The TEC-CH Blog

has been moved to a new address

We hope you'd enjoy our new blog.


Wednesday 31 March 2010

The TEC-CH Blog has moved!

Dear readers,

It is a late notice, but the TEC-CH Blog has returned to its mothership under the same domain as the Università della Svizzera italiana, at

Coming with the new home is a major overhaul on the blog's layout and richer content. We hope you'd enjoy it.

See you there!


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Tuesday 2 February 2010

QUT PhD scholarship in ubiquitous technology for sustainable food culture

QUT PhD scholarship in ubiquitous technology for sustainable food

The Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation (iCi) at
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) invites applications from
outstanding IT graduates around the globe for a three-year PhD
scholarship. The successful applicant will commence their candidature
at QUT in the 2010 academic year to be part of an international
research project on designing ubiquitous technologies for sustainable
food culture.

Titled ‘Eat, Cook, Grow: Ubiquitous Technology for Sustainable Food
Culture in the City,’ this is an ARC Linkage project jointly funded by
the Australian Research Council (ARC), Intel People and Practices Lab,
Queensland Health, Food Connect, City Food Growers, and James Street
Cooking School.

More information about the project is available at

The stipend is $27,222 per annum, tax exempt for three years

Applications close on Monday, 15 March 2010.

Full job ad at:

Assoc. Prof. Marcus Foth
Principal Research Fellow

Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Queensland University of Technology (CRICOS No. 00213J)
Victoria Park Rd, Brisbane QLD 4059, Australia
Phone +61 7 313 x88772 - Fax x88238 - Office K506, KG -

Sunday 29 November 2009

Making and sharing digital stories at TEC-CH

Every year at TEC-CH, for the Multichannel Communication Laboratory, students work with a web-based story authoring tool (1001stories) to create digital storytelling applications on a theme of their choice. Students work in groups following a suggested workflow made of: gathering textual contents, creating the editorial plan, writing the texts, selecting the images, recording the audio, uploading the media items online using the 1001stories tool, and doing a final quality check. The creation of the storytelling applications needs to respond to a predefined design format, made of a list of stories (first level of information) and sub-stories for each given story (second level of information).
Both the design format on which the stories are built, as well as the authoring workflow are seemingly rigid and yet, story authors may come with unexpected strikes of originality. This year students approached the authoring process creatively from step 1. One group used, for example, mind mapping as a way to brainstorm on the contents and gradually bring them towards an organized form. Several groups used interviewing experts as technique for contents elicitation – a technique we often use for creating professional storytelling applications in our laboratory (e.g. TEC-Lab storytelling works), but which is however time and resource-consuming and thus seldom used in educational settings by students.

I hope you will enjoy watching the narratives:

Corpo, automi, robot: a support for the exhibition by the same name, by Polo Culturale of Lugano, it gives an overview of the exhibition path and artworks, but also a view into the historical approaches to the human body and robotics, from an arts-based perspective. (In Italian)

Graffiti Pocket Gallery: a glimpse into Graffiti world, history, worldwide presence and significance, through a beautifully made narrative, using plenty of anecdotal evidence and a rich gallery of 222 pics.

The Ellora Caves: the presentation of the Ellora caves, an archeological site in the Indian state of Maharashtra, one of the largest rock-cut monastic sites in the world, place of worship for three religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism.

Cremona & Violins: an incursion into the past and present of Cremona as city of music and violins, home for famous violin-makers as Stradivari and Amati. You can also learn how a violin is made in a typical liuteria cremonese.

11 Principles of KFPE: a helping tool for applicants to the KFPE funds (Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries). These 11 principles for research in partnership between Switzerland and developing countries have been compiled from the KFPE documentation and retold in storytelling format.
(Photograph by Bia, the Multichannel Lab class)

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Tuesday 20 October 2009

Workshop about mechatronic performances at SUPSI

SUPSI, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland and Master of Advanced Studies in Interaction design presents, on monday 26th October, Sistematurgy - Redesigning the body, a workshop about the mechatronic performances developed by the catalan artist Marcel li’ Antunez Roca.
The workshop offers an overview on the interactive software, robotics systems and technology that Marcel li’ has been developed since the early nineties for his perfomances.
Marcel li’ Marcel.lí Antúnez Roca (Moià, 1959) is well-known in the international art scene for his avantguard mechatronic performances based on the combination of such elements as Bodybots (body-controlled robots), Systematugy (interactive narration with computers) and dresskeleton (the exoskeleton body interface).

He worked on different themes ranging from the use of biological materials in robotics, as in JoAn? l’home de carn (1992), telematic control on the part of a spectator of an alien body in the performance EPIZOO (1994) to the expansion of body movements with dresskeletons (exoskeletical interfaces) sed in the performances AFASIA (1998) and POL (2002).
The videos of his performances are available at

The workshop Sistematurgy - Redesigning the body is addressed to the young designers, artists and software developers selected for TEC ART ECO, a three-year project structured on a series of travelling cultural events within the Insubrica region focused on the role of new technologies applied to Art, Science, Communications and Environmental Sustainability.

Tec-Art-Eco offers three big interdisciplinary festivals (visual and performing arts, dance, theatre, music, design and architecture, photography, cinema, philosophy, literature and poetry, economy, experimental sciences and communication) correlated with productive labs, workshops and discussions with important artists and international researchers, aimed at creating a new generation of young artists and cultural operators who will have specific and innovative knowledge in the artistic and environmental fields.

The workshop is free for students SUPSI and USI. Entries are limited to 40 participants.
For more information and registration: serena.cangiano{at}

Monday 12 October 2009

A Trip to Lucerne

Chapel Bridge, Lucerne
Image Source: flickr (raveneyes_48)
On the weekend of September 25 and 26, 2009, students and instructors from the TEC-CH programme went to the city of Luzern, located in Central Switzerland. Famous for its beautiful Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), the city was also vibrant with culture and made an exciting destination for our annual field trip, under the course titled Interactive Communications for Museums, this year co-taught by Peter Samis (SFMoMA), Shelley Mannion (British Museum), Kris Wetterlund and Scott Sayre (Sandbox Studios).

In addition to the delights of travel, the trip to Luzern was also an immersive learning experience for students, and perhaps for instructors as well. Our itinerary included visits to the Museum of Art Lucerne (Kunstmuseum Luzern), the Swiss Transport Museum and the Hans Erni Museum, with an optional visit to the Bourbaki Panorama. With such an eclectic mix of museum types, students had the opportunity to experience various styles of interpretation, to observe visitor behavior in diverse settings, and to imagine different ways that interactivity can enhance each museum experience.

Kunstmuseum Luzern

Our first stop was the Museum of Art Lucerne. Housed on the fourth floor of the Lucerne Culture and Congress Center (KKL), the building itself was a masterpiece by architect Jean Nouvel. There were three exhibitions on display during our visit: A Hans Erni retrospective, Silence, and Nox Borealis.

In order to experience the difference between an unguided visit and a guided tour, students entered the exhibitions one-hour before their scheduled appointment with docents. During the hour, students were free to roam the museum and were asked to record their experiences at a mobile phone prompt that vibrated every 10 to 15 minutes. The exercise stemmed from a constructivist approach to learning, giving students time to consciously reflect on their experience while unconsciously learning as they were immersed in the museum environment.
Once the docents arrived, we began a guided tour of all three exhibitions. The difference in experience became evident almost immediately, with our very helpful guides pointing out connections between various artworks and telling us stories behind paintings.

Bourbaki Panorama

The next day we took a detour from our planned itinerary to visit the Bourbaki Panorama Luzern. As Peter Samis commented, essentially it was the equivalent to multimedia in the 19th century. Commissioned by entrepreneur Benjamin Henneberg and created by a team of painters led by Geneva artist Edouard Castres in 1881, the panorama depicted the internment of the Bourbaki Army in Switzerland. As a circular painting set up in a rotunda, the panorama used optical tricks and technical innovations of its time to give visitors the illusion of being at the center of the event. To heighten a sense of immersion, the painting also extends into a faux-terrain where visitors can see a realistic set with figures and props, such as a group of soldiers gathering around a fire, or guns on the snow-covered ground as soldiers lined up at the internment. In addition to the fascinating sight of a panorama, there was also a museum located underneath. With dioramas, videos and a lot of wall text, the museum supplemented the panorama with historical contexts and facts of the Franco-Prussian War, the Bourbaki Army, and the Panorama in Lucerne.

Swiss Transport Museum

After our visit to the Bourbaki Panorama, we went to the Swiss Museum of Transport, a completely different museum environment compared to the rest of our trip. The Swiss Museum of Transport celebrates the technological achievements in all modes of transportation and communications. It is a venue dedicated to families, especially those with young children, with many interactive features designed to entertain and educate young audiences.

One particularly engaging example of the exhibitions at the Swiss Museum of Transport was the Auto Theatre, featuring various ground vehicles displayed on a multilevel parking garage. Visitors in the theatre can vote for the vehicle of their choice, from the car, motorcycle, to even a baby carriage, and then they can watch the winning result being retrieved from the garage, followed by a brief presentation about the historical contexts of the vehicle. The sheer scale and the mechanism were magnificent sights to watch, and the competitive element in the votes really captured visitors to stay and follow through the narratives of the theatre.

Auto-Theatre at the Swiss Museum of Transport

Image Source: flickr (Peter Samis @ ICM2009)

Hans Erni Museum

Our final stop, the Hans Erni Museum, was at the same site as the Swiss Museum of Transport. It was dedicated to one of the most popular Swiss artists of its time, Hans Erni, whose work included a wide range of styles and themes.

During our visit at the Hans Erni Museum, Kris Wetterlund led a VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) session with the group, where we simply looked at a painting and spent time to think about what we have seen: symbolisms, who were the people depicted and what they were doing, and many other studies into the painting’s details. The session sparked much curiosity about the painting amongst students, and many also pointed out that VTS would be effective in creating an interest in interpreting artworks and historical artifacts. While the results of a VTS session may or may not be accurate, it has definitely created a lingering sense of curiosity that leads participants to find out more.

More Information About the Trip and ICM2009

All of our photos from the field trip can be found at flickr, under group name ICM2009. We also had Twitter presence during lectures, hash-tagged #ICM2009. Further, our final student presentations were live-blogged and the complete transcripts are available here.

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Friday 2 October 2009

Live-Blogging ICM 2009 (Friday, October 2, 2009)

We will be live-blogging student presentations from our course in Interactive Communication for Museums on Friday morning, starting at 3pm (GMT+1). Word has it that there will be lots of creative ideas flying around! Please stay tuned.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Felipe Gimenez alla Galleria Doppia V

Felipe Gimenez Parola di madre / parola di padre
La Galleria Doppia V questo autunno decide di stupirvi proponendo una performance dell’artista Felipe Gimenez che è stata già proposta in Spagne e Argentina: in breve l'artista coinvolge varie persone nell'elaborazione di un'opera d’arte collettiva di grande formato della quale il pubblico diviene coautore, offrendo una serie di frasi a tema che verranno inserite sulla tela. È un atto collettivo che vuole dare un senso diverso al gesto artistico, che si trasforma così in un contenitore di gesti liberatori e poetici, una costruzione di gruppo che, esorcizzando le frustrazioni, riempirà di ironica ilarità gli autori nei propri confronti.

A partire da lunedì 28 settembre, in diversi punti della città, l’artista comincerà la raccolta delle frasi sul tema Parola di madre / Parola di padre per poi trasferire tutto sulle tele.

La sera di venerdì 2 ottobre, in presenza del pubblico, si inaugurerà l’esposizione dei risultati e nel contempo si continuerà durante tutta la serata nella composizione delle opere.

Sperando che questa iniziativa possa suscitare il vostro interesse, cordialmente salutiamo.

Eugenia Walter

Galleria Doppia V

Inaugurazione: venerdì 2 ottobre dalle ore 18. Sarà presente l’artista.

Durata: dal 2 ottobre al 7 novembre 2009.

Sede: Galleria Doppia V, via Moncucco 3, 6900 Lugano

Orari d’apertura della Galleria: da lunedì a venerdì, dalle 10.00 alle 12.00

e dalle 14.00 alle 17.00 (o su appuntamento telefonando allo 091 966 08 94)