Interactive Co/Lab 2016

Through TFI’s interactive storytelling work, we have recognized a need for local communities—as large as a city or as small as a village—to acquire the knowledge and resources to construct their own stories. Communities are living organisms that are created by the shared experiences, localities, and cultural heritage of a group of people. 

To this end, we have launched a new program -- TFI Interactive Co/Lab (a play on Community Labs and the word collaboration) -- which combines workshops, research, and a two-part storytelling and production lab. The first edition focused on Detroit -- a thriving and resilient city that belies its familiar narrative of struggle and blight.

We have partnered with Allied Media Projects and Detroit Narrative Agency on this event, which gives Detroit-based narrative artists an opportunity to prototype stories about large-scale community issues using immersive and interactive technology.



TEAM MEMBERS: Ash Arder, Ivaylo Getov, Mina Rafiee, David Schümudde
DESCRIPTION: Musical soundscape experience generated by a vinyl record made from plant-based material. A sound-responsive phone application allows users to enhance the audio experience with a stream of visuals correlating in real-time with the audio. This layered journey celebrates George Washington Carver's impact on materials science and engineering and the time he spent in Detroit developing plant-based products for Ford Motor Co. Through both content and application (theory and practice), Plant Based Detroit explores the role of sound and music in fortifying the relationship between people, plants and place. This experience supports the Plantalogue movement to elevate the restorative power of music through media that doesn't destroy the planet.


TEAM MEMBERS: Kristen Carethers, Elaine Cromie, Erik Loyer, Wesley Taylor, Mayowa Tomori
DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this project is to promote healing in black women.  We created an interactive platform where black women tell stories to children about a childhood experience that had a profound effect on their lives. The child then re-tells her story in their own re-imagine version. We do this to shift her perspective of her past through the recounting of her story and through her “truth” being re-envisioned through the unfiltered imagination of a child who doesn’t have the burden of adulthood. The platform tells the stories in parallel to each other, and creates interesting syncing and juxtapositions as the stories are scrolled by the user. 


TEAM MEMBERS: Marissa Gawel, Steven Melendez, Lauren Glapa, Nikki Roach
DESCRIPTION: Interactive map of Hamtramck housing personal, place-based tales. Stories can be submitted by Hamtramckans in a variety of media forms (photo via instagram, audio clip via soundcloud, text, etc.) as long as they correspond to a point on the map of Hamtramck. For community members, the map functions as a digital scrapbook. For outsiders, the map exists as a way to explore Hamtramck and witness its unique cultural cooperation. I want this platform to exist as a community-owned, living project for all Hamtramckans to show, not just tell, what it means to live in a community where everyone is Five Feet Apart.


TEAM MEMBERS: Carlos Garcia (L05), Jarek Carethers, Jilly Dreadful, Olga Yakovleva
DESCRIPTION: A remodelling project reveals Atheneum, a digital Eldritch text narrated by Meliora, an artificial intelligence that collects hopes for the future of Detroit from its citizens. Atheneum is a tool for Detroiters to create a personalized vision for the city that can be shared with others.



TEAM MEMBERS: Jennifer Washington, Mandy Mandelstein, Katherine Boehm, Michael Feld
DESCRIPTION: A virtual journey with the people and places of the Detroit Underground Music Scene from yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


This initiative is made possible, in part, with support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.

September 21, 2016

September 28, 2016

Interactive Storytelling Lab:
November 2-6, 2016