Ph.D. Candidates

Karl Baumann thumbnail

Karl Baumann

Karl Baumann is a designer, filmmaker, and researcher. His current work lies at the intersection of speculative design and community art. Working across cinema, games, and mobile media, his methodology is based on collaborative design and user participation that explores the future of civic engagement, urbanism, and networked technology. He is a co-founder of the Leimert Phone Company (LPC) community design collective.

Karl holds an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) from UC Santa Cruz. He is currently an Annenberg Fellow in the Media Arts + Practice (MAP) PhD program at the University of Southern California. Karl works with the World Building Media Lab (WBML), the Mobile and Environmental Media Lab (MEML), the Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics (MAPP) project, and the Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL).

Biayna Bogosian thumbnail

Biayna Bogosian

Biayna Bogosian is an architect and interactive media designer focusing on creating digital and physical media experiences that incorporate environmental data in order to change the way we perceive and construct our cities.

Biayna is currently pursuing a PhD in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She holds a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University (2010) and a Bachelor of Architecture from Woodbury University (2008). Since 2011, Biayna has taught architecture, computational design, digital fabrication and interactive media courses at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, USC School of Architecture, Woodbury University School of Architecture, and Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She has also conducted number of design workshops in Armenia, Hungary, Spain and China.

Biayna is a founding partner of Los Angeles based studio Somewhere Something (www.somewheresomething.com/) which focuses on designing multi-scale urban interfaces.

Brian Cantrell thumbnail

Brian Cantrell

Brian Cantrell is a media artist, researcher, and creative technologist who works in the areas of sonic interaction design, data visualization and sonification. His work is rooted in exploration at the intersections of science, art, and design. His broader research interests include soundscape, posthuman phenomenology, phenomenology of perception, and embodied interaction.

Laura Cechanowicz thumbnail

Laura Cechanowicz

Laura Cechanowicz is a researcher, a collector, and a designer. She works across mediums, including animation, film and virtual reality, production design, and sound design. Thematically and formally she explores identity, neuroscience, embodiment, and the ways people record and transcribe personal histories. Her experience includes fieldwork in the US, China, Colombia, and throughout Europe. During her iMAP PhD, from 2014-2016 she worked extensively with Alex McDowell, learning world building through practice and as McDowell’s iMAP Teaching Assistant.

Laura received her MFA in Animation from the University of Southern California; her MA in Film Studies from the University of Iowa; her BA with honors from the University of Michigan majoring in Film & Video, Psychology and German; and she began her PhD in Media Arts and Practice at USC in 2013. Her activities during her PhD have included co-producing the website InteractingWithAutism.com, directing two documentaries including an experimental narrative, production designing the feature film Caihong City and the short film "Perfect World," and sound designing the interactive game Miralab and Alex McDowell's 2014 Virtual Reality Leviathan Project. She is highly influenced not only by media and history, but also by neuroscience and psychology.

Sarah Ciston thumbnail

Sarah Ciston

Sarah Ciston is an experimental writer and media artist working in prose, poetry and Python. Her work investigates digital intimacies and entanglements through projects like an interactive poem of the quantified self and a chatbot that explains feminism to internet trolls. Published in ZYZZYVA, Hobart, Arroyo Review, etc., and a graduate of the MFA in Hybrid Writing at UC San Diego, she has been named one of SF Weekly's "Best Writers Without a Book."

Rosemary Comella thumbnail

Rosemary Comella

Rosemary Comella is a new media artist with a background in photography, video and graphic design. Since 2000 she has been working as a researcher, project director, interface designer and programmer at the Labyrinth Project, developing interactive projects such as Tracing the Decay of Fiction: Encounters with a Film by Pat O'Neill and The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Current of the River. Rosemary also co-developed the interactive installations Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-1986, and Cultivating Pasadena: From Roses to Redevelopment, which was exhibited at the Pasadena Museum of California Art in 2005.

Rosemary is currently creative director for Jewish Homegrown History: Immigration, Identity and Intermarriage, a public on-line archive and museum installation that aims to illuminate one hundred and fifty years of Jewish history in California.

Behnaz Farahi thumbnail

Behnaz Farahi

Behnaz Farahi is an architect and interaction designer, exploring the potential of interactive systems and their relationship to the human body. In particular she is interested in the implementation of emerging technologies in contemporary art/architecture practice. Her goal is to enhance the relationship between human beings and the built environment by implementing design/motion principles inspired by natural systems. Application areas include architecture, fashion and interaction design. She also specializes in additive manufacturing and robotic technologies.

Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been featured in several magazines and online websites including WIRED, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, Motherboard, Dezeen, Frame Magazine, the Creators Project and many more. Behnaz Farahi has won several awards. She is also the recipient of a Madworkshop Grant and a Rock Hudson Fellowship.

Currently she is an Annenberg Fellow and PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Media Arts and Practice at USC School of Cinematic Arts. She has also been an Artist in Residence at Autodesk, Pier 9. She has an undergraduate and two Master degrees in Architecture.

Aroussiak Gabrielian thumbnail

Aroussiak Gabrielian

Aroussiak Gabrielian is an architectural and landscape architectural designer with a background in visual arts. She holds an M.L.A and M.Arch from the University of Pennsylvania. An Annenberg Fellow at the University of Southern California, Aroussiak is currently pursuing her doctorate in the Media Arts + Practice program of the USC School Cinematic Arts, where she is focused on innovative applications of new cinematic media within landscape visualization and design. Her current research utilizes expanded cinematic media to develop new ways of reading and visualizing the spatial, situational, temporal, and tactile phenomena of landscape to interpret and structure sites.

Aroussiak is involved in various design projects as co-founder and director of foreground design agency (www.foreground-da.com), a transdisciplinary practice operating between the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and the arts. As part of foreground, she deploys design methodologies that use future scenarios as tools to better understand the present and that use design as a means of speculation.

Prior to initiating her own practice, Aroussiak worked as a lead designer at Snøhetta in New York City on various architectural and landscape architectural projects including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art expansion and the Guadalajara Museum of Environmental Science. Aroussiak’s work has been recognized through various design awards, publications, and exhibits. She has practiced architecture and landscape architecture internationally and has taught at University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, and University of Southern California.

Samantha Gorman thumbnail

Samantha Gorman

Samantha Gorman is a writer, scholar and media artist who composes for the intersection of text, cinema and digital culture. Her work addresses contemporary reading and writing practices and how these practices impact culture in an increasingly automated world. Her current work includes the cinematic novella PRY, conceived as a re-imagining of the e-Book.

Samantha completed her MFA in Literary Arts at Brown University. She has taught courses in Digitally Mediated Performance, Digital Literature and Literature Foundation at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Catherine Griffiths thumbnail

Catherine Griffiths

Catherine Griffiths is a designer working at the intersection of computation and cinema. She is the principal at ISOHALE, a design studio based in Los Angeles working with new technologies and creative code to develop cinematic visualizations of scientific data and environmental processes. Her new cinematic practice addresses computation as a core language and technology of our time. Previously, she has worked for architecture and engineering firms on design visualization and pilot studies for coastal and marine technology projects. She was invited to present her research at the Institute of Oceanology, in Qingdao, China. In 2015, her design solution was a runner up in the USGS/Blue Legacy Visualizing Nutrients competition. She has a bachelor's degree in Fine Art from the University of the Arts London, a master’s degree in Architecture from The Bartlett, University College London, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles.

Hao Gu thumbnail

Hao Gu

Hao Gu is a filmmaker and media scholar interested in transmedia storytelling, cinematic narrative and the media industry. He is interested in exploring new intersections between conventional narrative forms and interactive or playable media.

Hao completed his MA in Broadcast and Television from Beijing Normal University. He has been working in film production since 2007; his work includes documentary, animation and full-length feature films.

Juri Hwang thumbnail

Juri Hwang

Juri Hwang is a sound and media artist. Her research focuses on questions of sound and the role of media in the formation of memory and mental images. Engaging in an analysis of the cultural shifts of media usage and technologies she investigates the relationship between means of representation and how we perceive and remember. Through the analysis of still images, moving images, stereoscopic 3D images and sound, her work develops a sensitivity toward the artifacts that media introduce into our perceptual relationship to our environment.

Juri has a BA in English and Communication from Hanguk University of Foreign Studies and an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California. She has been involved in several projects that explore narrative forms across a range of media platforms such as film, sound and interactive media. Her work includes the award winning project “Bleeding Through Layers of Los Angeles: 1920-1986”, “Three Winters in the Sun: Einstein in California” and “Venture to the Interior.” Her work has been shown in the United States, Germany, France and Korea. Juri's current projects comprise “Somatic Echo,” an immersive sonic experience exploring bone conducted sound, and she is investigating hearing and auditory brain stem implants and the power of sound for cognitive health.

Jeanne Jo thumbnail

Jeanne Jo

Jeanne Jo is an award-winning film director and media artist. She received an MFA in Digital+Media from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she was a President’s Scholar and recipient of an Award of Excellence. She has taught classes at Brown University, Emerson College, and the City University of New York school system.

Noa Kaplan thumbnail

Noa Kaplan

Noa Kaplan is an artist, researcher, and educator living in Los Angeles, CA. She analyzes and reconstructs overlooked, disappearing, and forgotten collections. Through virtual simulations, physical artifacts, and environments, she invites viewers to inhabit these collections, often at unfamiliar orders of magnitude.

Noa has participated in residencies and fellowships at IDEO, Jaunt, Autodesk, Electric Objects, and Eyeo. She has exhibited recent work at ACME., Rosamund Felsen Gallery, and the Hammer Museum. Her work has also been featured in Business Insider, Wired Magazine, and Discovery VR. Noa earned her BA in Sculpture from Yale University and her MFA in Design Media Arts at UCLA where she developed and taught original studio curricula from 2012 to 2016. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

Fidelia Lam thumbnail

Fidelia Lam

Fidelia Lam is an experimental media designer, artist and researcher exploring themes of persona, performativity, opacity and embodiment. In particular, she is interested in the intersection of space, movement and everyday performance, and the influence of transient spaces on the daily performance and perception of identity. Her practice utilizes interactive live performance and installation works to engage and invite participants to reflect on their role and experience within an environment. Fidelia holds an MA in Media Arts from the University of Michigan and a BMus from the University of British Columbia with a double Major in Piano and English Literature, and a Minor in Applied Music Technology.

Adam Liszkiewicz thumbnail

Adam Liszkiewicz

Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz is a co-founder of the award-winning game design and virtual reality studio RUST LTD., and has designed and developed work for clients such as Dave and Buster's, the Independent Television Service, and the Oregon Center for Applied Sciences. He is also the author of a forthcoming full-length collection of digital poetry and games, AFEELD, which will be published by the Collaboratory for Digital Discourse and Culture at Virginia Tech in Fall 2016. His work has appeared in Diagram, Hobart, InVisible Culture, Kotaku, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Seneca Review, and Word For/Word, and has recently been exhibited at the Library of Congress, the Center for Art and Media (ZKM), the "Aesthetics of Gameplay" exhibition at ACM Siggraph 2014, the Curtis R. Priam Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, the 2013 Modern Language Convention, the 2012 Games+Learning+Society Conference, the 2012 Electronic Literature Organization Conference, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, the CalArts Library, the UCLA Game Art Festival, and GameFest 2012, where a work-in-progress entitled THE HOLD received the People’s Choice Award (“Best in Show”). His work has also received an &NOW Award for Innovative Writing, an Award for Socially Responsive Communication/Design/Art at Memefest 2014, and the Grand Prize in the 2013 Unity3D DirectX11 Competition. Adam holds an M.F.A. in Media Arts Production from SUNY Buffalo, and is currently a Provost’s Fellow in the Media Arts and Practice PhD program at the University of Southern California.

Geoffrey Long thumbnail

Geoffrey Long

Geoffrey Long is a storyteller, scholar, and designer exploring the future of storytelling and how storyworlds and technology co-evolve. Having been the Creative Director and a Research Fellow for the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California (where his projects included exploring storytelling with such new screens as virtual reality, augmented reality, wearables and the Internet of Things, and how new creators and makers are flourishing using a mix of these new screens, new business models and emerging platforms), the Lead Narrative Producer for Microsoft Studios (where his projects included the Xbox One, SmartGlass, HoloLens, Quantum Break, Adera, Ryse and Halo), in a think tank under Microsoft's Chief Experience Officer and Chief Software Architect, a researcher and Communications Director for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a magazine editor and a film producer, Geoffrey now serves as the Creative Director for the World Building Institute and the World Building Media Lab in USC's School of Cinematic Arts. In his various lives, he has consulted for such clients as BET, FOX, HBO, MTV, Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting, Havas, GSD&M, Cisco, DirecTV, IBM, the Los Angeles Times, the City of Los Angeles, and Walt Disney Imagineering.

Geoffrey's writing has appeared in the extended edition of Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Joshua Green and Sam Ford; The Rise of Transtexts: Challenges and Opportunitiesfrom Routledge, co-edited by Benjamin W.L. Derhy Kurtz and Melanie Bourdaa; Revisiting Imaginary Worlds: A Subcreation Studies Anthology from Routledge, edited by Mark J.P. Wolf; The Comics Journal's Guttergeek; and The Journal of Transformative Works and Cultures, and he serves as co-editor of the Playful Thinking book series from MIT Press with William Uricchio and Jesper Juul. His white paper "How to Ride a Lion: A Call for a Higher Transmedia Criticism" was published in 2011, and his Master's thesis, "Transmedia Storytelling: Business, Aesthetics and Production at the Jim Henson Company," was released in 2007. Geoffrey has served on the editorial boards of Eludamos and The Journal for Transformative Works and Cultures, and he frequently speaks at such conferences as SXSW, CES, the Game Developers Conference, the LA Film Festival, Storyworld, Transmedia Hollywood, Futures of Entertainment, SIGGRAPH, SCMS, and FuturePlay. His worldbuilding work was included in an exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale.

Geoffrey holds a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from Kenyon College and a master's degree in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. He is currently a doctoral student in the Media Arts & Practice program at USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

Triton Mobley thumbnail

Triton Mobley

Triton Mobley is an artist, educator, and researcher in new media. His practice and doctoral research examines long term socio-economic and cultural implications of big data on marginalized communities both domestic and abroad. Triton’s interventionist and guerrilla campaigns have been exhibited at Art Basel Miami, Art Miami, and staged in Boston, New York, Providence, and Japan. Triton received his MFA in Digital+Media from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Triton has been a new media educator for over 12 years, often finding himself on the frontier of technological modernization in secondary education. In 2005, he was chosen as Miami-Dade’s Rookie Educator. In 2006, he collaborated with RISD’s Teaching+Learning in Arts+Design to create the Digital Project Open Door, a new media art after school program. In 2011, he was invited to build the first new media arts programming for Friends Seminary in New York, and in 2014 he was awarded a S.T.E.A.M in education grant to conduct research at the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. Triton has also been a member of RISD’s summer faculty in Graphic Design since 2012.

Triton is currently developing a research and practice platform for socially responsive infrastructure. A series of collaborative community strategies, designed to address gun violence through new media applications, supported by USC’s School of Architecture.

Lisa Müller-Trede thumbnail

Lisa Müller-Trede

Lisa Müller-Trede is a filmmaker and performance artist interested in the performative dimension of virtuality and the virtual in the live event. Her work focuses on the body in its live, recorded and augmented state. Often combining various media in live film shoots or performative exhibitions, she explores the body's physical limits. This is a core catalyst for her engagement with the body, the camera, the means of the editing room and devices and software allowing for augmented reality. In a recent long-term research project, she juxtaposed physical and cinematographic techniques of cutting to develop a cross-media performative practice.

Nonny de la Pena thumbnail

Nonny de la Pena

Nonny de la Peña was selected by Wired Magazine as a #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change and Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative.” for her work in immersive storytelling. As a founder of Emblematic Group, she uses cutting edge technologies to tell important stories—both fictional and news-based—that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers. Her company is also designing the platform of the future, one that is uniquely native to virtual reality.

A Yale Poynter Media Fellow and a former correspondent for Newsweek, de la Peña has more than 20 years of award-winning experience in print, film and TV. De la Peña is widely credited with helping create the genre of immersive journalism and her virtual reality work has been featured by the New York Times, BBC, Mashable, Vice, Wired and many others. Showcases around the globe include the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, The World Economic Forum in Davos, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, and Games For Change.

Szilvia Ruszev thumbnail

Szilvia Ruszev

Szilvia Ruszev is film editor, visual artist and scholar. Her professional work represents a comprehensive approach to independent filmmaking, with more than 30 films in many different formats to her credit. Her own artistic work relates to very personal moments, certain states of emotional solitude in relation to the Other, both in its particular and abstract notion. Her practice based research project on visualizing editing is seeking for non verbal ways to aquire sensual knowledge about montage.

Szilvia studied Hungarian and Bulgarian Literature and Linguistics and Filmtheorie at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest/Hungary) and completed Diploma at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, where she worked as faculty member in the last six years. She worked with internationally acclaimed directors such as Peter Greenaway, Anders Østergaard and János Szász and for the short film Wagah she got the Film+ Award for best Film Editing.

Clea Waite thumbnail

Clea Waite

Clea von Chamier-Waite is an intermedia artist, scholar, and experimental filmmaker whose artworks investigate the artifacts, materiality, and poetics that emerge at the intersection of art and science. She creates somatic, cinematic works that engage with climate change, astronomy, particle physics, and popular culture via immersion and sensual interfaces – as well as one inter-species collaboration with several hundred tropical spiders. Clea combines a background in physics and computer graphics with cinema, media art, and critical theory, bringing a unique blend of expertise to her projects from which cross-disciplinary synergies emerge. Her research examines the interaction of subject with the proprioception and memory within the architectural structure of an immersive cine-installation. Clea’s concrete practice combining art, science, and technology serves to both discover new correspondences and to develop the appropriate forms to convey them, inventing cinematic mechanisms in service of a new visual language.

Emilia Yang thumbnail

Emilia Yang

Emilia Yang is an activist, artist, and militant researcher. Her work has been interconnected with digital communications, performance, and public art. Her research focuses on participatory culture and its relationship to media, arts, and design. She is interested in how transmedia storytelling and postcolonial new media practices can foster social change and civic engagement. Her art practice utilizes site-specific interactive installations, documentaries, fictions, performance, and urban interventions to engage participants in political action and discussion.

Emilia completed an M.A in Communications at Penn State University. Her Masters project researched and archived the first social media protest to make it to the streets in her home country Nicaragua. Her work is published in the book Sites of Protest, part of the series ‘Protest, Media and Culture' published by MeCCSA Social Movements Network edited by Rowman and Littlefield. She is one of the creators of Downtown Browns an interactive series winner of the first prize at the "Diversity Challenge" organized by Games for Change, Interlude and Tribeca Film Festival. She is a HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) 2015-2016 scholar and member of the Media, Activism and Participatory Politics (MAPP) project.

Twitter: @rojapordentro