Carnegie Mellon University

John Choi created parody films with robots

October 05, 2017

Armero Award Recipients To Present Creative, Inclusive Projects During Family Weekend

By Emily Syes

Emily Syes
  • BXA Intercollege Degree Programs

From tricycle-powered performance art to robot actors, the Henry Armero Memorial Award for Inclusive Creativity is funding six undergraduate student projects in 2017. The annual $2,500 award is open to juniors and seniors enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University's BXA Intercollege Degree Programs (BXA), the School of Art and the School of Computer Science.

The grant rewards creative, eclectic and inclusive student projects that focus on innovative ways to foster on- and off-line communities. The projects will be presented to the public during Family Weekend 3:30-5 p.m. Friday, Oct.13 in the College of Fine Arts Great Hall.

The committee encourages projects that involve collaboration across disciplines, and that promote audience interaction. Armero's own work contained as much joy as innovation. In keeping with Armero's example, students who receive funding support also seek to evoke delight and surprise through their projects.

"I'm so impressed with the variety and creativity of this year's award winners," said BXA Director Stephanie Murray. "Their vision for how technology and art can combine to create such great weirdness and innovation honors Henry's memory in the best way possible."

Projects can take any form, from traditional 2-D or 3-D art objects to performances, digital art or combinations of media — as long as they engage with the spirit of the award to explore ideas.

School of Art senior Kira Melville will show her mobile, human-powered, DJ protest float that tackles political and social engagement. Elizabeth Agyemang, a 2017 graduate of the College of Fine Arts, also focuses on community with a neighborhood pen pal's subscription box featuring an art and letter-writing campaign.

Bachelor of Science and Arts senior Kabir Mantha transforms the traditional opera by using a combination of live and pre-recorded instrumental parts to create an immersive electro-acoustic experience.

Others incorporate new technology to achieve their goals.

A group of four BXA students use virtual reality, installation and sound recording to allow viewers to interpret dreams. John Choi, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship Innovation Scholar and 2017 Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) graduate, put a spin on his manipulator robots by placing them in parody films while fostering multidisciplinary teams in the Robotics Club. BCSA 2017 and Human Computer Interaction graduate student Luca Damasco and School of Art senior Zachary Rispoli developed Wick, a free browser-based toolkit that can be used to create games and animations.

The Henry Armero Award is funded by the Armero family and Dropbox. Learn more about the award, winners and the 2018 application process.