Make a toy exercise


Building on techniques developed in my first StudioLab courses of the mid 1990s, current workshops combine design, media, and conceptual exercises.

Exercises draw on the fields of performance studies, human computer interaction, experience design, literary theory, and information architecture and design.

Participants sometimes make a toy, perform a bad interface, or transmediate research into one or two smart media genres, ranging from theory comix to virtual installations to multimedia events.


Knowledge Matters Fellowship: Communicating Research for Different Audiences through Transmedia. Faculty Development Workshop Series, Cornell University, 2017- 2018.

Faculty workshop leaders focus on ways that professional websites, presentations, comics, and other forms of transmedia knowledge can enhance faculty fellows’ research, concentrating on the use of storytelling, images, and performance techniques to enhance research and its communication. Sponsored by the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, Office of Engagement Initiatives, Center for Teaching Innovation, and the Cornell University Library. More info here.

Thinking beyond the Paper: Exploring Digital Scholarship with Campus and Community Partners. Spendiff Institute, Siena College, August 2017. 

Hosted by Siena College’s Council on Teaching and Learning, this presentation and workshop focused on the use of digital scholarship and pedagogy for research, teaching, and community engagement. Workshop participants explored ways that transmedia knowledge could help scholars use artifacts from a local Underground Railroad Museum to connect with community members, researchers, donors, and the general public. 


Resistance and Tactical Media Workshop. The People’s School Teach-In, Cornell University, January, 2017.

Activists from Gandhi and King to ACT-UP and the Guerrilla Girls to Anonymous and Black Lives Matter have developed media tactics to resist colonialism, racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression. This workshop focused on identifying target audiences, honing rhetorical strategies, and developing transmedia campaigns to effect social and political change by any medium necessary. More info here.


Storytelling Up: A Collaborative Workshop with Anthropologist George Marcus. DesignLab, University of Wisconsin-Madison, June, 2015.

This collaborative workshop with anthropologist George Marcus explored the power and limits of using storytelling as a rhetorical device with decision and policy makers. Participants studied the digital rhetoric of Chai Jing’s 2015 documentary Under the Dome, and then designed magazine covers to translate and “storytell up” their own projects for specific audiences.

Kx4l3ndj34r Katastronauci: How to Do Things with Worlds. Theater, Performance, Philosophy Conference 2014. The Sorbonne, Paris, France. June, 2014.

This collaborative workshop with conceptual artist Ralo Mayer approached the 1986 Challenger disaster through a specific constellation of historical, fictional, and philosophical materials in order to reflect on contemporary creativity and world-building across the domains of performance theory, conceptual art, and experimental theater. More info here.


Workshop in Smart Media. Departamento de Ciencias Sociales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Lima, Perú. June, 2014.

This 90-minute workshop invited social science graduate students to transmediate an existing project into a magazine cover of their choice, thinking about how best to approach its audience. Participants were encouraged to bring a current or past project, something with substance, material or immaterial, a paper, data, images and stories, a laptop, scissors, paste, etc. More info here.


Workshop in Smart Media. Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, June, 2013.

This 2-hour workshop introduced graduate students in theater and performance studies to smart media and performative scholarship. We explored different examples using the two evaluative frameworks developed by DesignLab: UX (user experience) and CAT (conceptual, aesthetic, technical). More info here.




Workshop in Smart Media, HASTAC Conference (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), Toronto, Canada, April, 28, 2013.

Co-led by Rosemary Bodolay, this 2-hour workshop focused on frameworks for generating and evaluating smart media. We described studio-based critiques or “crits” where in work is shown and analyzed by the entire class so that students can develop critico-creative languages. We demonstrated our UX and CAT design frames and shared insights, models, and practices of evaluating media projects  with other HASTAC participants.

Wroclaw workshop

Seminarlab in Smart Media, Grotowski Institute, Wroclaw, Poland, Fall 2012

This week-long seminarlab workshop focuses on ‘smart media’ or emerging genres of scholarly communication, such as digital storytelling, theory comix, podcasts, Pecha Kucha, and interactive installations. We approach smart media from two perspectives: 1) exploring their historical and theoretical relation to twentieth and twenty-first century experimental texts by such thinkers as Barthes, Benjamin, Deleuze/Guattari, Doxiadis/Papadimitriou, DuPlessis, Hofstadter, Hayles, Latour, Mandelbrot, Mcluhan, and Ronell, and 2) experimenting with their aesthetic and technical connections to contemporary information design. Seminarlabs mix traditional seminar discussion with studio-based lab sessions. honing analytic and practical skills, students work both individually and collaboratively, studying and producing smart media projects based on their own research, as well as materials and issues raised in class. In the workshop, we focus on experience design, information design, and information architecture, as well as principles of design thinking.

Remediating Public Humanities – Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fall 2012

Remediating Public Humanities is a series of practical, hands-on workshops in emerging digital forms of scholarship, “smart media” such as blogs, graphic essays, and multimedia presentations. The goal of the workshop series is to equip graduate students with conceptual and applied skills that enable them to reenvision and remediate the form and content of their specialized research for audiences beyond immediate academic circles. Through studio-based projects and multimedia IT training sessions, students will explore emerging scholarly genres through conceptually and hands-on exercises designed to transforming existing research into a portfolio of media targeting specific audiences. Students will have the opportunity to translate their work into a variety of formats, including graphic essay, video esssy, multimedia presentations, and online portfolios. Thus, a term paper or major research proposal on the fascination with Mars during the Cold War period could generate research zine/comix, YouTube video, and Keynote event that brings that topic to young people and the general public, as well as colleagues. Ultimately, this workshop series will ask students to challenge and rejuvenate their own, individual projects and research to become new productions for both themselves and others.

Experimental Theory – Dutch Theatre Festival, Amsterdam, Fall 2010

This half-day workshop focuses on inventing a performative theory of the posthuman. Participants prepare by reading three theoretical texts: Gilles Deleuze’s “On the Death of Man and Superman”; Donald MacKenzie’s “Performing Theory?” From An Engine, Not a CameraHow Financial Models Shape Markets; and Ralf Remshardt’s “Beyond Performance Studies: Mediated Performance and the Posthuman.” Working in small groups, participants use Gregory Ulmer’s CATTt as a recipe or algorithm for generating a manifesto of the posthuman. For instance, Breton’s Surrealist manifesto stakes itself out via a Contrast (bourgeois culture), utilizes a central Analogy (dream language) and a guiding Theory (psychoanalysis) to articulate an emerging alternative, and has a Target (contemporary society) it reaches via a tale or some embodied form (the published text). Participants draw on the assigned readings and their own training and interests to supply different elements of their CATTt to collaboratively compose and present a theoretical manifesto of the posthuman.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Version 7.433h


the secret to theory is a good set of subwoofers