This land is your land: What parks mean to “we the people” in tough times
Parks were made in tough times. Could they just as easily be destroyed in tough times? That is up to you. Learn from history, get inspired, or take an analytical look at the numbers – in all cases you will find a compelling case for taking an active role in your public lands.
Miranda Crotsley, Miranda Crotsley is the Program Coordinator at Jennings Environmental Education Center, a state park near Slippery Rock, PA. Miranda has previously worked as the Chief of Outdoor Recreation Programming for the Bureau of State Parks in Harrisburg, and as the Program Coordinator at Presque Isle State Park in Erie. She serves on the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sport, and was recently awarded Recreation Professional of the Year by the PA Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She earned her degree in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. In her spare time Miranda enjoys backpacking, camping and canoeing in public lands all over the country.
Robot Self-Reflection : Heather Knight and her aspiring-actor friend Data the Robot will lead you on a crash course through some of the best robot videos of all time. What does the current state of robotics innovation look like through a robot’s very own eyes?
Heather Knight, Heather Knight runs Marilyn Monrobot and has founded the world’s first Robot Film Festival. She is conducting her doctoral research at CMU’s Robotics Institute, investigating the intersection of Robotics and Entertainment. Past work includes: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Syynlabs, Aldebaran Robotics, and MIT Media Lab. She is also an NSF Graduate Fellow.
assemble, a new venue in the Penn Ave Arts District, is a place where one can engage their intrigue through hands on activities about art and technology. Physical and nonphysical social and creative connections are fostered through film screenings, happenings, workshops, lectures, and community activities. assemble will activate the community with the contributions and presence of the audience and makers. With specific times for young and old makers alike, learning or making does not have to end when the work or school bell rings, it can become integrated into every aspect of life and time in the day. Founded on the concepts of sustainability, community, science, architecture, new media, and lowtech/hightech art, assemble is a place for CREATION! Our goal is to empower he current and future makers of Pittsburgh to think and ask-“Someone made up everything in the world around you, you could too. How would you redesign the world? What is holding you back?”
Nina Marie Barbuto, Co-founder of the I Made It! Market, Nina Marie Barbuto is the executive director of assemble, a community space for arts and technology. Her own media projects includes architecture, film, sound, and art installation often with the idea of recycling noise into the system or elevating the vernacular spectacular.
Solid-Liquid-Gas: Three States That Matter
People are educated to become solid forms—to become whole, composed, and defined by a very specific set of boundaries. Throughout life, family, mentors, and peers carefully control the temperature and pressure of your environment until you finally become a cute little solid. The conditions that have solidified you become familiar and comfortable. Solids, however, often go out into the world on their own to find that there are many situations they cannot fit into. Solids are often too rigid to adapt.
In this presentation, I focus on the other states of existence worth being—the liquid and the gas. I also discuss the possibility of state transition—of becoming a liquid or becoming a gas. Finally, I map the states of matter onto a theory of happiness and well-being that aims to delight, entertain, and inspire. By the end, you may find yourself getting a little melt-y.
Laura Scott, Laura Scott is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design and is currently working as an information designer and project manager at a firm in Pittsburgh. Laura lives to find patterns and she enjoys using metaphors and analogies to make helpful life frameworks. A perfect day for her includes time to daydream, make something, eat pizza, write a list, and hear a good story.
Animal-Inspired Defensive Dresses
Playful, cocktail party-camouflaged dresses with hidden talents depict ways humans could benefit from and appropriate animal defensive behaviors into their clothing. My three wearable art pieces are designed to react when the wearer is intimidated and can then either inflate like a blowfish, imitate the defensive quill-erecting behavior of porcupines, or mimic the ability to self-amputate a limb like a lizard.
Amisha Gadani, Amisha Gadani is an artist interested in curious creatures and their unique adaptations from swarming behaviors and elegant defense mechanisms, to superorganisms and animals of the deep sea. Through her drawings, videos, and kinetic wearables, she aims to inspire curiosity in her hand-picked wonders of the world. She currently works at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU here in Pittsburgh, and previously worked at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.
An overview of Pyrotopia, Pittsburgh’s First Annual Festival of Fire Arts. Pyrotopia will be staged on Friday October 7th and Saturday October 8th, 2011 at UnSmoke ArtSpace in Braddock, PA, the first festival on the East Coast dedicated to visual and performing art using fire as a medium, presenting fire’s diversity in unexpected applications, and celebrating humankind’s primal fascination with this medium.
Pyrotopia will entertain, enchant, and educate attendees in the use of fire and related media such as electricity and light. My presentation will explain and illustrate activities at Pyrotopia including:
- fire dancing, spinning, hooping, swallowing
- interactive fire sculptures and games
- fire-related demonstrations
- gallery show of fire-inspired imagery, sculpture, video
- workshops and lectures on fire science, history, & safety
Susan Englert, Susan Englert is an architect, visual artist, event producer and community development specialist. She has completed more than ten commissioned art installations in the past four years, produced five successful cultural events with dancers, musicians and artists, and received numerous grants and residencies. She is a lead organizer of Pyrotopia.
That’s So Meta!
What social significance does the “meta” movement in filmmaking have? Documentaries like “I’m Still Here” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop” as well as narrative films like “Synecdoche New York” and “The Fountain” challenge us to relate to films not just as stories, but as constructs, by reflecting the story’s emotional content in the film’s stylistic approach. How does these films reflect tensions in our scientific, economic and ecological crises today? This presentation will explore the relationship between social changes and cinema innovations, and relate them to a provocative experimental documentary that is happening in Pittsburgh right now.
Director/co-producer, Caroline Savery has been an avid filmmaker-activist since 2000. She has produced dozens of creative short videos, winning awards for both film and academic achievement. As a long-time community activist in Pittsburgh, PA, she has always been passionate for merging social issues with compelling cinema.
Float and the Planes
Float will be a documentary exploring the competitive international subculture of indoor, free-flight duration aircraft.
Benjamin Saks, is the co-creator and producer of Float. He is in his second decade with indoor free-flight aircraft and has competed in national and world championships. As a member of this community, Ben brings knowledge and intimacy of the sport, as well as extensive management experience to the creation of Float. He has managed large design projects and clients for Taktl LLC and WET Design. He holds a Bachelors of Architecture with Honors from Carnegie-Mellon University. His work has been displayed and published internationally.
Demystifying Depression is a safe haven for stories of trials + triumphs with mental illness. Specifically focused on the liberation that each person discovers for themselves, the goals of the blog are twofold: 1) provide hope for others who suffer in silence, shrouded in stigma + stereotypes; and 2) establish common language to build open dialog in our communities to break down the walls that keep many people in bondage to this very manageable aspect of the human condition. By capturing first person accounts of where individuals have been, how they have coped and how they successfully manage today, Demystifying Depression ‘breaks the silence to dispel the myths + misconceptions of mental illness.’
Stephanie Rexroth Mission: Change the world, one story at a time. Passion: Writing to give voice to causes that empower people & inspire change. Stephanie Rexroth is principal of On The Vine Creative, a Pittsburgh-based consultancy specializing in advocacy writing; supplemented by design, social media marketing and event coordination.
Storytelling and Chronic Illness
Already more than 90 million Americans live with one or more chronic illnesses . At some point, nearly everyone will encounter a chronic illness either directly or through a family member or close acquaintance. Through my Carnegie Mellon graduate design thesis, I found that storytelling is incredibly important in coping with illness, and social communities are being used as a platform for sharing these narratives. Sharing one’s personal story is linked with improved health and chronic illness control, in part because “stories help break down that denial by engaging the listener, often through some degree of identification with the storyteller or one of the characters.” It is a crucial aspect of peer support, as it is sharing knowledge and experiences with an illness. With Pittsburgh being such a technology and health-focused community, if we can design spaces to share our stories, we can create a shift in how we view illness and remove stigma that instead fosters healing.
Lauren Chapman, Lauren Chapman is a Graduate Design student at Carnegie Mellon University, soon to be employed at [will insert company here soon!]. She is a Pittsburgh native that did most of her growing up in San Diego, California but faithfully returned for cold Christmas’, humid summers, and graduate school. She has worked within print design, journalism, and business consulting focused around conversation and human centered design methodologies She is passionate about design that positively impacts the world—specifically around healthcare.
Nucleus is a project to create a new world-class center in Pittsburgh at the junction of art, technology and fabrication. This tion tools for artists and technologists; teach classes in art, technology, fabrication, hybrid subjects and techniques; and serve as a central meeting, lecturing and congregating space for artists and technologists.
Nucleus will occupy a large warehouse space within Pittsburgh (preliminarily estimated at about 15,000 s.f.). The plan is to open the space within two years from now.
In addition to serving its primary mission as outlined, Nucleus has the potential to incubate and spawn entrepreneurial ventures, attract and retain talent to the Pittsburgh region, revitalize its surrounding neighborhood and support Pittsburgh businesses and institutions through teaching, fabrication and rapid prototyping capabilities.
Eric Singer, Eric Singer is a musician, artist, engineer and programmer and the Founder of LEMUR: League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon, Berklee College of Music and New York University. He has over 20 years of experience in electronic musical instruments, interactive systems, robotics and pyrotechnics.
Fear of snakes is hardwired into the human psyche. In this Ignite Pittsburgh presentation, Jonny Goldstein will explore his own fear of serpents, using his own hand drawn illustrations to accentuate the viperous coils of his personal snake-o-phobia.
Jonny Goldstein, is a graphic facilitator, artist, and writer who recently moved to Pittsburgh. He helps companies solve problems and seize opportunities through visual visual notes at meetings and at conferences. Jonny lives in Pittsburgh and teaches workshops in the Masters of Industrial Design (MID) program at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. More Jonny info at envizualize.com.
Childhood Education and handwork.
Learn about how Waldorf Schools use handwork in childhood education.
Roberta (Bobbi) Konefal-Shaer, Mrs. Konefal-Shaer is the handwork teacher at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.S. in biology and her master’s in education of the deaf from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent 20 years teaching and supervising programs in special education in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. While on a break from teaching to raise her two young daughters, she found a group of like-minded mothers at a playgroup at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. She began her Waldorf teaching experience leading the playgroup at the school. Later, Mrs. Konefal-Shaer became the director of legal compliance, and in 1998 she began teaching handwork while substituting during another teacher’s sabbatical. She received her Waldorf handwork training in applied arts at Sunbridge College in New York in 2003. Her two daughters are alumnae of the school.
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