Exploring Visual Poetry: ArtSide Workshop at the 2018 RAW Conference

by Kuo-Wei Lee, Shruthy Sreepathy, Yusra Khan

Students from the ArtSciLab hosted on ArtSide,at the 10th annual RAW: Research-Art-Writing Conference at The University of Texas at Dallas in February.

Kuo-Wei Lee (M.A. ’18, Arts and Technology), Shruthy Sreepathy, and Yusra Khan (both M.S. ’18, Applied Cognition and Neuroscience) presented ArtSide: Enhancing the Connection Between Cities and Communities. ArtSide—Lee’s master’s thesis, first prototyped in Professor Cassini Nazir’s Creating Interactive Media course—aims to enhance the social experience of public art through social and technological and strengthen the relationship between city and its communities.

What is ArtSide?

ArtSide is Kuo-Wei Lee’s masters thesis project: a mobile app prototype that utilizes Global Positioning System (GPS) to indicate the location of public art and provides a social platform to interaction with others about the pieces. It not only enhances a healthy lifestyle but also raises and shares appreciation of public art in (downtown) Dallas. This interactivity engages people of the community to provide input, opinions, experiences, and stories and build meaning and shared memories for their communities.

ArtSide Workshop: Exploring Visual Poetry

During the conference, workshop participants shared their personal insights into public art and perspectives about how technology can be used to enhance the experience of public art. This interactive session engaged people to provide opinions, experiences, and stories. Lee then directed members to gather these opinions,  provoking creative possibilities and design concepts to enhance the user experience of ArtSide app.


ArtSide, High Fidelity Prototypes.

Early on, Lee developed a journal for ArtSide, similar in functionality to blog or social media posts. “When I visited Pioneer Plaza, which is a memorial park in downtown Dallas,” said Lee, “I was really impressed by the amazing buffalo sculptures. I can use ArtSide to write down my thoughts, experience and memories. Although the journal feature allowed me to share articles with friends, it doesn’t give me anything that I can’t already find on Facebook.” From the ArtSide team’s research into social media usage gave them an insight into a new possibility: visual poetry. Using the lines of poetry as a starting point for visual capture can create more meaningful and personal journals rather than just a data-rich, meaning-poor social posts.


ArtSide, Current Journal Feature.

The ArtSide Workshop was made of four parts:

  1. A short introduction on ArtSide and the problem it seeks to address
  2. A design charette, where each audience participant used their creative expertise to generate ideas on public art.
  3. A visual poetry session, where the ArtSide team used the structure poetic forms to build an interesting and meaningful way to enhance the social experience of art appreciation.
  4. The last session was audience feedback and reflection on the session and honest suggestions on how ArtSide can be improved.

Next Steps

The team is now analyzing the designs created by audience participants during the RAW workshop. Lee also conducted a similar workshop in Professor Nazir’s Information Architecture course.

He looks forward to implementing changes to the visual design of the ArtSide prototype.

Problem Framing.

Design Charette.

Visual Poetry.

Design Charette

Visual Poetry Workshop

Visual Poetry Gallery

The ArtSide Team

Kuo-Wei Lee is creative director of the ArtSide project. Lee will complete his masters thesis in Arts and Technology (ATEC) program in May 2018. He welcomes feedback, suggestions, and collaborations. Contact him at artside.utdallas@gmail.com.

As a user experience(UX) designer, Shruthy Sreepathy leads design research efforts to enhance the ArtSide user experience.

As a digital community designer, Yusra Khan designs the engagement of communities within ArtSide.

About authors

Kuo-Wei Lee is a M.A. graduate student in Arts and Technology(ATEC) at The University of Texas at Dallas. He’s been involved in the ArtSciLab since Spring 2017. He works as a graphic designer for ARTECA project (a curated space for essential content linking the arts, sciences, and technologies.) in the ArtSciLab at University of Texas at Dallas.

Shruthy Sreepathy is a M.S neuroscience graduate student specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. She is involved with UT Dallas ArtSciLab since Fall 2016 as a designer and Drupal developer for ARTECA. Her focus is in UX design and development.

Yusra Khan is a neuroscience student specializing in Human-Computer Interaction with a keen interest in UX, Marketing, and Advertisement. She is currently involved in a research internship at ArtSci Lab at UT Dallas where she is collaborating on the ARTECA project with MIT Press and Leonardo on Marketing ARTECA as well as designing the engagement of the heterogeneous communities within ARTECA.