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3rd Annual Westphal College Research & Creative Works Showcase

Friday, February 28, 2020

10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Join us on Friday, February 28th at 10:30am for the third annual Westphal College Research & Creative Works Showcase. One faculty member from each of the College’s seven departments – Architecture, Design & Urbanism; Art & Art History; Art & Entertainment Enterprise; Cinema & Television; Design; Digital Media; and Performing Arts – will give brief presentations on their research and creative work. This is a diverse College with stellar faculty and this occasion is a unique opportunity to see some of the impressive work our faculty produces.


Nicole Koltick
Associate Professor
Architecture, Design & Urbanism

Dark Data: Technopositivism in Design
In this talk I will give a brief overview of my research practices which query a variety of phenomena arising from emerging computational ecologies as they intersect with the material. I seek to identify small areas of insertion and potential methodologies through which we might start to engage these incredibly vast and entangled organizations at a variety of spatiotemporal scales. The opacity surrounding most emerging computational ecologies eludes even their creators, as in the case of many evolving AI systems founded on neural networks which upon layering become too entangled to properly assess their decision making or JPEG compression algorithms and facial recognition systems which are founded on deeply biased and discriminatory source data and imagery. It has become increasingly necessary for designers to contend with their role in enabling and facilitating the seamless integration of these technologies within daily life. Discursive design practices offer up extensive critique to begin to expose the negative socio-ethical implications of pervasive Technopositivism in design.

Emil Polyak
Assistant Professor
Digital Media

Designing speculative interactive experiences
Emerging technologies are more than ever impacting human interactions, while public perception of automation, artificial intelligence, and human enhancement remains critical. In creative fields innovative ideas are often triggered by intersecting dissimilar phenomena filtered through aesthetic considerations. It can be argued that introducing Ai in artistic practice destroys spontaneity, intuition, and serendipity; consequently, the outcome is deliberate and premeditated. However, art is open to interpretations and through designing of unorthodox digital artifacts and experiences in contrast with main stream processes we can challenge existing beliefs and provoke new ideas to reach a better understanding of how our culture is affected by technology.

Alphonso McClendon
Program Director
Design & Merchandising

Retail Improv: Fragmentation, Consumer Analytics and the Customer Experience
Consumers dictating what they want, when they want it and where they want it will necessitate predictive analytics, projections of social leanings and expansive customization. Products with new meanings will be discovered, experienced and delivered in non-traditional spaces.

Laura-Edythe Coleman
Program Director
Arts Administration & Museum Leadership Online

Curatorial Voice: The Gatekeeping of Culture
What is curation? Is it a mystical performance? What is curatorial voice? Is curation merely the arbitration and articulation of good taste? In this research presentation, we will explore the work of curators in the crafting of curatorial voice – that omnipresent voice that echoes through our exhibitions. We, in the museum field, have long assumed that curatorial voice was constructed by taste, occasionally by scholarship, and often by chance – but we have never dared to approach the role of curators in a scientific fashion. In this presentation, we examine five museums, each unique in both their collections and stories – each identical in the gatekeeping mechanisms used to tell those stories. While we look to museums to be purveyors of culture, we must also look to those who gatekeep our culture, this research does just that.

Jennifer Morley
Associate Teaching Professor

Embodiment Culture
This research is centered on the use of embodied practices such as dance, Pilates, and yoga as entry points for connection to self and community. This presentation will highlight how practicing an active separation of biomechanical data from pedagogical perspectives creates a culture of investigation, curiosity, and inclusion. This research continues to assess how teaching fundamentals in this way gives practitioners a depth of connection to the material and the breadth of freedom to shape their own perspectives on their experience. I will share both emerging and established manifestations of this pedagogical framework from the Drexel Pilates teacher training program, studio coursework in the dance major, theoretical coursework in the somatics minor, and continuing education presentations.

Rachel Meirson
Graduate Student
Television & Media Management

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Future of Interactive Media
Before the advent of technology, the term “interactive” did not exist in the same way it does today. All forms of entertainment from theatre to sports were inherently interactive. The introduction of technology to the world became the catalyst for defining interactivity. With traditional television, the viewer does not have the same level of control over the medium as an audience member at a live performance, and therefore the viewer becomes conditioned to be a passive consumer of content. As technology has advanced, interactivity has been reproduced in traditionally passive media such as radio, film, and television to varying degrees of success. These attempts have relied upon technological advancements to redefine what “interactive” means. Within the next few years, new technologies such as ATSC 3.0, WIFI 6, and 5G will slowly roll out affecting the production and distribution of new content. As the television industry stands on the precipice of such changes, we can only speculate what interactivity will look like in the future. It could mean individually targeted television advertisements that will allow consumers to purchase products directly on their television. It could mean predictive, AI-generated interactive television content. These new technologies will affect the future of the television industry, the main question is how?

Jacob Lunderby
Assistant Teaching Professor, Art & Art History
Josh Weiss
Associate Teaching Professor, Art & Art History

Reclaiming imagery for 21st century interior spaces
Lunderby/Weiss Studio create two-dimensional, interior based wall designs and objects that reclaim the sacred and sublime in contemporary spaces. Like the historical painted Rococo ceilings and vignettes, their designs push toward epic narratives. The imagery works against the mass-consumer driven design of our time. Their crafted, visual experiences bridge the gap between inaccessible paintings and the individual who desires more in their live and work spaces.

Contact Information

Vivianna Bermudez

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Mandell Theater
3220 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Everyone