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HCII Seminar Series - Vernelle Noel

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Vernelle Noel

Vernelle Noel
Lucas and Rita Caste Assistant Professor in Architecture and Urban Design, Assistant Professor of Computational Design, Carnegie Mellon University


Tepper 1403

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"Craft, Culture, and Computing"

Craft practices and communities are embedded in histories and cultures of knowledges and innovations. Many of these practices, histories, and knowledges are at risk of disappearance due to dying practitioners, erasure, and technocentric developments. How might we employ computing to repair these practices? How might we repair computing research, conceptualizations, and frameworks by looking into craft practices and cultures? In this talk, I answer these questions by sharing my work in repairing craft and cultural knowledge using shape computation, digital design and fabrication, machine learning, and virtual spaces. I also share frameworks for repairing computing research, practice, and pedagogy developed from these investigations. I argue that our responsibility as researchers and educators involves situating, unearthing, and telling the histories, knowledges, and contributions of people and communities often erased or left out of our discourses. I also argue that while computational ideas and technologies can be mobilized toward social challenges, socio-cultural ideas and concepts can also address challenges in computing. In this talk, I reveal new dimensions and possibilities for thinking about craft, culture, and computing.

Speaker's Bio

Vernelle A. A. Noel, Ph.D. is the Lucian and Rita Caste Assistant Professor in Architecture and Urban Design at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture. She is a computational design scholar, architect, artist, and Director of the Situated Computation + Design Lab. She investigates traditional and digital practices, and their intersections with society. Using interdisciplinary approaches, she builds new frameworks, methodologies, and tools to explore social, cultural, and political aspects of computation and emerging technologies for new reconfigurations of practice, pedagogy, and publics. Her work has been supported by the Graham Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, and ideas2innovation (i2i), among others. She is a recipient of the DigitalFUTURES Young Award for exceptional research and scholarship in the field of critical computational design, and gave a TEDx Talk titled, β€œThe Power of Making: Craft, Computation, and Carnival.” Dr. Noel holds a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science in Architecture Studies from MIT, a Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University, and a Diploma in Civil Engineering from Trinidad & Tobago. Noel has held positions at Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Stuttgart, the University of Florida, Penn State University, MIT, the Singapore University of Technology & Design, and has practiced as an architect in the US, India, and Trinidad & Tobago. Noel is currently a board member of The Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA).

Speaker's Website

Sit.Co.De Lab website
Sit.Co.De Lab website