When we were told that the CHI was going completely online I realized how different fellowship would look completely virtual. Throughout the semester we do rapid development projects which allow us to work in small groups with other fellows. These projects include a project vision document, creating a project pitch website based on the vision document, and making an interactive data visualization website.
Our first and second rapid development projects, Lillian Young (MFA Studio Art), Sari Saba-Sadiya (Computer Science and Neuroscience), and I (Biological Anthropology) created a vision document and then the pitch website for a project called “Curation to Context: A Map of Your Own Backyard”. The vision document was fun to think about all of the ways that we could bring this project to life, each bringing our own experiences and background to the project and quickly getting overzealous with what we could do for this website. When creating the pitch website we soon realized our different levels of experience in coding. I have to thank Sari, a PhD candidate in computer science, for hanging with Lillian and me as we wrapped our brains around GitHub pages, HTML, and CSS. While Sari could have made aspects of the website in a fourth of the time that Lillian and I worked through issues, he stuck through it with us and let us fix our technical issues after we (inevitably) would break something. The team effort made this project 100% better than if we would have worked alone. Sure, we could have all made our own pitch websites and would have been able to figure things out on our own but between Lillian’s artistic eye, Sari’s technical expertise, my attention to detail, and all of our passion for the project, we were able to make something we were all proud of creating building on each other’s technical and cultural knowledge.