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K-State Today

February 27, 2017

Interactive showcases and presentations about visualization technologies

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Experts from multiple disciplines will present research on technological environments that surround the user with sights and sounds at Aesthesia, a multisensory event.

It will start at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

Aesthesia will include numerous interactive showcases, including virtual reality games, an augmented reality sandbox, a drone activity and other offerings. It will start with 10 five-minute presentations in the museum's UMB Theatre. Light refreshments will be served.

"This is an exciting opportunity for people to explore revolutionary work that relates to storytelling, science, gaming and design and is being conducted here at K-State," said Brent Chamberlain, assistant professor of landscape architecture and regional & community planning, who is an organizer for the event.

"The name Aesthesia means a multisensory, visually rich aesthetic experience, and that's what we hope this event will provide," Chamberlain said.

The event's speakers include, in chronological order:

  • Michael Wesch, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and social work, who will present "Immersive Storytelling." Wesch says that using virtual reality, 3-D environments and gaming software can help a person craft immersive stories that inspire understanding, empathy and compassion. 

  • Nathan Howe, associate professor of architecture, who will present "The Architecture Studies of Tomorrow…Today." From environmental sensors to 3-D printing to virtual reality, Howe says the shift in the practice of architecture design is rapidly evolving and grants a depth of design analysis that was previously unfathomable. 

  • Shalin Hai-Jew, instructional designer for the Information Technology Assistance Center, who will present "Formations and Deformations of Social Network Graphs." Hai-Jew will show how social network diagrams are created from Twitter, Wikipedia, Flickr and other social media platforms with NodeXL — an open source add-on to Microsoft Excel — and then how these social network graphs may be "deformed" for aesthetic purposes. In the showcase that follows, she will share data visualizations from computers that "read" texts. This latter project involves the computational analysis of text sets using several software tools in her additional presentation, "'Mass Surveillance' through Distant Reading." 

  • Howard Hahn, associate professor of landscape architecture and regional & community planning, who will present "The Virtual Landscape." Hahn welcomes attendees to discover how landform and plants can be acquired, manipulated and represented in a virtual environment with various view conditions for scientific applications, storytelling and public review. 

  • Ben Ward, instructional technologist for the College of Business Administration, who will present "The Secret Lives of Stories." Ward invites attendees to slide down a rabbit hole on a journey of multilinear storytelling and transmedia experiences. 

  • Nathan Bean, instructor of computer science, who will present "Phonemic." This gaming application teaches awareness of phenomes, which are the smallest unit of sound that makes a difference in the meaning of a word, along with their visual representation, graphemes, through an interactive, manipulable interface of several 1-inch sensor-equipped video cubes. 

  • Michael Gibson, assistant professor of architecture, who will present "Invisible Energy: Visualizing Energy, Daylight and Heat Flows in Buildings." Gibson will share on new visual tools and technologies that allow architects to better communicate buildings' energy consumption. 

  • Carlos Castellanos, assistant professor of art, who will present "Transdisciplinary Experimentation in the Arts," an overview of science and technology-based artworks that promote public engagement with a focus on ecological and biological arts. 

  • Shawn Hutchinson, associate professor of geography, who will present "Visual-Tactile Learning with High-Tech Sandboxes." Hutchinson says incorporating sight and touch helps students better understand digital representations of data.

  • Chamberlain, who will present "Immersive Visualization: A Conduit for Exploring Perceptions of the Environment." Chamberlain invites attendees to explore 3-D virtual worlds that are being used to better understand the role environment plays in helping people develop a sense of place and reduce stress.