At the heart of the Greenhouse Studios design process is the concept of “collaboration from the start.” All too often collaborators are brought on board at a late stage merely to implement or put the finishing touches on scholarly projects, not to conceptualize them. This is particularly true with respect to designers and developers, whose labor and expertise are typically used in a service capacity to support the work of credentialed faculty researchers. There’s nothing wrong, of course, with hiring a developer to build a website for a scholarly research project, or having a design technologist create colorful and engaging data visualizations. Indeed, designers, developers and other technologists can enhance conventional research outputs, especially at the publication and dissemination stages, by making them more accessible, more engaging and more comprehensible to broader audiences.
But what happens when collaborators with expertise in design and technology are part of a project team from the very beginning? Moreover, what happens when technologists work alongside other diverse researchers, whose respective fields may lie adjacent to one another, but rarely overlap?
Wes Hamrick is a Greenhouse Studios Mellon Fellow who will be managing the Cohort B projects that started this year. A dedicated team member, Wes recently answered some questions related to his role at Greenhouse Studios.
d’Archive is a weekly show curated by the Archives & Special Collections at the UConn Library to broadcast sound recordings from within collections around themes and interviews conducted amongst archivists, researchers, librarians and music aficionados. This project was established to promote unexpected collections in everyday spaces throughout the campus and surrounding community.”
– Graham Stinnett via iTunes
When you walk into the Greenhouse Studios space, you are greeted by a giant hand-painted mural of our design process model. As your eyes follow the flexible path and big colorful circles which represent the phases of our process, you are transported to a world of inquiry, collaboration, innovation, and creativity. River Soma, one of our graduate assistants and a UConn Studio Art MFA candidate with a concentration in sculpture, is the mastermind of the work of art. River has been working with Greenhouse Studios since the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester and has been a fantastic addition to the studio- her curiosity and artistry has proven to be valuable assets. She is the curator of the current art exhibition in our space, which previews the works of the third-year MFA Studio Art students. The works of art really light up the space, just like River’s positive charisma! Read the following interview questions below to learn more about River Soma and the design process model mural she painted.
River Soma (Left) juxtaposed next to her famous work of art look alike
Enter Greenhouse Studios and you'll almost always spot Design Technologist Tom Lee diligently at work in the corner project room. Step up to its glass wall and inside you'll see architectural blueprints, virtual reality (VR) equipment, and Tom, who's often wearing a pair of VR goggles and staring into space. He's not just day dreaming, he is actually working on Greenhouse Studios’ first and furthest-developed collaboration: The Charles V Coronation. This project involves experts from the History, Music, Research Services, and Digital Media & Design departments. Their goal is to recreate the coronation Mass of Charles V, which took place in 1530, as realistically as possible, including the original architectural space, artifacts, and music of the event.
Greenhouse Studios, in partnership with the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts, is pleased to announce two funded M.F.A. studentships in either Digital Media & Design or Studio Art. The studentships will provide full tuition, health benefits, and a half-time graduate research assistantship with Greenhouse Studios | Scholarly Communications Design at UConn. Greenhouse Studios Graduate Assistants provide artistic, design, creative expression, and technical implementation assistance to Greenhouse Studios projects. Working in a dynamic, team environment alongside faculty, library, editor, and student colleagues, graduate assistants contribute to the production of collaborative multimedia research objects. Other responsibilities include supporting day-to-day operations of the Greenhouse Studios, its directors, and its collaborative workspace. This is an exciting opportunity for an aspiring artist or scholar to work in close collaboration with experts from a range of fields and to experiment with new modes of expression and communication.
Brooke Foti Gemmell is a Design Technologist at Greenhouse Studios who joined us from the Archives and Special Collections at the University of Connecticut. She is an enthusiastic and passionate member of the team. Brooke recently answered some questions related to her role at Greenhouse Studios.
Greenhouse Studios is growing, and we’re looking for a creative, collaboration-minded project leader with proven organizational skills and a terminal degree in the humanities or social sciences, fine arts, or library and information science to join us. The new Greenhouse Studios Mellon Fellow will collaborate with our interdisciplinary project teams to conceive and develop technical approaches and design solutions to support innovative, multimodal scholarly works. As part of a major Mellon Foundation-funded initiative to redefine scholarly communication in the digital age, the Fellow will be expected to bring energy to the work of managing projects while learning new technologies and new strategies for facilitating collaboration. The appointment term of the position is two years, with a targeted start date of October 2017. It is a great launchpad for someone who wants to build a portfolio of high-quality work over which they can show real ownership and which they can take as they move on to the next stages of their career.
Greenhouse Studios is growing, and we’re looking for an energetic, creative maker to join us as a core member of the Greenhouse Studios staff. The new Design Technologist will collaborate with Greenhouse Studios’ interdisciplinary project teams to conceive and develop technical approaches and design solutions to support innovative, multi-modal scholarly works. This is a two year, grant funded position, part of a major Mellon Foundation-funded initiative to redefine scholarly communication in the digital age. Energy, open-mindedness, a willingness to learn new technologies, a proven track record of collaboration, and excellence in one or more creative or technical disciplines is more important than knowledge of any particular technology or skill. We want someone to do great work of any sort, not adequate work of a particular sort. This is a great job for someone who wants to build a portfolio of high-quality work over which they can show real ownership and which they can take as they move on to bigger and better things.