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Rob Woodbury

SIAT sparks a GRAND plan

January 7, 2010

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Researchers from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) will be part of a GRAND effort to study how people make and use interactive digital systems.

The SIAT research team is joining colleagues from UBC, the Centre for Digital Media and other Canadian institutions in a new National Centre of Excellence called GRAND, or Graphics, Animation and New Media Canada.

The centre will receive $4.65 million a year for five years from the federal government.

SIAT’s Rob Woodbury will be GRAND’s director of art and design practice, while colleague Diane Gromala will serve as new-media theme co-leader.

"Today, practically everything is digital," says Woodbury. "Everything people use is interactive. Technology surpasses our ability to use it creatively, productively and ethically. We need to focus on how people make and use interactive, digital systems.

"The GRAND network combines the rapid development of industry with the insight of academia to envision, develop, demonstrate, test and launch innovations in the field."

GRAND’s research will focus on new-media challenges and opportunities, games and interactive simulation and animations, graphics and imaging.

The researchers will also look at the social, legal, economic and cultural perspectives of new media and the technologies that enable them.

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