Recap by on the January 21st, 2009

All-GROCS Meetings begin Friday 1/16

Beginning Jan 16, GROCS teams will be gathering in Design Lab One every Friday, from 3 – 5 PM. The meetings will include a little bit of administrative business, and a majority of idea-sharing. Most meetings will include opportunities for teams to solicit feedback on particular decision points in their projects. Drop-in guests are welcome to attend!

At the January 16th meeting, we also plan to photograph everyone — for the 2009 brochure. Smile!

Posted in News by linda on the January 9th, 2009

welcome GROCS 2009

The six projects selected this Fall will begin work in January. As diverse as the projects are, they share intersecting themes, including: the nature of digital archives and archiving, the value of immediacy, the significance of scale, and the allure of elegant transitions.

We invite you to follow their progress and their diversions, here. But first – good food!

GROCS 2009 Reception
Wednesday, December 10

Design Lab One
4:00 – 5:30 PM

That’s in the Duderstadt Center, Bonisteel Blvd., 48109

Posted in Events by admin on the September 18th, 2008
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