6 new professors join the School of Arts, Media and Engineering


September 3, 2021

ASU School of Arts, Media and Engineering Director Pavan Turaga has set himself the goal of giving all current and future students in the program a mastery of technology, a key pillar of the school’s mission statement.

“We want students to master technological tools, how to apply them and ask themselves, ‘What are the implications? “” Turaga noted. “All technological tools have some trade-offs, and it is increasingly clear, especially in the areas of media and social media, things driven by artificial intelligence, that these methods amplify certain biases that are already prevalent in media. We are creators who make compelling art, media, and products, but pay attention to the underlying assumptions that exist.

Top to bottom, left to right: Laura Cechanowicz, Ana Herruzo, Nicholas Pilarski, Luke Kautz, Joseph Watson and DB Bauer.
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To help achieve the school’s new goal, it welcomed several new teachers, all from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. These new faculty members will not only help arts, media, and engineering students grow, but will also help grow the new Mesa City Center project and programs at Arizona State University.

“Among the new professors of the School of Arts, Media and Engineering are several colleagues – Ana Herruzo, Laura Cechanowicz and Nicholas Pilarski – who will assist us for the ASU of the downtown Mesa facility and its programs, which is an exciting start, ”said Jake pinholster, associate dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. “We will be looking for a number of additional positions this year, and by the end of the building in 2022, we will have built a world-class team in Extended Reality (XR) technologies and related fields.”

Meet the new faculty

DB Bauer, Assistant Professor of Games and Interactive Media, School of Arts, Media and Engineering

Prior to pursuing graduate studies, DB Bauer worked for many years in television, radio and film production with New Mexico PBS, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation and other independent media. Bauer has extensive experience in both production and production, with a primary focus on audio engineering. In addition to media production, Bauer has training in digital media preservation for university archival collections.

Bauer builds on this professional experience in previous and current research and teaching, with a recent focus on the theoretical and social impact of new media theory and practice, speculative design, practical fabrication. and critical and 3D media – particularly the fabrication of 3D media in both physical and virtual space.

“For some reason, I can’t help but be drawn to the sonic gadgets and neon lights that transport us to elsewhere and to other places where things exist beyond, to quote Oscar Wilde,” the sordid perils of real existence, “said Bauer.” Not a pure escape – although escape certainly has its advantages – digital tools allow us to integrate these creative visions into everyday life and reimagine our common future. . “

Joseph Watson, Professor of Practice, School of Arts, Media and Engineering and Senior Advisor to the Dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Joseph Watson, better known as Joe Watson, will work with the arts, media and engineering in a number of ways, including mentoring students and sharing seminars, consulting faculty on institutional and external strategy, and working with university leaders to elevate the work in progress in the school. Watson has had a long career in strategy, business consulting, entrepreneurship, and leadership development and has been featured in media such as The Today Show, CNN, PBS, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Watson is the author of books such as “No Apologies: Unleash the Power of Diversity to Grow Your Business” and “Where are the Jobs Now”.

He has served as a senior advisor to the Dean of the Herberger Institute and will continue to assume this role. He is also a member of the board of directors of The Fast Company.

“I am thrilled to be working with (the school) at the intersection of creativity and engineering – understanding its unique role in educating the next generation of strong critical thinkers, ”Watson said.

Laura Cechanowicz, Assistant Professor, School of Arts, Media and Graphic Engineering and Information Technology Program

With a contract named jointly with ASU’s Graphic Information Technology program and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Laura Cechanowicz will help the school develop its research strengths in VR technology. / AR / XR and its applications. Cechanowicz is an artist, designer and world builder working in research, theory and practice across media including extended reality and immersive technologies, VR / AR preview, animation, installation multimedia, narrative and experimental film, and sound production and design.

Cechanowicz works in industry and academia, consulting, writing, and conducting workshops and lectures on the practice of world-building. Their conferences and workshops have been held at Disney, LASER, VRLA, at conferences and in communities around the world in the United States, Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, India, Denmark and Brazil. . Many of their world-building projects have resulted in immersive virtual reality experiences shown at the Sundance Film Festival and films, critically acclaimed interactive operas, multimedia collections presented at the Venice Biennale, design frameworks for augmented reality applications and digital multimedia books. Cechanowicz’s production design talent was recognized at the 2015 Berlinale.

Luke Kautz, Clinical Assistant Professor of Digital Fabrication and 3D Modeling, School of Arts, Media and Engineering

Luke Kautz is transitioning to faculty as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Digital Fabrication and 3D Modeling, having previously served as the Digital Design Fabrication Specialist at the head of the school’s FabLab. Kautz said he believes this direct knowledge and experience as staff support to students and faculty will lead to closer ties between everyone involved, helping to increase academic and research possibilities within the school, at ASU and beyond. His current explorations focus on the illusory notion of regenerative design; the crossing of disciplinary techniques for new practices; and the use of design technologies to create mutual generosity between ourselves and our natural and built environments.

Kautz is also a Principal Investigator at ASU’s Center for Philosophical Technologies, having participated in several research and design projects.

Prior to joining ASU, Kautz worked as a junior designer in Frank Gehry’s architectural office in Los Angeles, and prior to that he was a lecturer at the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University.

Nicholas Pilarski, Associate Professor, School of Arts, Media and Engineering and The Sidney Poitier New American Film School

Nicholas Pilarski is an award-winning filmmaker with a background in immersive media, music, film, theater and community work. He creates interactive and emerging media stories that attempt to address issues related to historical poverty and class trauma. His art is not “about” communities, but rather “about” them – helping to build ecosystems where the traditional boundaries between subject and author, teacher and student, and viewer and the producer are intentionally challenged and reinvented.

Pilarski co-founded and co-director Culture of peoples, an arts collective from Chicago and New York that works to reinvent shared narratives through collaborative art practices, whose work has been archived in the Smithsonian’s Permanent Collection: National Museum of African American History and Culture. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Museum of Modern Art, the Eye Institute Netherlands, the US Departments of Home Affairs and Education, and the Chicago International Film Festival. Pilarski is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Duke University, and his research interests include XR and Computational Media, Film and Media Theory, Classroom, Geographic Conflicts, Dialectics, Utopia. , phenomenology and cognitive neuroscience.

Ana Herruzo, Associate Professor, School of Arts, Media and Engineering and The Design School

Ana Herruzo holds a Masters in Design Research in Media Art from SCI-arc, a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in architecture from ETSAM (Madrid, Spain) and is currently completing his doctorate at ETSAM, as part of the doctoral program in architectural communication. Her training in architecture, design of experiences and interactive media in real time. Its main goal is to incorporate lighting, audio and video into physical environments, materials and human interactions.

Herruzo served as Chair of the Applied Computing Department at Woodbury and has won numerous industry awards for her extensive work in installation, live events, film, robotics and architecture. . She hopes to help the school build its strengths in designing experiences for Mesa programs.

As a hobby, she said she enjoys creating experimental audiovisual performances and playing in an electronic music duo called IvanaBytes. She is also the co-founder of an art collective called NaiveLaser and an interactive agency, VIRTULABS.


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