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Dartmouth Faculty Embrace Design Through New Interdisciplinary Projects

Jan 07, 2022

The Design Initiative at Dartmouth (DIAD) is sponsoring the creation of new cross-campus activities at the intersection of design thinking, engineering, and the liberal arts. In its inaugural round of project grants to faculty, DIAD will support four design projects that will enable Dartmouth teacher-scholars to bring new insights and perspectives to their research and creative practice.

Nick Camerlenghi Basilica

Prof. Nick Camerlenghi (Art History) will receive DIAD funding for a photogrammetry project to create a virtual reality experience of the Basilica of St. Paul. (Image courtesy of Nick Camerlenghi)

"These projects provide a glimpse into the diversity, creativity, and interdisciplinarity of scholarly work in design by Dartmouth faculty from across the institution. We are thrilled to be able to highlight and support these projects and excited about the future of design at Dartmouth."

Dartmouth Engineering Professor Sol Diamond, Co-Director of DIAD

Nick Camerlenghi (Art History) will use DIAD funding to help develop an interactive, diachronic, virtual reality experience for students and scholars alike of one of Rome's most significant churches — the Basilica of St. Paul. Such a project has never been undertaken at this level of detail and complexity. Users will be able to walk into the digitally scanned current building, interrogate the features they see before them to learn about their history, fly through roof trusses, venture into the sarcophagus of St. Paul himself, and — most extraordinarily — they will be able to travel to select moments in time to experience earlier phases in the building's history, such as its moment of inception in the fourth century, its golden age during the medieval period, or the eve of the fire that devastated the building in 1823. This project is co-sponsored by DIAD, Dartmouth's Data Experiences and Visualizations Studio (DEV Studio), and by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation.

Jacque Wernimont (Digital Humanities; Film and Media Studies) will work on an exciting new project titled "Flesh, Fiber, Information" (FFI). Wernimont will lead an interdisciplinary team of collaborators in critical digital studies, dance/choreography, sculpture, and new media arts to explore and animate the information embedded in fleshy and fibrous ways of knowing. In so doing, the project will cultivate a collective, arts-centered understanding of historically marginalized knowledge and communication practices. Spending a year in collective study, FFI will culminate in a proposal for new, transdisciplinary and pathbreaking creative works and a possible digital book. The DIAD support will facilitate a master class by University of Washington design professor Daniela Rosner and support student-focused design sessions on the theme of FFI. This project is co-sponsored by DIAD and the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth.

Rafe Steinhauer (Engineering Sciences) will build on the work he began with Ted Munter and Leslie Jennings-Rowley '96 during the "Range and Radar" life design course they offered to Dartmouth alumni in the summer of 2021. Steinhauer will lead a team of collaborators, including the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact and the Office of Alumni Relations, to create a Range and Radar toolkit, translating lessons they've developed in the courses into materials that they and others can use with more alumni and other audiences, such as students in the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact’s Senior Leadership cohort. This toolkit will include: a card deck of themes and questions participants have discussed in Range and Radar; a next-version workbook 3 with activities and guidance; and a series of short supplementary commentary videos that the cards and workbook will link to with QR codes (Steinhauer). This project is co-sponsored by DIAD, the Dartmouth Office of Alumni Relations, and the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact.

Tricia Treacy (Studio Art) will use the grant to support a collaborative project co-directed with Arzu Ozkal, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at San Diego State University. The project, entitled "Conditions, Attempts + Alternatives through Collaboration," will provide a new collaborative opportunity for invited participants in the fields of journalism, politics, music, visual arts, performance, literature, and electronic media to create original content about a certain topic. Treacy and her collaborator will research through making in their studios, engaging in experimental approaches of documenting research, prompts, techniques and interactions. Their research-based focus will be on creativity as a practice of thinking through making, wherein meaning is discovered and uncovered through direct interaction with artifacts, materials, processes, collaborators, and the broader world. After this initial phase, they will invite others, including members of the Dartmouth community, to participate.

DIAD supports design-based curricular, co-curricular, and scholarship opportunities for Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff — with the aim at fostering a joy of learning and making grounded in addressing complex social issues.

In addition to faculty design project grants, DIAD funding opportunities include course development grants for faculty — in partnership with the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL) — as well as independent design project grants for students. All Dartmouth students and faculty are encouraged to apply.

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