CARTA Grants2017-04-07T16:08:27+00:00

Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Competition for 2016-2017

We are happy to announce the winners of CARTA’s Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Competition for 2016-2017. These projects were reviewed by an interdisciplinary board of five faculty members in a double-blind peer review process and the Dean’s office.

Scripting Coral Growth
Neil Leach, Department of Architecture | Principal Investigator
Hwang Yi, Department of Architecture | Co-Investigator
Albert Elias, Department of Architecture | Co-Investigator
Anthony, Bellantuono, Department of Bilingual Sciences| Co-Investigator
Collin Foord, Coral Morphologic | Co-Investigator

This project is an attempt to generate a computer simulation model for coral, by reverse engineering the growth pattern of various species. The goal is to provide and create better CGI coral reef ecosystem models for coral reef researchers. In particular, if the team is successful in creating growth models for a variety of different benthic coral species, then researchers will be empowered to generate better ecosystem simulations. This research could also become an installation at Art Basel. But beyond this, the research has potential applications in the field of architecture. The same principles, for example, could be related to the generation of human habitats, that are grown from a ‘seed’ and that mutate according to their environmental situation. Moreover, the project addresses some of the key issues that confront the architectural community in Miami today – global warming, sea-level rise, and the delicacy of our urban ecosystems.


An Underline for the Underserved
Newton D’souza, Department of Interior Architecture | Principal Investigator
Ebru Ozer, Department of Landscape Architecture | Co-Investigator
Edgar Vieira, College of Nursing | Co-Investigator
Iveris Martinez, College of Medicine| Co-Investigator

The purpose of this project is to empirically measure functional, behavioral, and environmental attributes of active living among Miami’s elderly population and provide evidence-based solutions for sustainable urban aging in place. Using field and lab based simulation research, the project will serve traditionally marginalized population that include low-income, inner-city, elderly minority community to effect healthy lifestyles.  Complementing the traditional ethnographic studies, simulation research helps us to create an iterative research design process that allows for user analysis and interventions. The project will be implemen  ted under Miami’s Metrorail, also known as the Underline. Our goal will be to integrate rehabilitative and physical environment interventions that lead to elder-friendly design guidelines. Our team consists of a multidisciplinary group of research faculty from interior architecture, landscape architecture, physical therapy and medicine who will undertake a rigorous phase-wise study. We will measure functional factors such as mobility, environment-behavioral factors such as physical/visual accessibility, and psychophysiological factors such relaxation and motivation. The project will have immense impact on government, businesses, educators, health care communities and everyone who has a role in creating a healthier city.


Distress and illness:

Working Towards Reducing Clinical Errors by Improving Intercultural Competence in Health Care Practitioner- Patient Interactions.

Nurhayat Bilge, School of Communication Contact Information| Principal Investigator
­­­María Inés Marino, School of Communication | Co-Investigator
Elena Bastida, | Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work | Co-Investigator
Leslie Bofill, Ed.S. | Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine | Co-Investigator

This project aims to increase the level of intercultural nonverbal communication competence in practitioner-patient interactions in health care practices. Improved intercultural competence of health care practitioners helps reduce clinical errors caused or heightened by cultural differences. Thus, the researchers of the project will investigate intercultural nonverbal communication competence needs and behaviors among FIU School of Nursing and College of Medicine student body, identify and analyze the areas in need of improvement, examine practical solutions and successful practices in health care practitioner-patient interactions, and provide specific recommendations in the area of online training education. Ultimately, the researchers will identify facilitators of and barriers to advancement of intercultural nonverbal communication competence towards reducing clinical errors for FIU healthcare students.


1Bridging the Gap: The public voice in adaptation planning
Daniel Blaeuer, Communication Studies (Principal Investigator)
Alice Gray, Architecture
Tiffany Troller, Biological Sciences

Bridging the Gap between science and practice: The public voice in adaptation planning is an experimental pilot project testing strategies to encourage meaningful public deliberation on local adaptation strategies and adaptation pathways for climate change and sea level rise for South Florida.  The researchers will design a series of public forums that provides citizens the opportunity to discuss the value tensions in community adaptation to sea level rise and environmental change.  The researchers will also pilot methods to assess the efficacy of these forums at promoting public argument and disagreements.
Mapping FIU’s Intercultural Climate
Maria Elena Villar, Advertising & Public Relations (Principal Investigator)
María Mercedes Vigón, Journalism
María Ines Marino, Communication Arts

Recent incidents on college campuses have brought to light the need for a more profound understanding of cultural identity and intercultural communication to ensure equity in access and opportunity in higher education. The purpose of this study is to research intercultural behaviors and differences among culturally diverse college students and examine how these differences enhance or interfere with educational opportunities. This will be achieved by identifying facilitators and barriers to cultural competence among college students through focus groups and in-depth interviews with students and faculty in Miami’s public research university, FIU. The project will integrate research approaches from journalism, social sciences and humanities to examine the issue from diverse research angles. Complementary activities will include social media content analysis, filming for a documentary, and dissemination of the results to students, media, researchers and educators. The research will yield scholarly presentations and publications, a 1-minute documentary video, and pilot data for grant proposals to continue the project.


2Back to the Drawing Board: A Two-Day Symposium on Drawing Research and Practice
Michael NamKung, Fine Arts (Principal Investigator)
Nick Gelpi, Architecture
Gwen Davies, Archaeology

Spiral, Drawing Gym Workshop, Thinking Through Drawing Symposium 2015. This project will bring an emerging international cross-disciplinary dialogue on drawing to South Florida. Using our collective expertise and academic networks, our team will invite leading voices on drawing practice and research to FIU for a two-day symposium in the Fall of 2016 called Back to the Drawing Board. The symposium will include a keynote lecture, panel discussions, performances, and hands-on drawing workshops that address drawing practice from a multiplicity of disciplines. Symposium proceedings will be published online, shared widely, and become a public resource that highlights contemporary drawing practice both within and outside of the art world. The project will cultivate new research collaborations and begin to position FIU as a preeminent center of drawing practice and scholarship. Following the symposium, we will leverage the new knowledge and new relationships form  ed to organize a larger scale international conference and drawing exhibition in 2018.

Eyes on the Rise: Citizen Stories, Science, and Expression
Robert E. Gutsche,  Mass Communications (Principal Investigator)
Marta Canaves, Phillip M. Church,Susan Jacobson, Kate MacMillin, Marilyis Nepomechie, Ebru Ozer, David Rifkind, Roberto Rovira & Maria Elena Villar

Through collaborative, interdisciplinary work on sea level rise in South Florida, this project develops communication models, engagement projects, scholarship, and pedagogy that interconnect sea level rise and changes to quality of life. The 11 team members across five departments will now amplify and sustain current projects, including the interactive Sea Level Rise Toolkit ( Faculty involved in this project come from the Departments of Journalism and Broadcasting, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Environmental + Urban Design, Theatre, and Advertising and Public Relations. As the participating faculty members continue to receive international recognition for their work related to rising seas, this new collaboration will support innovative and expressive projects that engage South Florida students and communities to communicate insights and solutions through robust research in science, art, journalism, and design.

College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199
PH: 305-348-7500 | Fx: 305-348-6717