The Graduate Research Fellowship Award encourages research culture and provides intellectual and financial support to first year graduate students. The Fellow supports faculty in their research creating opportunities for mentorship and professional development in research based art practices for in-coming graduate students who are selected through the admissions process.

2016–17 Shapiro Fellows


Kathryn Schaffer (Faculty), Fellow Nathan Phillips and Fellow Billie Pate's Abstract Physics will tackle questions of visual representation and communication as they apply to the physics of light. Professor Schaffer is working on a text on the subject, envisioning artists and designers as a primary audience. The challenge in this effort is figuring out how to convey abstract and technical physics concepts through drawings rather than mathematics. Leveraging the resources available within an art and design, their research will focus on analyzing visual representations related to light. They will build a critical vocabulary for describing visual representations in physics, and directly apply what they learn to design new explanatory approaches.

Cathy Moon (Faculty) and Fellow Jessica Sandacz's research focuses on the development, assessment, and evaluation of a network of Chicago Art Hives, which are free community art studios focused on social inclusion and community resilience. As part of the facilitation of these community-based sites, they will document and evaluate the success of these programs through a range of qualitative and quantitative data sources and analytic strategies.

Linda Keane (Faculty) and Fellow Kirinia Von Slomski's River Walking & Soundscape Ecology is a creative research practice that involves listening, and recording, while moving through a place at a walking pace along the Chicago River. Their field of inquiry is concerned with the ecological, social cultural contexts of acoustic environments having three components of research: recording, visualizing river health, and creating sound mapping installations with Chicago River.

Mary Patten (Faculty) and Fellow Greg Ruffing's The Continuing Story: The Ferd Eggan Archive Project works to organize, preserve and promote an archive of the life's work of Ferd Eggan. Fred was a writer, teacher, activist, multimedia artist, and tireless advocate for people with HIV/AIDS. His creative output included experimental films, audio CDs and prolific writing. He published numerous articles, essays, poetry and fiction, including two books.

Carron Little (Faculty) and Fellow Madalyn Brooker produced a manuscript collating 12 critical articles discussing public performances from the Out of Site Series, from different perspectives on public performance. The manuscript is now in the production of the publication phase and they are editing the manuscript; fact checking critical analysis, then submitting it to publishers and working with designers.

Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford (Faculty) and Fellow Rebby M. Montalvo will develop a body of work called Neomancing the Vegetables. The body of work will use groupings of objects to explore haptic intelligence, everyday geographies, biomimetics and monuments. Major themes of the project will include biomimicry, feeling feelings for robots, and Artificial Intelligence. The research will assist with robot empathy, kinetics and sculpture, as one part of the body of work being developed collaboratively with Professors Sangbae, Kim, Rebby and Jeremiah. They will use Kim's robot cheetah developed at MIT to examine different iterations of movement and activity, skinning the exoskeleton of the robot using different materials and processes including vacuum forming and different printing methods from silicone inks.


2015–16 Shapiro Fellows


Shiben Banerji (Faculty) and Fellow Anna Foran's research project Fragments and Wholes establishes a new critical vocabulary for evaluating the quality of architectural works that were once dismissed as eclectic but might now be appreciated for their creative bricolage, heterodoxy, and syncretism.

Shawn Michelle Smith (Faculty) and Fellow Erika Raberg will be working toward a book, Photographic Returns, about the history of photography and the photography of history. The book investigates a trend among contemporary photographers who look back to early photographic processes, historically important photographic sites, and historically important photographs.

Aimee Beaubien & Lisa Stone (Faculty) and Fellow Gal Amiram's research merges Stone's project to advance the documentation of objects in the Roger Brown Study Collection with Beaubien's project to photograph, research and draw connections between materials that have made their way into the Roger Brown Study Collection. The project will be comprised of researching the provenance of objects in the collection, including identification of materials, techniques, functions, and cultural identities.

Ben De Mott (Faculty) and Fellow David Siever will work in partnership with industrial ceramic manufacturing facilities in Tangshan, China to produce several lines in a series of designed objects called "There Ware". Their research will serve the development of a larger design collaborative with Hongwei Li, a professor of sculpture at Capital Normal University in Beijing China. The project will also include creating an open source library of 3-D scanned pottery forms and fragments in AIC's collection.

Katrin Schnabl (Faculty) and Fellow Saumitra Chandratreya will build a dossier of traditional Saudi Arabian dress, and will develop these selections further into a current studio design archive for a capsule collection. Katrin collaborates with Riyadh, a Saudi-Arabia based Art of Heritage organization building contemporary women's fashion capsule collections that are modern while being informed the history of dress in the Saudi-Arabian peninsula.

Judd Morrissey / Mark Jeffery (Faculty) and Fellow Mev Lunas' work will explore technology, language and the body primarily through an examination of the life and work of gay computing pioneer Alan Turing in conjunction with staged algorithmic mutations of Guillaume Apollinaire's 1917 play, Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Tirésias' Tits), a feminist, gender-queer spectacle for which the author invented the word surrealism. The research will lead up to a multi-platform project of the performance-technology collective Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r).

Helen Maria Nugent (Faculty) and Fellow Hyogeun Song will continue research on "Manifesting the Look of Love," which examines how new technologies can produce more personal and meaningful objects and experiences by utilizing tools that 'record' the invisible and intangible aspect of human interactions and use the resulting data to produce customized and unique objects. They will track the gaze of participating couples and then fabricate unique objects in the material associated with the duration of the couples' relationship.

Anne Sullivan (Faculty) and Fellow Meredith Stewart will partner with the Society for Architectural Historians (SAH) on the Chicago Architects Project, a virtual "family tree" charting the relationships among Chicago architects, their mentors and protégés that was started by Stanley Tigerman in the mid-1980s. The intent is to generate biographical information on lesser-known architects for whom little is available. There will be an extensive chart developed with SAH as a prototype for similar projects in major cities throughout the US.

Odile Campagnon (Faculty) and Fellow Longtan Yang will participate in Re-imagining the Public Transit Experience, an initiative launched by the Chicago Good City Group. The goal is to develop experiences that deepen ties between people and place while encouraging transit ridership with two place-making components in Jefferson Park and Forest Glen, including a weeklong installation at a CTA station that will provide storytelling materials such as visual maps, graphics, signage, and short narrated films for commuters on cultural paths that create connections to public transit and urban walks.

Jonathan Solomon (Faculty) and Fellow Joey Asal are developing an exhibition on contemporary design to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of SAIC and the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial "Outside Design". These exhibitors will be invited to install "laboratories" which will serve simultaneously as exhibits of their practice and as spaces for the production of new knowledge through collaborations with the School, Museum programs, and partner organizations.


2014–15 Shapiro Fellows


Matthew Mehlan, MA Arts Administration and Policy, working with Professor Shawn Decker (Sound and Art and Technology Studies) on electronic systems (hardware and software) for art installation

Katelyn Barbaria, MArch, working with Professor Anders Nereim (Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects) on parametric modeling of building performance data in Grasshopper and Revit for simulating energy performance and defining optimized building shape

David Gabriele, MFA Visual Communication Design, working with Associate Professor Adelheid Mers (Art Administration and Policy) on interviews with stakeholders in communities about art ecologies on projects and policy

Rita Crocker, MA Art Education, working with Associate Professor Karyn Sandlos (Art Education) to pilot the Chicago implementation of Scenarios USA, a NYC-based nonprofit youth literacy and film organization that creates conditions for youth in under-served communities to tell stories about their lives

Jarad Solomon, MFA Art and Technology Studies, working with Assistant Professor Chris Baker (Art and Technology Studies) on projects in the "openLab" helping to develop publicly available data that can take the form of creative tools and techniques for art and design practice