Living ArtsEngine 2021 Exhibition

The Collaborative Creative Projects have been the culminating event for Living ArtsEngine since its inception in 2010. Our students participate in many creative activities and interdisciplinary projects throughout the academic year with guest arts faculty and even alumni. These projects give the students in our community the opportunity to learn from each other by working closely together in interdisciplinary teams with their peer mentor. Each year they are given a prompt and work through common phases of creative process to create a visual representation of the topic.


Zaynab Alsaedy, College of Engineering
Abbey Seguin, Stamps school of Art & Design
Matthew Eggers, School of Music Theatre and Dance
Christina Sheckler College of Engineering/ Ross School of Business
Alli Torrey, College of Engineering
Emily Yi, Taubman College of Architecture

Through Our Lives

This prototype of “Through Our Lives” is a short video that allows the audience to witness the day of strangers around the world. It uses Google Street View, a feature in Google Maps that consists of “interactive panoramas from positions along many streets in the world”. Based on the term “revolve”, the video highlights that even though an individual’s life may differ from another across the globe, we are more similar than different. We all breathe, eat, and walk under the same sky.

Our team was provided the prompt “revolve”, and spent a lot of our time working with different meanings of the word. Since we all come from unique disciplines, during brainstorming, it soon became apparent that we all saw the word differently from each other. As such, we held multiple meetings focused on compiling a whiteboard of subjects related to the prompt — whether it be definitions or other pieces of art — as a way to get everyone thinking about the variety of ways we could use it. And while our final video is only a prototype, we worked to combine these different interpretations into one project. We found that video was one of the best mediums to do, not only because of our inability to meet in person, but because of the different skills it takes to plan and make a video, allowing everyone to make their own contributions.


Katie Ballard, College of Engineering
Zach Bauer, College of Engineering
Kevin Ji, College of Engineering Sarah Multer,
College of Engineering Kaitlyn Onela, STAMPS

The Time Machine

This is a web comic depicting how intertwined everything that we are trying to reform is within our society. It functions like a choose your own adventure story, where the choices you make affect the outcome of the story line and the world around you. We made this with google websites where we were able to use some of our programming skills and art skills to combine different things and get the website to work how we wanted it to. We decided on our project because we wanted to work in the aspects of how reform actually takes place, and how it is a never ending continuous cycle. This work as an interdisciplinary team really allowed all of us to embrace each other’s skill sets and find ways to make them all shine through in our project.


Dani Tutak, Stamps school of Art & Design
Harrison Biggs, College of Engineering
Alan Yang, College of Engineering
Anna Gaishin, Literature Science and the Arts
Joshua Sum, College of Engineering

Resin Redistribute

Everyone has a “junk drawer.” That place where you put things that have lost their use, “just in case.” We all know that those expired gift cards, empty pens, and broken tools will never be used, but we still hold onto them. In the pieces here we breathe new life into such objects. We have chosen to interpret our theme, “Redistribute,” as taking parts of one object and spreading them around. By incorporating each constituent part into something new (in this case a resin cast object), not only do we return value to the object, but we also allow that value to exist in multiple forms to multiple people. As such, the objects here aren’t the only ones produced. In all we made 25 pieces and have distributed them amongst family, friends, and community members.  

 When we first received our theme, our question was “what do we redistribute.” We eventually decided on the idea of “utility”, taking one unused object, and turning it into multiple useful objects; additionally, we decided only to use junk as a way to add an element of sustainability to the project. We eventually settled on incorporating our objects into resin casts (especially dice) as a way of incorporating the interests and skills of our group members. 


John Marinan ENGIN
Zan Huang SMTD
Lucy Kaffenbarger ENGIN
Peninnah Posey STAMPS
Maggie Xiang ENGIN

An Open Book

Based on the word “reform,” our project consists of five books, each one reformed by a corresponding member of our team. Each person was free to take their subproject whatever direction they chose, whether it be a sculpture, book folding, or other manipulation. We treated this project as a learning experience about the creative processes within others and that within ourselves. A lot of our collaboration, though not apparent by credit, was experienced through internal feedback and suggestions regarding each other’s ideas.

We sought to find a project that each person could contribute to equally while still creating a meaningful result. This proved to be especially difficult given our extreme time zone differences, but feasible through dividing our project into distinct portions. Our meetings consisted mostly of brainstorming and helping each other process and develop our own subproject.


Katja Ampe
Matt Priskorn
Jennifer Gao
Jack Morin


Kendra Kleber, Computer Science, Engineering
Kim Nguyen, Computer Science, Literature, Science, and the Arts
Isabella Wood, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, Engineering

Public Rock Collection

We have created a digital rock collection. Because of the online format of this year, we chose to make a digital project so the audience could interact with each piece. There is a main slide showing the collection of all pieces, and from there, the viewer is able to select a rock to view in more detail, alongside its story. The theme of our story is “Ordinary Remarkability”. Through our research, we found that many discussions of remarkable things focused on the extraordinary, and we became increasingly fascinated with more the more personal aspects of remarkability. In this focus on the personal, we have collected small, yet remarkable stories from many people. We chose to put these on rocks, because rocks are varied yet plain, and when you pay attention and put in work, they become remarkable, supporting our theme. Because all of us have a more STEM background, we were drawn to creating art in order to explore something different.


Min Hermon
Pranjal Sharma
Lili Omilian
Daniel Cho
Lauryn Leuenberger

Reform to an Alien World, 2021
Various Materials
The project takes materials that we would throw away, discard, or give little thought to after its purpose has been fulfilled and reforms them into a sort of sculpture.


Lauren Strawn, Stamps school of Art & Design
Dani Canan,Literature Science and the Arts
Dee Silpin, Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
Rachel Gooden, College of Engineering

who we are

For our project we were given the theme Revolve. Our take on this was to each come up with a survey to pass to another group member to question them more about their interior life, to see what they ‘revolve’ around. Using those responses, we each attempted to exemplify the ideas and data through song. We quickly learned there were a lot of different ways to interpret the theme of revolving ranging from physical motion to data analysis, and even to more introspective assessment. Not only that, but we each came at structuring our surveys and musical responses differently. We had group members who focused on a more numerically driven creative process, all the way to ‘feeling the vibes’ of the survey responses. We wanted to highlight the complexities that exist in each individual person that you interact with. We don’t usually get to see that side of people, and we wanted to use this project as a chance to explore that. Part of having an interdisciplinary team showed itself in our different approaches to the project. Some of us focused more on the act of making and some of us focused more on the conceptuality. This led us to make a project where everyone could focus on the parts that excited them. We made our prompts more open ended for what the end result could be and how we could get there.


Megan Klein, Materials Science & Engineering, College of Engineering
Terry Li, Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering
Molly Gaffey, Stamps School of Art & Design
Eric Oliveira, Sound Engineering, School of Music, Theater & Dance
Charles Bolocan, College of Engineering

Water You Using?

Our presentation is the culmination of research and experimentation surrounding the use of water in our lives. Though it is such a valuable resource, our team began this process completely unaware of how much we used on a day-to-day basis. Thus, we decided to track our water usage with both normal and conservative habits. Through this experiment, we discovered not only the extent to which we utilize water, but also the extent to which our use can be redistributed within even one day. These findings led us to broader discussions about the overall distribution of water globally, other resources involved in its use, and how we may take this resource for granted. Ultimately, we found a new appreciation for our access to water and an improved understanding of its use around the world. As a group with such interdisciplinary backgrounds, our initial brainstorm of the prompt “redistribution” led to numerous different ideas. However, after an extensive discussion of the word’s meaning and potential projects associated with it, our team was drawn to the distribution of natural resources. This resulted in our exploration of personal water usage within our daily lives. The differing experiences each brought to the team allowed us valuable insight into our topic and a greater sense of overall collaboration as a community.


Sajjad M. Ali Khan, Mechanical Engineering
Meera Kumar, Civil Engineering
Sean Thursby, Computer Science

A “Remarkable” Collection of Stories

Our project is a website that showcases a compilation of parts of a story submitted by survey participants. Participants were asked to write one of five parts of the generic story structure without context of the other parts. They could pick any names for characters, objects, setting, any genre, etc. The names were then extracted, and it was all placed into code to allow the website users to pick whichever names they would like, and it would be updated throughout the entire story. For parts with multiple submissions, users are then also able to choose different submissions to see how it impacts the entire story. This offers a way for participants and users to “remark” on eachother’s submissions and the collective story as a whole. First we brainstormed what “remark” meant to really explore its definition, synonyms, antonyms, different connotations, etc. Afterwards we developed project concepts by just listing as many cool and interesting ideas regardless of practicality. We then narrowed that list down, selected our favorite idea, and started developing a prototype to develop our process of getting the submissions and making the website.


Taylor Splingaire, Computer Science, College of Engineering
Josh Dukes, Material Science, College of Engineering
Alyssa Wilcome, Art & Design, Stamps
Sarah Gery, Art & Design, Stamps
Sam Russel, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
Pedro Fonseca, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Hannah Powell, Art & Design, Stamps

A Million Words

For our project, each group member made their own word art to visually depict a subject that they thought it was remarkable. Our approaches were somewhat varied: some of us used photoshop or another software to overlay text on top of an image, while others opted to hand-draw or paint it. Each image is made out of our own words, either in the form of a story, or multiple key words/phrases. In this way, each image is composed of what makes it meaningful or significant to us.

Our inspiration for this project came from the origin of the word remarkable, which stems from the French word remarquer, meaning “take note of.” From this, we came up with our own definition of remarkable: “worthy of writing down,” which helped us arrive at our main theme that anything worth writing down is inherently remarkable. It followed that we should each write about a subject that was important to us, then visualize it in some way. We had many ideas for how to visualize our words, but we chose to use word art because that way, each image is made out of what makes it remarkable.


Maija Lahna, Life Sciences, LSA
Luke Lee, Animation, STAMPS School of Art and Design
Nandita Gupta, Engineering, College of Engineering
Ted Ivanac, Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering

The Revolving Ted Head

Our CCP is meant to invoke thought on how art and its different mediums have changed over time. Our theme word, Revolve, is on display in the revolving head and how it changes art styles from frame to frame. We were able to combine both physical mediums like charcoal drawings and digital mediums like pixel art to display the animation of our subject changing styles with each frame. Our group started by listing out every possible idea we could come up with for a project that relates to “Revolve”. We list things that revolved and synonyms of revolve while brainstorming. We then talked about our passions, disciplines, and hobbies to see how we could incorporate that into our project. Eventually, we decided on the idea of an animation that changed art styles so that we could each display our different styles.