Towards Better Tools: Shaping the Future of AI for the Arts and Design in Higher Education

Apr 5, 2024 noon-1:30pm Eastern/9-10:30am Pacific

a2ru, The Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) and the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) invite their shared communities to participate in a panel discussion envisioning more productive, equitable, and artful futures for the use of AI in arts and design higher education. In the midst of rapid technological development and the anxiety that attends these changes, how can academic and artistic leaders work collectively to proactively shape the continued development of these tools and their deployment in research, teaching and practice?

Moderated by Dr. Soul Brown, Director of Research at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), this discussion will look at ways to harness the existing strengths and potential of generative AI, while also addressing some of its challenges, particularly in regards to intellectual property and the perpetuation of bias. Panelists will include:

  • Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, Director, Institute of Applied Creativity, Texas A&M University
  • Jutta Trevaranis, Director, Inclusive Design Resource Center, OCAD University
  • Caleb Weintraub, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and David Ondrik, Area Head of Photography, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design, Indiana University


Registration is free for a2ru individual members and those affiliated with a2ru institutional and departmental members. Please use your institutional email when registering.

Member Registration

Registration for non-a2ru members is $20, and registration for non-member students is $10.

Non-Member Registration


Soul Brown

Dr. Soul Brown is a research administrator, youth worker, writer, creative practitioner, and social justice educator. Presently, she directs the RISD Research office at Rhode Island School of Design, where she promotes faculty and graduate students’ generation of new knowledges and ways of making through the conduct of sponsored, interdisciplinary, transformative research. Soul also is a PhD candidate in an interprofessional educational leadership and healthcare administration program at Pacific University (Oregon). Her research focuses on historical and contemporary experiences of Black student success in the United States through the frameworks of Critical Race Theory and Community Cultural Wealth. She employs qualitative methodologies of Voice Scholarship and Phenomenology to explicate counternarratives of BIPOC schooled experiences. This fall she is co-teaching a course on the Pathology of Race and Racism in Healthcare.

Prior to joining RISD in July 2020, Soul directed Grants Development for Massachusetts Bay Community College. She successfully tripled MassBay’s grants income, helping to transform the college’s ability to meet the needs of constituents through implementing new academic programs, providing faculty and students with research opportunities, and spurring investments in facilities and equipment.

Soul has over three decades of experience leading innovative nonprofits and creative projects that focus on BIPOC community and youth development, cultural arts, and social justice. She earned her BA in English from Tufts University and Master in Public Administration from Framingham State University.


David Ondrik

David Ondrik is the area head and a lecturer in photography at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design; he is an artist, educator, and writer. For ten years he taught visual art in public high schools and held a National Board Certification for Early Adolescent/Young Adult Visual Art Instruction. He has written book reviews for photo-eye books and exhibition reviews for Fraction Magazine. His photography has appeared in “Undermining,” by Lucy Lippard and the anthology “Photography: New Mexico.” His artwork is in the collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art, the University of New Mexico Art Museum, and multiple New Mexico public art collections. He holds an MFA from Indiana University.

Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo

Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo is an associate professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Performance, Visualization, & Fine Arts. She is also the founding director of the Soft Interaction Lab and serves as the director of the Institute for Applied Creativity. Seo holds a PhD degree in Interactive Art and Technology from Simon Fraser University in Canada and an MFA degree in Computer Arts from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York.

Seo’s interdisciplinary art practice explores the intersection between the human, nature, and technology. Her research aims to engage diverse audiences through embodied and immersive interactions, fostering meaningful relationships within artworks and with participants. Her creative practice and research center on interactive art, as it encourages immersive experiences. Throughout her career, Seo has developed tangible interfaces and mixed reality learning applications for STEAM education, medical/nursing education, and social awareness. Her research has received support from various organizations, including the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Health Resources & Services Administration.

Seo’s interactive art has been showcased locally, nationally, and internationally at notable venues such as ISEA, SIGGRAPH ASIA, IDMAA, TEI, and Creativity & Cognition. Her contributions extend to publishing in various journals and conference proceedings, covering topics like tangible/embodied interaction, interactive design, participatory design, and learning technology.

Jutta Trevaranis

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto (http://idrc.ocadu.ca ).  Jutta established the IDRC in 1993 as the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and globally connected society is designed inclusively.  Dr. Treviranus also founded an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University.  Jutta is credited with developing an inclusive design methodology that has been adopted by large enterprise companies such as Microsoft, as well as public sector organizations internationally.  Jutta was recognized for her work in AI by Women in AI with the AI for Good – DEI AI Leader of the Year award as well as by Women in AI Ethics.

Caleb Weintraub

Caleb Weintraub is Associate Professor and Area Head, Painting, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design. Weintraub has exhibited nationally and internationally. Upcoming shows include: Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art; International Museum of Art and Science in Texas. Two of his paintings are featured in the book, “Signs of the Apocalypse/ Rapture” published by Front Forty press, distributed by University of Chicago Press. A Feature article about his work was recently published in Juxtapoz Magazine. He has been an artist-in-residence at Redux Art Center in South Carolina and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Significant group shows include exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Hyde Park Art Center, and Scion Art Space in Los Angeles. In 2019, Weintraub was a Fellow at the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities, Indiana University.