UArts had Big Ass Touchscreens way before FoxNews. You're welcome.

In the Fall of 2009, a very simple question was posed. “Why are the students at a University of so many disciplines, not sharing their knowledge amongst each other?” Who is to say that a dancer and graphic designer, couldn’t enhance each others learning experience through a shared knowledge network? Who is to say a film maker and an actor shouldn’t work together? Seemingly simple questions, turned into a vast political and personal journey into the world of academia with
surprising results. Was the University really open and supportive of the suggested cross pollination?

Collaboration is in our blood. It’s the basis by which we were founded, and should be the driving force by which we move forward. So as we near our 25 year anniversary, how do we stand? Overall, yes, the University can help reduce the cognitive load of collaboration. It has massive over communication, under communication, and non-communication issues. One of the suggestions to help with these issues, deals with the portals to each building as a means of communicating events amongst the populace. The all inclusive UArts Information Board.

In an age of information overload, it is imperative that we get our messages across clearly. Campus boards are over saturated with information, making it difficult to access and process important information. The goal in addressing this problem was to cut through the printed and online clutter, and provide a clear and easy system that gives students access to information while maintaining a simple method for student input and usability. The PORTAL System provides an interface that resembles a message board for familiarity, but can be easy organized for better navigation. Using a gesture-based interface that products like the iPhone have made familiar, it becomes intuitive for students to approach and navigate the board.

PORTAL interface

The PORTAL System a lots for much more than just an event board. The ability to effortless aid a University User in wayfinding, information, and communication is merely it’s facade. Being teachers as well as students, we experience many of the issues facing the common student populace. Printing issues, no stable, simple-to-use online classroom, or inaccessible information. Unfortunately, ideas create waste. There are 75.5 million students who attend school in the United States. U.S. colleges and universities create about 3.6 million tons of waste a year which amounts to 2 % of the country’s total waste stream. Almost half of that waste comes from paper. Much is recycled and more than half of it is not.

Imagine if you will this simple scenario. Students now each carry a school issued iPad as part of their tuition. As they approach the PORTAL, it can communicate with each student directly, greeting them, checking them in to class, and uploading their assignments automatically, before they even reach the elevator. Upon entering their classroom, the Professor already has them checked in on the roster, and has their work on the wall ready to be critiqued. No need to print out the work, or wait for projection screens to log in. Class can begin immediately on arrival, thus making the experience more about the learning.

Launched: 2009
Faculty Advisors: Mike McAllister, Jonas Milder, Slavko Milekic
Designers: Josh Chadwick, Giacomo Ciminello, Matt Miller


  • Date : 02/15/10
  • Faculty Advisors : Mike McAllister, Jonas Milder, Slavko Milekic
  • Designers/Fabricators : Josh Chadwick, Giacomo Ciminello, Matt Miller