An opportunity to work with Creative Informatics researchers over the summer.
Timescale and pay
20 hours/week for 5 weeks, between 21st June and the end of August 2021. The 5 specific weeks within this timescale will be chosen in line with the intern’s availability.
Visual metaphors for technologies are abundant in media and popular culture. For example, a Google image search for “Artificial Intelligence” returns a variety of images of plastic robots as well as blue and black graphics of brains made of circuit boards. Searching for “Blockchain” produces images of computers linked together, as well as physical chains. These types of images shape our perceptions and understandings of technologies, clearly communicating some of their properties (e.g., Blockchain chains conveying security, or Artificial Intelligence brains conveying the concept of intelligence) but obscuring others. At the same time, these images can sometimes appear intimidating, and so alienate certain groups from exploring how these technologies fit into their life and work.
As part of the Creative Informatics programme, we are exploring ways to visually communicate concepts related to data and technology to wide audiences, with a focus on communicating them to individuals working in the Creative Industries (e.g., artists, musicians and craftspeople). We wish to explore how different types of visual metaphors can be used to communicate the properties of technologies that might be of interest to these groups – for example how technology can generate new designs or open up new possibilities for selling or exhibiting creative work.
We are looking for an undergraduate or post-graduate student with a background in visual design (e.g., graphic design, illustration, etc.) and an interest in emerging technologies to help us develop an openly-licensed visual vocabulary for these concepts.
The internship will involve:
- Working with Creative Informatics researchers to decide for which technologies to develop a visual vocabulary.
- Developing a design workbook demonstrating how different technologies (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things) are typically represented in the media (e.g., in the news, popular magazines and science communication publications).
- Developing visual metaphors that communicate core features of and uses for different technologies (for example, to show that Artificial Intelligence can be used in decision making, or for recognition of patterns).
- Designing graphics representing a set of technologies and data, using Adobe Creative Suite or other graphic design software.
The opportunity will enable the intern to gain experience in a professional design research context, develop work for their portfolio and provide the opportunity for their work to be disseminated and credited in Creative Informatics openly-licensed outputs.
The applicant should:
- Have a background in visual or communication design.
- Have an interest in data and technology. Please note the role will not involve any programming, and no experience with programming or software development is required.
- Have experience with working with Adobe Creative Suite.
- Be currently enrolled at the University of Edinburgh or Edinburgh Napier University.
The internship will run for 5 weeks, at 20 hours a week for a total of 100 hours. It will be paid at Grade 4 (£11.64/hour). Applicants must be currently enrolled as a student at the University of Edinburgh or Edinburgh Napier University.
We hope to run the internship between 21st June and the end of August, and we are happy for the intern to decide which 5 weeks within this timeline work best for them. The internship will take place primarily via remote working and meetings, with meetings at the University of Edinburgh George Square campus if desirable and possible (depending on changing Covid-19 regulations).
The internship will be hosted by the Creative Informatics programme and supervised by Dr. Susan Lechelt and Dr. Chris Elsden. It will be situated within the Institute for Design Informatics, which sits between the University of Edinburgh’s Edinburgh College of Art and the School of Informatics. The Institute for Design Informatics is a vibrant, interdisciplinary hub in which we design systems for better human data interaction, in diverse settings such as health, culture, mobility and finance. We explore design from, with, and by data: the central concern is the design of flows of data which sustain and enhance human values.
Please feel free to get in touch with Susan Lechelt at firstname.lastname@example.org for any informal questions about the internship. To apply please send a brief description of your experience (via a CV or a written paragraph), a paragraph describing why you are interested in this role and a short portfolio of your work by 3rd June, 2021 to email@example.com. We may ask to meet with you for a via video call for an informal chat in the week following the deadline to better understand your interests and background. We will communicate our decision to applicants by the 10th June, 2021.