This week was mostly “heads down”: working on the discussion paper. But I had a bunch of good meetings, too:
Sunil Sharma is spending the next several weeks helping OCAD build connections with companies. On Monday I gave him a brief tour of the main campus, and we had a great chat about the possibilities and potential. He sees designers having a critical role in startups, and anticipates that their contribution will come to be seen on equal footing with business and technical people.
I had another great meeting with Monica, in which we outlined ideas for a new financing initiative. I had lunch with Jesse on Friday, and we talked about the Urban Ecologies conference in June, which he’s leading. And I had coffee with Miriam on Wednesday — it turns out we have a lot of common interests.
And we had our second peer critique this week. Each project got a full half-hour, so we were able to get much more in-depth, and all of the teams got valuable feedback. Thanks to Loretta, Mark & Jess, Mandad, Stephanie and Henry!
MPP Rob Leone visit the Imagination Catalyst (Photo by Miriam Kramer)
On Tuesday MPP Rob Leone visited OCADU and the IC; Mark presented a brand new version of Qualia, which is looking great.
This week I met with Frances Ryan, who offered some great insight and advice. She also told me about a few IC-related committees that I’d never even heard of. I also had good meetings with Stephanie and Monica.
I spent a good portion of the week working on developing one-pagers about each of the IC participants’ projects. These will be distributed to the IC’s advisors and their networks, to seek out the specific kinds of assistance that participants require. Continue reading
The highlight of this week for me was organizing the first Imagination Catalyst peer critique. We had four presentations: Jess & Mark on TeamWave, Henry on LIFEbike, Stephanie on Thinking Different, and Mandad on Heal.X. It was the first time that I’d been in the room with all these folks at the same time, and in a few cases it was the first time IC participants were hearing about each others’ work in any detail. Continue reading
It’s been an incredible week of meetings.
The biggest was the Imagination Catalyst Advisory Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon, which featured Helmut and Sara presenting an update on the IC to the (very distinguished!) group. Included were some slides depicting the IC’s role in relation to many other OCADU programmes, which was particularly valuable to me, as I’m still getting a feel for how all the parts fit together. To illustrate the work that’s going on in the IC, Mandad presented Heal.X, Henry presented the LIFEbike, and Mark presented Qualia. The council had some helpful feedback, and were clearly interested in more opportunities to participate in a hands-on way. Continue reading
I’ve started working with the Imagination Catalyst — OCADU’s business incubator and centre for commercialization and entrepreneurship. It’s an exciting environment: OCADU has grown rapidly over the past few years, and the IC is one of its newest additions.
Last night was the premiere of Dissolve — a dance piece by Elizabeth Chitty and the Niagara Dance Company, and my first time collaborating with a choreographer. The artist’s notes:
Our time is one of rapid change and dissolving boundaries. Dissolve affects the boundary between you, the audience, and the performers by requiring engagement through a communications technology of our lives – cell phones. Call the number below and you will be asked to choose one of four thread – Body as World, Body within Borders, Body of Tender Minds or Body of Two minds – then to choose a performer. These threads express content that is spiritual, political, psychological or biological, and are reflected in the choreographic and video imagery. The video is the only part of the work to play in fixed order.
Working with Elizabeth, I designed and implemented the phone system which facilitates the audience interaction: receiving calls from the audience, sending requests to the performers, and keeping track of performers’ state.
As it was my first time working on a phone system for use in live performance, I decided to try using Twilio, hoping that it would offer better capacity and reliability than platforms I’ve used for other projects. I’ve been totally impressed — text messages are delivered very quickly and reliably, and it handled the call spike at last night’s performance very well.
It was exciting and impressive (even for me!) to see the dancers (and cellist) integrate the technology so fluidly into their performance. There will be two more performances of Dissolve this weekend; part of Merge.
Elizabeth’s blog post about Dissolve.
A short article about Dissolve appeared in yesterday’s St. Catharines Standard: Please turn on your cellphones.