In the face of our growing technological dependencies, our group explores how humans use technology intentionally and unintentionally to alter our physical world. The group will study the accelerating pace of social technologies, such as the Internet and Artificial Intelligence.
The group aims to discover what the lessons of past inventions can teach us about how to address the problems facing humanity today, particularly as they emerge in the “technosphere,” the landscape shaped by human hands. The group will develop an interactive website, host a regular research workshop, and organize events with speakers and filmmakers about technoscience. To engage students with questions of space, place, and time, a faculty member will work with students to build a mobile app for time travel in augmented reality to examine the hidden role of technology on the UF campus. This work will lay the foundation for team-taught and other new courses that will give students the tools to envision how they will “imagineer” the future of the planet while harnessing the power of technologies in environmentally and socially sustainable way
In Spring 2020 our team will offer a course titled “Imagineernig the Technosphere” with course codes: DCP4930, DIG4905, CLA3930, MEM3931.
Imaginer One that imagines. -Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Technosphere The sphere or realm of human technological activity; the technologically modified environment. -English Oxford Living Dictionaries
This multi-disciplinary, team-taught course explores the separation
between nature and culture as humans develop and use technology to imagine and
modify the environments they occupy and ultimately create the technosphere
(past, present, and future). Examining a range of technologies and
technological advances from different time periods and contexts (social,
cultural, political, etc.), students will gain a better understanding of how
technology has shaped our lives and world. The course will also investigate a
range of digital technologies and how they might help us address some of the
more pressing problems we face today and in the future. Particular emphasis is
placed on the act of understanding, visualizing, conceptualizing, making, and
shaping our world and the benefits and challenges of technology in the process.
The purpose of this course is to respond to the grand challenge question: “How do technologies influence our lives, then and now?” from the perspectives of our 6 thematic units: 1) Inventions and Sciences, 2) Spaces and Infrastructure, 3) Past and Future, 4) Imagining and Designing, 5) Conservation and Sustainability, 6) Culture and Society. This interdisciplinary approach will equip the students with foundational knowledge and tangible skills through weekly modules and experiential learning activities that will be organized as part of the “UF Quest Game”, a gamified learning experience specially designed for this course. The students will be able to transcend the boundaries of traditional disciplines and demonstrate how the humanities serve as the foundation for understanding science and technology and how this holistic approach could affect our decision making processes in ourselves, and on a planetary scale.
COURSE PRE-REQUISITES / CO-REQUISITES
There are no pre- or co-requisites for this course.
At the conclusion of this course, students
will be able to:
Transcend the boundaries of traditional disciplines and demonstrate how the humanities serve as the foundation for understanding science and technology.
Explore and possibly redefine humanity as a creature of technology, Homo technos.
Develop a broad view of technology as techne and to blur the boundaries of art, culture, science, and its products.
Reveal the active process of making, fashioning, and designing in landscapes, buildings, social environments, and in ourselves, and on a planetary scale. Students will reconsider the cultural significance of physical constructions from the past and present.
Introduce students to alternative temporalities, different ways that the past, present, and future relate.
Present the contributions of arts and humanities disciplines to interaction design.
Enable students to analyze and evaluate technological human experiences using standard methodologies for interaction design
THE UF QUEST GAME
In the beginning of the semester each student will be
given a box with the UF Quest Game, a specially designed learning experience
that will be used in each module of this course. Using an old aerial photograph
of the UF campus as a map and a GPS app as a guide, students and faculty engage
in a unique adventure through space and time. This time travel can be used as
an experiential learning tool that moves the student outside of the traditional
classroom setting to explore how humans use technology to alter our physical
world. During this journey students can discover what the lessons of the past
inventions can teach us about how to address the problems facing humanity
today, particularly as they emerge in the “technosphere,” the landscape shaped
by the human hands.
More information about this course can be found at the web-site of the course at the official learning management system of the University of Florida (Canvas) at: https://elearning.ufl.edu
AFFORDABLE UF INITIATIVE
Our course was awarded a 2020 Affordable UF Badge as a recognition of our commitment to affordable education. By producing on our own the materials of this course, including the UF Quest Game, its 3D printed parts, and the associated mobile app we managed to reduce the cost of course materials to less than $20 per credit hour, which is the designated limit of the affordable UF initiative. Through our efforts we made it possible for all of our students to access the resources they needed to be successful in your course.
UF Quest Game
In our Spring 2020 course we will present and use for the first time the UF Quest Game, an innovative approach for introducing students to the Humanities.
Using an old aerial photograph of the UF campus as a map and a GPS app as a guide, students and faculty engage in a unique adventure through space and time. This time travel can be used as an experiential learning tool that moves the student outside of the traditional classroom setting to explore how humans use technology to alter our physical world. During this journey students can discover what the lessons of the past inventions can teach us about how to address the problems facing humanity today, particularly as they emerge in the “technosphere,” the landscape shaped by the human hands.
How to play
Use the Time Traveler App to unlock and explore new places on UF campus. Complete the assigned task in each place to earn a 3D printed token for your game board. New destinations will be released every week of the semester. Try to complete your game board by collecting as many 3D tokens as you can, including the bonus ones.
Morris (Marty) Hylton III is Director of Historic Preservation and Associate Scholar at the University of Florida's College of Design, Construction and Planning where his research focuses on community engagement, 3D imaging technology, and preserving heritage sites of the recent past, particularly postwar modern architecture and resources.
Associate Professor - Digital Worlds Institute
Dr. Angelos Barmpoutis is an Associate Professor in the On-Line Learning Institute and the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida. His areas of expertise include interdisciplinary applications of computer science and engineering to the service of the broad areas of learning and training. Prof. Barmpoutis current interdisciplinary research projects focus on human motion capture and analysis using depth sensors, 3D reconstruction and dissemination of digital cultural heritage, and virtual reality in medicine and education.
Sara Russell Gonzalez
Assistant University Librarian
Dr. Gonzalez is an Assistant University Librarian and the coordinator for the UF Libraries' 3D printing service and subject liaison for Astronomy, Mathematics and Physics. Her interests include emerging technologies in libraries, modeling and visualization of data, and scientific literacy instruction.
Associate Professor - Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Dr. Ying Xiao is an associate professor of film and media studies and Chinese studies at the University of Florida. Her teaching and research interests primarily concentrate on Chinese-language films (mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong), Chinese in Hollywood, Classical Hollywood cinema in the sound era, popular music, youth culture, sound studies, theories of globalization and trans nationalism, Buddhism and film, and the discourse of gender and sexuality.
Aishat O. Aloba
Ph.D. Student - Human-Centered Computing
Aishat Aloba is a member of the INIT Lab and is currently working on the Wacom project and the Kids Pose project. Her interests include human computer interaction, machine learning, technologies for children, and app development.
Undergraduate Student - Computer Science
Ph.D. Student - Classics
Anastasia received her BA and MA in Classics from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is currently working on her Ph.D. dissertation on the Reception of Classical Drama.
Ph.D. Student - Political Science
Chuan received her BA in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and MA in Asia Pacific Studies from the University of San Francisco. She is currently working on her Ph.D. dissertation titled: How people working in the automotive industry in China think the future will be for the industry and the country in the era of technology.
Will Hasty (past member)
Professor - Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Dr. Will Hasty is Waldo W. Neikirk Professor of German Studies and Co-Director of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. He has published widely on medieval and early modern literature culture, particularly on medieval romance narratives. He is author of numerous books and has edited collections of essays and literary encyclopedias.
Ken Sassaman (past member)
Professor - Anthropology and Laboratory of Southeastern Archaeology
Dr. Sassaman joined the University of Florida in 1998 and began long-term research in the middle St. Johns region of northeast Florida. Research in both regions centers on the culture history of ancient hunter-gatherers of the Archaic Period (ca. 11,000-3000 years ago). Both regions offer archaeological evidence for important developments, such as the first pottery in North America and some of the oldest villages and monuments in the Southeast U.S. Emphasis in all aspects of this work has been on the nature and consequences of intergroup relations and community formation.
Betty Smocovitis (past member)
Professor - History and Biology
Dr. Smocovitis is a Professor of History of Science at the Departments of Biology and History. She studies the history, philosophy and social study of the twentieth century biological sciences, especially evolutionary biology, systematics, ecology and genetics. She also studies the history of the botanical sciences in America.
Andrew Jenkins (past member)
Ph.D. Student - English
Andrew received his BA and MA in English from Texas A&M University. He is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation titled: Transcendental Stars: Celestial Discourse and Antebellum American Literature.