metaLAB is a community dedicated to exploring networked culture, developing curatorial experiments, building tools, and devising transformative approaches to the use of technology in the classroom. The lab’s day-to-day research and operations are governed by a group of Principals, with Founders and Senior Advisors serving as a board. The core team works in close collaboration with metaLAB fellows and a growing network of partners and affiliates.


Matthew Battles
Principal, Associate Director
matthew [at]
Matthew Battles is associate director of metaLAB at Harvard and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He has written about the cultural dimensions of science and technology for such venues as The American Scholar, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Times. Matthew has published extensively on the history and changing roles of libraries in culture; his book Library: an Unquiet History (Norton) is available in eight languages worldwide and has been in print since 2003. In addition, he wrote the official history of Harvard’s Widener library, and is coauthor, with Jeffrey Schnapp, of The Library Beyond the Book (Harvard 2014). His forthcoming volume, a material and cultural history of writing entitled Palimpsest, will appear in Summer 2015.
Krystelle Denis
Researcher and Designer
kdenis [at]
Krystelle is a student pursuing her Masters degree in Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. As a designer with a background in computer science, she has developed an interest in creating narratives through data and investigating ways in which digital interventions can become an organizational and participatory tool within existing social interactions. She is currently working on the Arnold Arboretum Data Artifacts project.
Marshall Lambert
hello [at]
Marshall is a curious designer with an investigative body of work. She has passion for color, smells, culture, the real and the surreal, the known and the unknown. She believes in exploring and improvising with both digital and analogue technologies and believes that design should be a great, unexpected experience. Marshall joined us in 2015 after finishing an MFA degree in Graphic Design at Boston University.
Daniele Ledda
Founder, Senior Design Strategist
daniele [at]
Daniele Ledda is one of Italy’s leading graphic designers and art directors, and runs the Milan-based studio XY Communications. Among his clients are Bianchi bicycles, Cosmit, Condé Nast Italia, Egea, Enel, the IBM Foundation, iGuzzini, Marazzi, Luceplan, Rossi di Albizzate, Samsonite, Samsung Italy, Saporiti Italia, Spalding, Sony CP Laboratories, Stop Rare Diseases, Tiscali, the Triennale di Milano, and the University Press of the Bocconi Business School. Between 2002 and 2011, working in collaboration with the design historian Enrico Morteo, he has worked on a number of influential publishing and exhibition projects including the “Prontuario” series, the magazines Abitare and MRZ (for Marazzi) and designing the exhibition “Olivetti: una bella società”. In 2005 Ledda was named creative director of Mondobiotech, a pioneering Swiss firm dedicated to developing therapies and cures for rare and neglected diseases.
Tim Maly
Tim Maly
tmaly [at]
Tim Maly is a writer, a fellow at the metaLAB, and a lecturer in Industrial Design at RISD. Tim’s work as a journalist has focused on looking for the consequences of architecture and design in small details and at vast scales—with a particular interest in industrial production and supply chains. With co-author Emily Horne, he wrote The Inspection House: An impertinent field guide to modern surveillance, published by Coach House press. With the Dredge Research Collaborative, he’s exploring landscape architecture through sediment and silt as a result of waterway management and erosion control. His work has appeared in Wired, Fast Co.Design, Medium, The Atlantic, Works That Work, and Urban Omnibus. He is trying to learn more about the history and production of dyes and pigments. He is @doingitwrong on Twitter.
Cristoforo Magliozzi
Principal, Project Coordinator
cris [at]
Cristoforo Magliozzi is the Director, Cinematographer, and Editor of Cold Storage, an interactive documentary exploring the Harvard Depository. The web extension of the film, with its database of additional time-tied media, fits Cris’ continued pursuit of interactive storytelling which has spanned from his undergraduate studies in literature back in 2011 through his subsequent work for Students of the World, Greatist, The White House, and Techstars Boston in roles encompassing various modes of making and strategy. Whether delving into the stories of non-profits, startups, or institutions, Cris is driven by the evolving palettes for designing and showing multimedia stories as well as the conversations they catalyze about society today and the world of tomorrow.
Peter McMurray
Sound Scholar
plmcmurray [at]
Peter is an ethnomusicologist, filmmaker and composer interested in the interface of sound and culture. As a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is currently working on a book/media project on the sonic life of Islam in Turkish diasporic communities in Berlin. He has a longstanding interest in sound archives and the history of acoustics research. Other stray pursuits include improvised music, soundmapping, phonography, and collecting cheap toys that make sounds.
Sarah Newman
snewman [at]
Sarah Newman is artist-in-residence at metaLAB at Harvard, and an affiliate at the Berkman Center. Working primarily in the area of photography, she puts appropriation, collaboration, and whimsy to work in discovering spaces that fuse physical, virtual, and imaginary worlds. Newman holds a BA in Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA in Imaging Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology; she has shown work in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, and Washington DC, and has held artist residencies in Germany and Sweden. Previous projects engage the human-altered landscape, movement through place, longing, and the contextual understanding of self. Her work at metaLAB explores the remix of past and future memory, the dark abundance of photographic archives, and feral intersections of the human and the nonhuman. Sarah is eager to work with people of many disciplines, employing and transcending the aesthetic to bring art into broadly-connected dialogue with place, networks, and selves.
Jeffrey T. Schnapp
Founder, Principal, Faculty Director
jeffrey [at]
Before moving to Harvard in 2011, Jeffrey T. Schnapp occupied the Pierotti Chair of Italian Studies at Stanford, where he founded and led the Stanford Humanities Lab between 1999 and 2009. A cultural historian, designer, and curator with research interests extending from antiquity to the present, his most recent books include The Electric Information Age Book, Modernitalia, Digital_Humanities, and The Library Beyond the Book. At Harvard he teaches in RLL and Comparative Literature, while also serving as a faculty member of the Architecture department at the Graduate School of Design.
Julianne VanWagenen
Principal, Doctoral Researcher
juliannevanwagenen [at]
Julianne VanWagenen graduated with degrees in Italian and English Lit from DePaul University in 2006. After years abroad and as a research assistant in the Physical Chemistry department at Michigan State University, she is now a librarian and PhD candidate in Italian Studies at Harvard University. Julianne’s academic interests include visual argumentation and renewed dissertation models in the Humanities : the role of the chess set in the historical avant-garde and beyond : anarchy, auctoritas, rock & roll in post-WWII Italy : writing short bios about herself.
James Yamada
Creative Technologist
jyamada [at]
James Yamada is a recent graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Master in Design Studies program. His experience and interests center on the design and development of interactive digital platforms, the construction of narrative, applied research through speculative prototyping, teaching and architectural practice.
Jessica Yurkofsky
Principal, Creative Technologist
jessica [at]
Jessica Yurkofsky is a designer with roots in ethnography, computer science, and place-making. She graduated from the urban planning program at Harvard GSD, writing her masters thesis on seniors’ use of social media as a means of accessing dispersed social spaces and community. She was subsequently part of the team behind Library Test Kitchen and LABRARY. Jessica’s interests include all kinds of libraries, visualizing big data, and generally building things.
Alison Head is a Research Scientist in the University of Washington Information School and the Founder and Director of Project Information Literacy (PIL), an ongoing, large-scale research about college students and their research habits and strategies in the digital age. She is a Fellow at the metaLAB this year, working with colleagues on the intriguing question of what challenges exist and lie ahead for library learning spaces.
Alex Horak is a vagrant oneironaut, irreverent cheese-monger, and tentative trans-humanist exploring the space between neuroscience and human computer interaction. While pursuing a degree in Computational Informatics at the University of Michigan he co-founded the social productivity company Fetchnotes (Techstars 2012). After selling the company his interest in human consciousness & brain computer interfaces prompted him to return and study computational & cognitive neuroscience. In the spirit of Kentaro Toyama who intoned, “Technology is only a magnifier of human intent and capacity, it is not a substitute”, Alex wants to help adapt our tools to magnify these intentions in humanistically preservationist yet powerfully transformative ways.
Yanni Loukissas was a principal and senior researcher at metaLAB, and a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he taught courses in Architecture as well as Art, Design and the Public Domain. Originally trained as an architect at Cornell University, he subsequently received a Master of Science and a PhD in Design and Computation at MIT. He also completed postdoctoral work in the MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society. He is the author of Co-Designers: Cultures of Computer Simulation in Architecture (Routledge) and a contributor to Simulation and its Discontents (MIT Press). Before coming to Harvard, he also taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, MIT and Cornell. His research interests include information design, critical design, design anthropology, and sociotechnical studies. In Fall 2014, Yanni became an assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech.
Kyle Parry is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester jointly associated with the Visual and Cultural Studies program and the Digital Humanities Center. From 2011 to 2015, he was Doctoral Researcher and Principal at metaLAB, collaborating on a variety of design, teaching, and research projects around cultural collections, urban ecology, and the experimental humanities. In 2015, he completed a doctorate in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard, with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice. His current research examines network memory and archival practices around crises, with an emphasis on intersections of documentary assemblage and technologies of participation. The project instances general concerns with aesthetics and politics of documentation and plurality in digital and visual media.
Andy Sellars is the Berkman Center’s Corydon B. Dunham First Amendment Fellow, and works at the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic. He previously was the Assistant Director of the Berkman’s Digital Media Law Project. He received his J.D. with high honors from the George Washington University Law School, where he was awarded the Peter D. Rosenberg Award for Patent and Intellectual Property Law and the Jan Jancin Award from the American Intellectual Property Law Association. During his summers in law school he interned at the Cyberlaw Clinic, working on a wide variety of intellectual property and cyberlaw matters. Prior to law school, Andy worked in the music industry, including for the festival production and promotion company Great Northeast Productions and as assistant tour manager and stage manager for the band moe. He received his undergraduate degree in music, summa cum laude, from Northeastern University in 2008, where he interned at the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts (now part of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston). He is also a trustee with the Boston chapter of the Awesome Foundation.

Svetlana Boym was a writer, theorist, and media artist who leads parallel lives. She was the author of The Future of Nostalgia (Basic Books, 2001), the novel Ninochka (2003), Kosmos: Remembrances of the Future (with photos by Adam Bartos, 2003), Territories of Terror: Memories and Mythologies of Gulag in Contemporary Art (2006) Architecture of the Off-Modern (2008) and Another Freedom: The Alternative History of an Idea (2010). Her recent media exhibits include “Phantasmagorias” in Copenhagen and Kaunas (2009), “Historiar_Imaginar” in Madrid, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, CA2M (2009), “Nostalgic Technologies” (2006 in Ljubljana and Cambridge), “Unforeseen Past” (2007, NYC) and “Skipping the Page” (Center for the Book Arts, NYC). She contributed to many journals, including Art Forum, ArtMargins, Cabinet, Punto de Vista, Critical Inquiry, Representations, Poetics Today, and Harpers’s Magazine. When not doing art projects, Svetlana Boym taught in Comparative Literature at Harvard University and was an Associate of the Graduate School of Design. metaLAB notes with sorrow her passing in August 2015.
Giuliana Bruno is Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. She has published numerous books and articles internationally, including her latest Public Intimacy: Architecture and the Visual Arts (MIT Press, 2007). For Streetwalking on a Ruined Map (Princeton University Press, 1995), she won the Society for Cinema and Media Studies award for best book in film studies. Her seminal book Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film (Verso, 2002) won the 2004 Kraszna-Krausz Book Award for “the world’s best book on the moving image” and was named a Book of the Year in 2003 by the Guardian. In 2008 Bruno was featured in Visual Culture Studies: Interviews with Key Thinkers as one of the most influential intellectuals working today in visual studies.
Jimena Canales is the Thomas M. Siebel Chair in the History of Science at University of Illinois-UC. She is the author of A Tenth of a Second: A History and of numerous scholarly and journalistic texts on the history of modernity, focusing primarily on science and technology. She was previously an Assistant and Associate Professor at Harvard University, a senior fellow at the IKKM (Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie) in Germany and a visiting professor at Princeton for the Summer School in Media Studies. She is currently a recipient of the Charles A. Ryskamp Award from the ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) and is finishing a book about a debate between the physicist Albert Einstein and the French philosopher Henri Bergson.
Lucien Castaing-Taylor is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities and of the Social Sciences; Director of The Sensory Ethnography Lab ; Director of the Film Study Center; and Co-Director of Graduate Studies, Critical Media Practice. Castaing-Taylor’s work seeks to conjugate art’s negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life. He recently recorded Sweetgrass (2009), a film (produced by Ilisa Barbash) that is an unsentimental elegy at once to the American West and to the 10,000 years of uneasy accommodation between post-Paleolithic humans and animals. He is currently completing a related series of video and photographic Westerns that variously evoke the allure and ambivalence of the pastoral, including Hell Roaring Creek (2010) and The High Trail (2010). In 2010, he was commissioned to make a four-channel video installation by the Kino Arsenal to commemorate the four decades of the Berlinale Forum, The Quick and the Dead / Moutons de Panurge (2010).
Peter Der Manuelian is Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology at Harvard University. He joined both the NELC and Anthropology Departments in 2010, after teaching Egyptology at Tufts University for ten years. Since 2000, the “Giza Archives Project” aims to collect and present online all past, present, and future archaeological activity at Giza. Interested in both ancient and modern graphic design-“publishing” in the widest sense of the word-he believes in bringing new technologies into his research and into the classroom. Among his current projects are the publication of elite Giza tombs west of the Great Pyramid, a biography of Harvard archaeologist George A. Reisner, and the development of electronic tools to aid in teaching Egyptian hieroglyphic grammar.
Peter Galison is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University; his doctoral dissertations were at Harvard in the history of science and in particle physics (electroweak theory). Galison’s work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of physics–experimentation, instrumentation, and theory, and all focus on the role of visualization and materiality in scientific work. Among his books are: How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic (1997), Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps (2003), L. Daston, Objectivity (2007) and (among other co-edited volumes) The Architecture of Science, Picturing Science, Producing Art, Scientific Authorship, and Einstein for the 21st Century. To explore the relation of scientific work with larger issues of politics, he has made two documentary films: “Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma” (2000), and, with Robb Moss,”Secrecy” (about national security secrecy and democracy), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. At present, he is completing a book, Building Crashing Thinking (on technologies that re-form the self) and has just begun a new documentary film project on the long-term geological storage of nuclear waste, “Nuclear Underground.”
K. Michael Hays is Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory, Co-Director of Doctoral Programs and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 2000 he was appointed the first Adjunct Curator of Architecture at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a position he held until 2009. Hays was the founder and editor of renowned scholarly journal Assemblage, which was a leading forum of cultural and architectural theory in North America and Europe from 1985-2001, publishing work by figures such as Jacques Derrida, Peter Eisenmann, Andreas Huyssen, Slavoj Zizek, and others.
Ernst Karel is Lecturer on Anthropology, Lab Manager for the Sensory Ethnography Lab, and Assistant Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University. In his audio projects, he works with analog electronics and with location recordings, sometimes separately, sometimes in combination, to create pieces that move between the abstract and the documentary. He also does sound editing, mixing, and sound design for nonfiction film and video. He received his PhD from the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago, where his fieldwork research on sound in South India crossed between the disciplines of cultural psychology, anthropology, and ethnomusicology. Recent CD publications include Swiss Mountain Transport Systems (Gruenrekorder, 2011) and Heard Laboratories (and/OAR, 2010). His often collaborative work in electroacoustic improvisation and composition has been released on Another Timbre, BoxMedia, Cathnor, Dead CEO, Formed, Kuro Neko, Locust, Lucky Kitchen, and Sedimental record labels, among others.
Shigehisa Kuriyama is Reischauer Institute Professor of Cultural History at Harvard University. He was born in Marugame, Japan, and studied for two years at Phillips Exeter Academy and two years in France before attending Harvard College. After obtaining his A.B., he trained as an acupuncturist for three years in Tokyo, and returned to Harvard where he received a Ph.D. in History of Science in 1986. His professional appointments (the Humanities Program at the University of New Hampshire; the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University; and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies) prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2005 have been notable for their explicit emphasis on interdisciplinary inquiry. His publications, for their part, have been marked by a consistent effort to probe broad philosophical issues through the prism of specific topics in comparative cultural history. He has also long been interested in techniques and styles of presenting knowledge.
John Palfrey is Henry N. Ess Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. He is the co-author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives” (Basic Books, 2008) and “Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Internet Filtering” (MIT Press, 2008). His research and teaching is focused on Internet law, intellectual property, and international law. He practiced intellectual property and corporate law at the law firm of Ropes & Gray. He is a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Outside of Harvard Law School, he is a Venture Executive at Highland Capital Partners and serves on the board of several technology companies and non-profits. John served as a special assistant at the US EPA during the Clinton Administration. He is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.
Hanspeter Pfister’s research lies at the intersection of visualization, computer graphics, and computer vision. It spans a wide range of topics, including visualization, computational photography, point-based graphics, appearance modeling, 3D television, and face animation. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1996 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, in 1991. Prior to his appointment at Harvard, Pfister worked for 11 years at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) where he was most recently Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist. He was the chief architect of VolumePro, Mitsubishi Electric’s award-winning real-time volume rendering hardware for PCs.
Jake Shapiro, previously Associate Director of the Berkman Center, now oversees various media projects. Jake is Executive Director of The Public Radio Exchange, a nonprofit online clearinghouse and community site for audio content. Jake has been producer and director of business development for Lydon McGrath Inc.; he was a producer for “The Connection with Christopher Lydon”–a nationally syndicated public radio talk show. He also has extensive experience in both research and web development at Harvard; among other endeavors, Jake developed web resources for the Davis Center for Russian Studies, the Harvard Project on Cold War Studies, and the Harvard Central Asia Forum. He also spent two years in Moscow, Russia as program coordinator of the Moscow Institute for Advanced Studies. Jake is co-founder of L-Shaped Records, guitarist for the local rock band Two Ton Shoe, and studio cellist on many independent and major label recordings. Jake graduated from Harvard in 1993, majoring in History and Literature; he is a fluent Russian speaker, plays guitar and cello, and lives in Arlington with his wife Elena Gorodenskaya.
David Weinberger writes about the effect of technology on ideas. He is the author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined and Everything Is Miscellaneous, and is the co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. He is currently working on a book, tentatively titled Too Big to Know, about the Internet’s effect on how and what we know. Dr. Weinberger is a senior researcher at the Berkman Center. He is also co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory at Harvard Law School, and is a Franklin Fellow at the United States Department of State. He has a doctorate in philosophy.
Marguerite Avery has been working in scholarly communication and publishing for about ten years, a field in which she is a major advocate for change and reform. She works closely with the scholarly communities in STS, Information Science, Communications, and Internet Studies and these interactions inform her thinking as to the value of scholarly publishers as well as the severe limitations they place on rapidly changing models of scholarship. In addition to acquiring books, Margy regularly participates in conversations around open access, the transformation of scholarly communication, libraries, digital humanities, altmetrics, data standards, and data visualization. She’s especially interested to learn more about how scholars are thinking about their research, research objects, and publication.
Pablo Barria Urenda holds a professional degree in Architecture from the Federico Santa Maria Technical University in Valparaiso, Chile, and a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University. He has an interest in digital design tools spanning from 3D modeling to web development, and in pretty much anything that can be accomplished with high level programming. Pablo has worked for metalab in the Teaching with Things and Curarium projects.
James Burns
Trained in symbolic systems, mathematics, and theoretical economics at Stanford and Harvard, James Burns designs and develops new digital and intellectual frameworks for relational knowledge. An avid hacker, James built the API-driven website Mapping Main Street, constructing a system that automatically interrelates media feeds from across the web into thematic and geographic pathways. Currently, he is focused upon developing Zeega into an enterprise publishing platform that allows scholars, journalists, artists and ordinary citizens to easily create sophisticated interactive projects through participatory media, algorithmically curate and visualize large-scale media and data collections, and a suite of parametric authoring tools. James’s work in economics investigates topics in Game Theory, Market Design and Decision Theory. He holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University.
Sarah Anne Carter is a lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard, where she teaches on nineteenth-century US cultural history, material culture, and the history of childhood. Her research focuses on the ways people draw information from material things. She is currently investigating this through her seminar, “Storied Structures: The Material and Cultural Life of the New England Home, 1600-1900,” which employs a variety of digital tools to help students annotate material things and the built environment. Her previous work includes the Tangible Things exhibition and publication project at Harvard and essays on taxidermy, house museums, and historic interiors. Carter is currently at work on a book that explains how nineteenth century Americans learned to make sense of objects and pictures.
Jeff Goldenson works at the intersection of libraries, technology and fun. As the designer in the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, he imagines and builds new library experiences. Along with the Postal Service, he sees the library as the most compelling design opportunity out there. He was an artist-in-residence at EdLab, Teachers College, Columbia University. Jeff earned a Masters from the MIT Media Lab identifying new metaphors for media browsing, and received his BA in Architecture from Princeton University. You can find him online at
Gretchen E. Henderson is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT who writes across genres, the arts, and music to invigorate her critical and creative practices. She is the author of two novels, The House Enters the Street (Starcherone Books, Fall 2012) and Galerie de Difformité (&NOW Books, 2011), as well as a collection of nonfiction, On Marvellous Things Heard (Green Lantern Press, 2011), and a poetry chapbook, Wreckage: By Land & By Sea (Dancing Girl Press, 2011). She is currently working on Ugliness: A Cultural History (for Reaktion Books). As a metaLAB fellow, she hopes to grow the collaborative dimension of her Galerie de Difformité (winner of the Madeleine Plonsker Prize): a print book that is interfacing with the history and future of the book, networked online, inviting readers to participate in its (de)formation across media.
Sara Hendren is an artist, researcher, writer and part of the Harvard GSD MDes program on Art, Design, and the Public Domain. She makes material and digital art works and writes about adaptive technologies, the medicalized and biopolitical body, and the cultural ways we comprehend and represent disability and health, broadly defined. Her work operates from the posture of the “public amateur,” “citizen scientist,” or other modes of informal, un-professionalized critical learning. She works as a collaborator between and among the expert cultures of techno-science and medicine, both to understand and extend the contours of acceptable questions in research paradigms. Project investigations at various stages include: adaptive architecture and prosthetics; personal genomics; and tools for invisible conditions such as PTSD. She runs the Abler web site. As a MetaLAB fellow, she will be developing Slope: Intercept — a networked, low-tech accessible architecture project about ramps in the built environment, explored in both digital and material forms.
Ahmed Kabil is a storyteller whose histories focus on the origins of the information age. A 2011 graduate of Reed College, his interests include modern American/European intellectual history and the history of technology and religious thought. Of principal interest to him is the re-imagining, remixing, and remaking of history in compelling and unconventional ways. To that end, he’s been collaborating with the MetaLAB on a Zeega project based on his undergraduate thesis titled “Geodesic Domes or No Direction Home?”. He’ll be participating with the metaLAB as an intellectual spelunker plumbing the frontiers of networked culture, continuing his experiments with Zeega, and exploring the possibilities of the digital article for historical scholarship.
Georgina Lewis is an artist, writer, and occasional curator with an immense fondness for information. She works at the MIT Libraries. She received her MFA in sound art from Bard College and holds undergraduate degrees from Franklin and Marshall College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Georgina is the recipient of fellowships from the Millay Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; her work has been presented at numerous venues. She is concurrently engaged in several projects focusing on language, technology, classification, and the moon: exploring nostalgia, data, and the common need for a place of fantasy.
Michael McCluskey studies space, place, mapping, and modernism with a particular interest in the interwar period. As a metaLAB Fellow he is researching the spatial, social, and media practices that surround the redevelopment of Boston’s West End through an interrogation of films, photographs, writings, and broadcasts. These texts construct diverse stories of local geographies, economies, and networks amid broader discussions of urban renewal and national modernization. Michael’s project aims to disentangle the different agents and interests involved in these practices and to map out the iterations of the West End (physical, social, cultural, digital) that they construct. He recently received his PhD from University College London (UCL), where he works with the Centre for the Cultural History of the Moving Image and its Autopsies Research Group, a multidisciplinary project that examines the afterlife of dead objects, ephemeral cities, material cultures, and media archaeology.
Kara Oehler
Founder, Documentary Arts + Media Innovation
Kara Oehler was a 2011-2012 Radcliffe-Film Study Center Fellow at Harvard University. She is a radio documentary producer and media artist whose work over the past decade has focused upon pushing the boundaries of narrative journalism both on the air and across multiple platforms, combining investigative storytelling with participatory media, building new systems and opportunities for education and artistic practice. Kara is the creator of multiple transmedia projects on which she has pioneered new forms of interactive experience, including the collaborative documentary Mapping Main Street; Capitol of Punk, featured in MoMA’s Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition; Zeega; and the UnionDocs Collaborative. Since 1999, her radio stories and media projects, often created with longtime collaborator Ann Heppermann, have received George Foster Peabody, Edward R. Murrow, Associated Press, and Third Coast International Audio Festival awards and been exhibited at MoMA, among other venues.
Robert Gerard Pietrusko
Founder, Embodied Informatics
Robert Gerard Pietrusko is a lecturer in Urban Planning + Design and Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. His work has been exhibited at MoMA, SFMOMA, The Venice Architecture Biennale, and The Foundation Cartier, and has been featured in Metropolis, Architectural Record and Domus, among others. Prior to his involvement with metaLAB, Gerard was a junior architect with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in New York City.
Sara Radice is an exhibit designer and Ph.D. candidate in design at Politecnico di Milano and her main research focus concerns design for cultural heritage and participative processes engaging museum visitors. She is currently developing this topic also within the framework of the European project MeLa-European Museums in an age of migration, working in particular on how digital media could support reflexive models of communication, that enable multiple interpretations of heritage. Investigating the shifting role of museums from provider of content and designer of experience, to facilitator of experiences around content, she recently designed the participatory exhibit Everyday History at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. As a metaLAB fellow, she will deepen her research about public curation of heritage, with the aim to outline methods and tools for the design of effective participatory experiences involving cultural assets, capable of catalyzing visitor voices.
Jesse Shapins
Jesse Shapins is a media artist, theorist and cultural entrepreneur whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Metropolis, and Wired, and been exhibited at MoMA, Deutsches Architektur Zentrum and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, among other venues. Over the past decade, he has developed a hybrid scholarly and artistic practice focused upon mapping the perception of place between physical, virtual and social space. He is on the faculty of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he co-teaches the courses Media Archaeology of Place and The Mixed-Reality City. Previously, he taught at Columbia University’s GSAPP and Pratt Institute. He is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Architect of Zeega, a startup non-profit, along with Yellow Arrow, Mapping Main Street, UnionDocs, and The Colors Berlin, amongst other projects. His dissertation is titled “Mapping the Urban Database Documentary: Utopias of Kaleidoscopic Perception and Sensory Estrangement”
Elizabeth Anne Watkins is keenly engaged in the production of knowledge through artistic practice, i.e. thinking through making, in dialogue with the methodologies of scientific reasoning and historical narrative. Her master’s thesis, titled Unfolding Time: A Projective Model for the Moving Image, argued that new forms of time-based media can serve as the nexus for engaging systems of temporal logic inherent in historiography, neuropsychiatry, quantum mechanics, and the architectural imagination. She has guest lectured at the Carnegie Museum of Art and in Critical Studies at CalArts, holds a BA in Studio Art with studies in Art History and Digital Arts from the University of California at Irvine, and a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology from MIT. At the metaLAB, she will continue her work with Sensate Journal, where she serves as co-Editor in Chief, to build a thriving discursive model for experiments in critical media practice and explore the emerging capacity of art and media as vehicles of scholarly discourse.
Sarah Zaidan is an illustrator and superhero scholar who specializes in the history of art, design and mass communication, and how they relate to and shape society. Dedicated to creating projects that merge art, interaction and innovation, her roles as educator, researcher and art practitioner coalesce on a regular basis. She is in the process of refining interactive media tools that provide opportunities for the development of personal identities and histories and hopes to further explore and expand her award-winning prototype software The Adventures of MetaMan. Most of all, she is looking forward to applying her skills and knowledge and enthusiasm to the intersection of culture, art and technology in ways that challenge them like never before.
Joseph Bergen is an engineer and designer whose interests revolve around technology, data, and art in relation to physical place. A self-taught programmer, he enjoys the challenge presented by large, complex, and dynamic data sets and teasing out otherwise hidden relationships with interactive visualizations. His work has been featured on FastCoDesign, the Wall Street Journal blog, and and has received top awards from Google. Currently, he is Zeega’s Lead Interaction Designer and Developer. More at:
Jeremy Blatter is a PhD candidate in the History of Science with a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University. Jeremy’s research focuses on the history of psychotechnics and applied psychology in Europe and America from the late nineteenth through the mid twentieth century. As Student Curator for Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Jeremy will be co-curating this fall (2011) the exhibition “Cold War in the Classroom: The Material Culture of Mid-Century Science Education.”
Luís Filipe Brandão is a software engineer specialized in machine learning. He recently moved to Cambridge from Amsterdam, where he completed his MSc. in Artificial Intelligence. Previously, he has worked as a programmer for Textkernel and the Berkman Center at Harvard through the Google Summer of Code program, among others, as well as developed an interactive installation for Mediamatic, a media arts institute in Amsterdam. Currently, he is Zeega’s Lead Database Designer and Developer. More at
Stephanie Frampton has just completed a dissertation on social and cultural aspects of writing in the Roman world, Towards a Media History of Writing in the Roman World. Her curatorial innovation project will interrogate institutional histories and receptions of the world’s writing systems by bringing together objects related to the history of writing from across Harvard’s library and museum collections.
Christopher Gilbert is an advanced doctoral student in the History Department of Harvard University working on issues of imperial ideology and cultural identity in the Roman empire. He is an adjunct lecturer on the ancient art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and both works as part of a team creating a digital map of the ancient and medieval world using ArcGIS software and assists in the conservation and restoration of Akkadian tablets at Harvard’s Semitic Museum, including those returned to the Iraqi people in 2010.
Lauren Ianni is a senior at Harvard College concentrating in Comparative Literature with a secondary field in Visual and Environmental Studies and Certificate in French.
Ari Kardasis is a mathematician, an architect, a computer scientist and a cook. He is currently a design consultant working between New York and Boston on projects at the intersection of architecture, fabrication, interaction and geometry. He has an ScB in Mathematics from Brown, an MArch from Princeton and a research degree in Design and Computation from MIT. He has worked professionally with a number of architecture and design firms including Kennedy & Violich, Aranda/Lasch and Front Inc. but his recent work tends more toward consulting and research at places like Boston’s Radlab inc. and MIT’s SENSEable City Lab. Ari has a passion for teaching that he as developed at Princeton and MIT’s architecture departments as well as at MIT’s Media Lab, with the Mediated Matter group. At metaLAB, Ari is investigating approaches for archiving, curation and exhibition of vast amounts of highly connective and data-rich material.
Iain Large is a first year PhD student studying early modern European history, with a particular interest in the visual and material culture of the period. Originally from Somerset, England, Iain has worked on expressions of urban identity in sixteenth-century English cartography in the past; he is now looking forward to getting to grips with the treasures of Harvard’s own extensive early map collection
Diana Limbach Lempel is a second-year Masters in Urban Planning student at the graduate school of design, with a background in food, archival research, and the arts. Since her academic focus is on the relationship between cultural heritage and neighborhood development, Diana hopes to use the curatorial innovation program to find new ways to communicate and understand the experience of a place.
Mac McAnulty comes to metaLAB having worked on site research and a curatorial design for Diller Scofidio+Renfro, the NYC firm. Many of his favorite places he knows from DS+R projects: the unfinished Museum of Image and Sound in Rio, the unfinished High Line in New York, the local Institute for Contemporary Art. And from travel: 798 Art District in Beijing, the Peruvian Amazon. He studies writing at Harvard and is writing a creative thesis in literary nonfiction. He is interested at the intersection of writing, place, and the Internet. He lives in Dunster House.
Adam Muri-Rosenthal is fifth-year graduate student specializing in Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. He is completing secondary fields in both Film and Visual Studies and Critical Media Practice. His research interests include post-war and contemporary Italian cinema and literature, documentary and ethnographic cinema and Sicilian culture, on which he produced a lyrical ethnographic documentary in 2010. This summer he will begin shooting for his next documentary video project as a fellow at the Harvard Film Study Center.
Sam Richman is a graphic designer, filmmaker, artist, and undergraduate at Harvard College. In the spring of 2010, Sam founded <ahref=””>Graphicality Design, a design collective that has worked with community members, businesses and organizations from across the United States. His studies focus on the interaction of art, culture, and technology in both historical and contemporary society.
Matthias Röder is a College Fellow at Harvard. His main research interests include social history of music, digital musicology, as well as developing new methodological approaches to study the sketches of Ludwig van Beethoven’s late style works. Matthias’ research has been founded by the Whiting Foundation as well as the Alfred Krupp Foundation. In addition to his scholarly work, Matthias is the founder and editor of, a web magazine for music and history. Before coming to Harvard, Matthias studied music at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. In addition to his academic and scholarly projects, Matthias is also active as an artistic advisor and music manager for several New Music projects in the United States, Turkey,Germany, and Austria for which he produced CD recordings, concerts, video, and educational events.
Laura Lee Schmidt is a Harvard graduate student in History of Science Department and received her SMArchS at MIT in the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture. She studies the reconstruction of historical technology, industrialism and the idea of science in the 19th and 20th centuries. Laura is interested in Left politics and Marxist critical theory, curatorial practices and interfaces, and the modern Middle East.
Stewart Smith is a graphic designer, programmer, and artist living in London. Stewart earned his MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University in 2008 and operates under the name Stewdio—a pseudonym for both private works and collaborations. His work has appeared at the SFMOMA, Fondation Cartier, Pop!Tech, and in publications such as Creative Review, Esquire Magazine, and It’s Nice That. He has taught data visualization at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, served as a Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Spacial Information Design Lab, and has been honored as a Young Gun by the Art Directors Club. More at
Matthew Swaidan is Masters of Architecture student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, interested in fabrication and the interface between technology and place, particularly with regards to collective memory / identity. In previous work at the GSD, Matthew has examined how physical interventions in public space might enhance our understanding of local experience, with an eye towards making tangible the most successful practices from social networking communities. He holds a BA in philosophy from The Ohio State University, and is entering his thesis semester at the GSD.
Judy Sue Fulton is a third-year Masters in Architecture student at the Graduate School of Design, with a background in the History of Art and Interior Architecture. Her current work is focused on architectural hybridity as it relates to program and varying degrees of interiority. Her project with metaLAB will focus on creating a bridge between two disparate “environments” that focus on the work of the poet Emily Dickinson.

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