PlotVis (T.M. Dobson, Lead) is a 3D visualization system built using the Unity game engine that allows researchers to load an XML-encoded story, select elements of interest, then manipulate the resulting display by yawing, rotating, zooming, panning, and so on. Researchers may choose from one of five designs currently available. Its development was funded through a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Grant Initiative, “Developing a model of reading and teaching complex print and digital narratives” (Principal Investigator: Teresa M. Dobson, UBC). PlotVis was designed and developed by an international, multidisciplinary team of researchers: Teresa M. Dobson, UBC; Stan Ruecker, Illinois Institute of Technology School of Design; Piotr Michura, Faculty of Industrial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland; Omar Rodriguez, Humanities Computing, University of Alberta. The iterative design process, from concept through working prototype, is described in Dobson, T. M., Michura, P., Ruecker, S., Brown, M., & Rodriguez, O. (2011). Interactive visualizations of plot in fiction. Visible Language, 45, 166-185. Download this paper (PDF) here.

A video demonstration of the most recent version (Plotvis 2.11a) is available below.

Feminist Material Data Provocations (M. Radzikowska, Lead) is a design method conceptualized by Milena Radzikowska, Design, Mount Royal U. Radzikowska notes that materiality “is a process of transmutation: more alchemy than construction, with the results uncertain and in flux” (Radzikowska, 2020). This method “considers how to create deeper emotional engagement with statistical data by constructing super-sized images depicting, for example, the number of people currently in the US prison system, or the number of paper cups used each day on American flights” (Radzikowska, 2020). Radzikowska’s TechnoTampons is an example of a Feminist Material Data Provocation: T. Dobson is collaborating with Radzikowska on Feminist Material Data Provocations related to breast cancer.

Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) is a collaborative group of researchers and graduate research assistants working with other organizations and partners to explore the digital humanities, electronic scholarly communication, and the affordances of electronic text (Principal Investigator: Ray Siemens, U. Victoria). T.M. Dobson was one of the founding members of this research collaborative (with Ray Siemens and Stan Ruecker), and served as a researcher with the INKE Interface Design team.

Simulated Environment for Theatre is a 3D environment for reading, exploring, and directing plays (Principal Investigator: Jennifer Roberts-Smith, U. Waterloo). Designed and developed by a multidisciplinary team of researchers, SET uses the Unity game engine to allow users to both author and playback digital theatrical productions. Key collaborators are Jennifer Roberts-Smith, Waterloo; Stan Ruecker, U Alberta; Stefan Sinclair, McGill University; Sandra Gabriele, York.