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The faculty and staff of the Herberger Institute engage in research projects that address today’s most pressing challenges. We position artists and designers at the center of public life in order to advance culture, build equitable communities, and imaginatively engage the urgent questions and problems of our time.

Home(less)ness Studio: Dwelling in a desert city

Students posing for photo

Addressing the issues of the built environment surrounding homeless shelters and spaces in Maricopa County.

Sounding Out Spaces

Plant with purple flowers

Sounding Out Spaces explores how we can use digital means to participate directly in our environments, leading to novel and inclusive experiences. This research proposes an approach to incorporating both acoustic and environmental factors within a large-scale multichannel sound installation.

Software-Defined Imaging for Energy-Efficient Visual Computing

Device Circuitry

From augmented reality and autonomous vehicles to computational photography and the Internet of Things, applications built on real-time, high-quality visual sensing are becoming central to everyday computing. All of these applications exhibit two competing demands: complex, domain-specific sensing capabilities on one hand and energy efficiency on the other.

Scalable Topological and Geometric Methods for Multimodal Activity Modeling

Scalable Topological and Geometric Methods for Multimodal Activity Modeling

Computer vision and machine-learning techniques have revolutionized our world in recent years. However, for robust operation, these techniques need very large amounts of data and annotation. This requirement places real limits on their utility in critical situations where access to data may be limited.

REU Site: REU: Computational Imaging and Mixed-Reality for Visual Media Creation and Visualization

Rasberry Pi Device

Training the next generation of STEM researchers in visual media experiences from new forms of imaging to augmented and mixed reality requires integrating knowledge from several disciplines and effectively communicating that information to students and trainees.

Middle School Teacher and Student's Experiences with Artificial Intelligence via Computational Cameras

Teacher showing student projection mapping

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology applied to images and video is transforming society with broad applications to many social and economic sectors. To develop a citizenry that will participate in this technological revolution, it is essential to develop learning experiences for K-12 learners on the foundations of AI literacy in order to adequately prepare the workforce of the future.

Listen(n) Project

Arizona Desert Landscape

Documenting the acoustic ecology of protected, pristine environments such as National Parks in order to develop new tools to track a measure climate impact from the sound recording database. The project also runs listening workshops and field recording workshops for the public.


Ecosonics Device

This project aimed to develop tools to track climate impact from sound recordings alone.

Enmei (Long Life): A Dance and Aging Project

Two dancers performing

As the populations of both the United States and Japan grow older, it becomes increasingly critical to understand how cultural discourses about older women (who make up the vast bulk of the older population) affect individuals’ lives, as well as to understand how women work with and around those discourses as they age.

Projecting All Voices: Broadening the role of universities in building a thriving ecology for underrepresented artists

Projecting All Voices

Our goal was to better understand the ways in which universities and their internal and external networks can support and advance the careers of artists who have been historically under-represented, particularly in the Southwest in both higher education and cultural institutions.

ASU Herberger Institute Supports Thriving Cultures

The Long Road

What does a thriving arts ecology look like in Arizona? What are the conditions necessary to support deep collaboration between artists, culture workers and community leaders that center arts-engaged practice as a means to address wider civic challenges?

Pause and Play (Engage Design Innovate Transform: EDIT)

Pause and Play

The purpose of this project is to explore how to establish compatibility between design and build academia and community theory and practice, and learning and playing while looking at the relationship between culture and play.

From Turrell to Leonardo

View of Roden Crater Tunnel

To design a long-term partnership with visual artist James Turrell to accelerate completion of Roden Crater and pilot innovative transdisciplinary education at a world-renowned site for human inspiration and learning

Sound Explorations: Creating, Expressing, and Improving Communities

Sound Explorations

Sound Explorations addresses two pressing issues across music learning and teaching: 1) A need for support in expanding the types of musical engagement and learning that occur in K-12 and after school settings and 2) A need to address youth’s unequal access to quality formal and informal music learning across the United States.


Yolanda Stevens’ inked feet

The Map(ing) project, established in 2009, was a biennial event that investigates the personal and cultural histories of Native American and Indigenous artists. Each year five artists are invited to work collaboratively with students from ASU’s School of Art.

Dense life-log health analytics from wearable sensors using functional analysis and Riemannian geometry

Dense life-long health analytics

The proliferation of wearable devices for health promotion has resulted in an explosion of time-series data, resulting in tens of millions of data points captured. Mathematical methods that can fully process this kind of rich data have been lacking.

Automatic Gunshot Detection

Automatic gunshot detection

The challenge was to develop a device that could determine the location of a gunshot in a remote rainforest and notify a security team of the likely position of poachers

Studio for the Future of Arts and Culture

Studio for the Future of Arts and Culture

For the past two decades, arts leaders have been beset by tectonic changes in arts practice and participation resulting from shifts in demographics, new technology, distribution systems, and patterns of cultural engagement. Existing business models in both the commercial and nonprofit arts are proving inadequate to these new realities.

CAREER: Role of geometry in dynamical modeling of human movement

Role of geometry in dynamical modeling of human movement

The challenge is to develop mathematical frameworks for modeling time-series data measured from multimodal sensors for human activity modeling. Sensors range from wearable devices, optical motion capture, camera-based tracking.

Dynamic Light Transport Acquisition and Applications to Computational Illumination

Dynamic Light Transport Acquisition and Applications to Computational Illumination

Cameras typically capture a moving object’s interaction with light in a scene. This measurement is limited to dynamic effects on the image plane, such as motion, occlusion and shadowing. Such visual cues have been the focus of most vision algorithms operating on conventional imagery from dynamic scenes.