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Six Westphal Faculty Receive 2021 Research Awards from Drexel University

August 13, 2021

Six faculty from Westphal College of Media Arts & Design are recipients of 2021 faculty research awards from the Drexel University Office of Faculty Advancement. Funding from the Faculty Scholarly & Creative Activity Award and Summer Research Award support tenure/tenure track faculty development of research, scholarship, and creative activities.


William Mangold, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, Design & Urbanism, received a 2021 Freddie Reisman Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award. The award will support the research and writing of a book, The Interiors Theory Primer, which is under contract with Routledge. It will be the first book to provide a comprehensive introduction to interiors theory, drawing upon a range of precedents and scholarship to articulate the major ideas and themes of interior space. The primer addresses central questions of experience and inhabitation, before moving to emerging areas of concern such as virtuality, biophilia, and social justice. As such, it is timely and highly innovative, and will engage and expand our understanding of interior architecture and design. 


Digital Media Associate Professor Glen Muschio received a Summer Research Award supporting the production of two digital 3D models for the development of a virtual storytelling space encouraging critical examination of ideas about art and science in the context of class, race and religious beliefs and practices that informed C.W. Peales celebrated Philadelphia Museum of Art and Science. The Museum was housed in Independence Hall 1801-1827. References for the two models include a silhouette portrait of Moses Williams and an oil portrait for which scholars believe Williams to be the unnamed sitter. The project will also refer to written descriptions of the Long Room Gallery by C.W. Peale and others. Moses Williams worked in the Museum while enslaved and, following manumission, as the silhouette portrait concessioner in the Long Room Gallery. The Williams model will provide a visual representation of an African American man who actively contributed to the development and success of Peales renowned museum, but whose contributions have been largely unrecognized in historical records. The second 3D model will represent the section of the Museum where Williams produced silhouette portraits for museum visitors.


Nicole Koltick, Associate Professor of Architecture, Design & Urbanism, received a Faculty and Scholarly Activity Award in support of “EverySpace for Everyone.” This project will undertake a thorough and thoughtful assessment of current mobility and urban infrastructural realities, seeking to draw out and prototype empathetic, atmospheric, poetic and sensitive augmentations (to the environment and not the individual), which put forward new models of accessibility. In many ways the built environment has been designed as a world which impairs access, and the accommodations it affords are inadequate and do not contribute to an accessible experience of mobility and inhabitation. This project will contribute a new orientation towards spatial justice interventions.  

Nick Jushchyshyn received a Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award supporting a collaboration with Digital Media Assistant Professor Emil Polyak and Fashion Design Professor Kathi Martin. The interdisciplinary team will research and develop a solution to perform high fidelity, three-dimensional, digitization of historically significant physical textiles from the personal archive of renowned textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen. The images created will be used for archiving and exhibiting in digital formats on the Drexel Digital Museum for open access education and research, and for application in 3D digital media. The project will involve building a semi-automated, portable camera automation system that can be taken to collections’ sites for digitization; and developing a data processing workflow to convert captured data into Linked Open Data formats and file sets that can be readily used in standard 3D software tools.