Gallery Hours:
Sunday, November 10, 10:30am–6:00pm
Monday, November 11, 9:00am–4:00pm

Illustration Studies Building, 55 Canal Walk

Gallery installations evoke multimodal experiences of ethnographic practice—written, oral, visual, three-dimensional, interactive, critical, reflective. These creative projects offer conference attendees diverse experiences of agency and ethnography. Installations are selected by our Gallery Committee through anonymous review.


The Ethno-graphic Sensibility
Jamie McPike (Instagram) & Diana Graizbord (University of Georgia)

This exhibit displays excerpts from a “comics textbook” that shows common tensions facing ethnographers, including how we construct the “field”, the role of the ethnographer in the research, and the process of sensemaking. We argue comics better conveys the humanistic side of ethnography, which is critical to generating innovative insights about users, makers, and their social worlds.

Socially Informed Policy and Planning for AV Mobility in Rhode Island
Kate Fisher (3×3)

A year-long engagement with the first autonomous vehicle pilot in Providence captured qualitative insights along the AV shuttle route. This installation shares insights from the interactive engagement tools designed to give greater agency to the riders to influence the future implementation of transportation innovations.

Agency via Avatar Emotions in Virtual Reality
Ayfer Gokalp (Facebook) & Jacqueline Pospisil (Oculus)

This exhibit explores the current use cases for avatars and developer expectations about virtual face-mimicking. It uncovers an understudied topic—face-mimicking—by utilizing ethnographic research methods with VR developers.

Office Humour
James O’Neill, Francesco Pini & Frauke Hein (Fjord)

Office Humour is a piece of speculative design that imagines a future in which the data collected about users is used against them. It uses a neural network to take live measurements of laughter from its environment and places them within the narrative of a satirical productivity product.

What Are Memories Made of?
Hema Malini Waghray (

This  exhibit portrays a micro-history of the Brahma Kshatriya Community of Hyderabad via interviews, visuals, artifacts and household objects. We address the past, examine the present, and generate a discussion about this with the elders. The socio-cultural ethic of living with diversity and accepting of the cultural other as part of one’s life is one of the narrative that threads through this micro history providing elders agency.

Daria Loi (Mozilla) & Heather McGeachy (DreamOften)

“Debris” focuses on what is left behind by our daily interactions with non-human agents, providing arts-infused lenses to investigate and help untangle our complex relationships with smart systems. The installation includes 8 pieces by the artists, alongside physical evidence of the design and ethnographic practice used to ground, inspire, and create them.

Interactive Storytelling: Bringing Personas to Life through an AR/VR Experience
Idil Berkan, Amy Lasater-Wille & Alan Finch (Oliver Wyman Studio)

The AR/VR Persona Experience is a unique, dynamic persona engagement tool that uses best-in-class interactive storytelling methods and enables audiences to better visualize and connect with their personas’ emotions, habits, and aspirations.

Density Done Right: Co-designing Walkable, Sustainable, and Equitable Communities through Digital and Analog Mediums of Public Engagement
Brian Strawn (University of Hawaii), Karla Sierralta (University of Hawaii), Alisa Weinstein (Google) & Rebecca Buck (Forge Studio)

This exhibit shares an overview of an exploratory project conducted for a public housing authority seeking to reimagine the density of housing across the entire state of Hawaiʻi. Gallery visitors will be able to interact with three custom, participatory design tools that were shared with communities via a traveling exhibition on five of the eight main Hawaiian islands.

Vær: On Place, Weather, Being, and Agency
Erica Kowsz (University of Massachusetts) & Hunter Styles

In this photo installation exploring the environment and ambience of our recent ethnographic fieldwork in Tromsø, Norway, we use the visual vocabulary of the changing of the light in the arctic to consider the ways in which the natural world’s rhythms act as the original “automated” force, challenging humans’ sense of agency.

hi how r u: A Toolkit for Digital Expression
Erin Ryan (Carnegie Mellon University)

This exhibit is a compilation of participatory design research and ethnographic inquiry that explores the ways in which we use communicate digitally. It explores how digital communication within particular social group has evolved in spite of the constraints of modern-day messaging platforms, how these trends can find parallels in linguistics, and how communication can be furthered in the absence of those constraints to allow for communication that is more specific, creative, and expressive.

Where Does Cancer Live Now?
Jacob McAuliffe & Rebekah Park (ReD Associates)

The exhibit is a photographic representation of six ethnographic encounters from a 2018 study of people living with Stage-IV lung cancer. The photographs capture their lives beyond the hectic whirl of machines, medications, and medical workers, instead bringing radically ordinary expressions of agency into focus.