Archives for category: OpenGrounds

For our last class on April 29, we met at the Rotunda to strut and power pose, practicing what we learned from Sophie Trawalter about being at home in spaces, and from the TED Talk by Harvard Business Professor Amy Cuddy “Your body language shapes who you are”.  After that, we went to OpenGrounds for Radical Listening, a wrap up discussion and an over abundance of snacks.  Thank you everyone–students, speakers, faculty and other participants–for a great semester full of many insights and memorable experiences. All the best to the many Transduction graduates and handful of students who will be back next year.

Radical Listening Instructions

From Ram Eisenberg:  We THINK BETTER when someone is listening to us. That’s the basic assumption of radical listening. We are interactional by essence, and Language is an interaction. Putting difficult things into words, happens better with a listener. Just ask them to try it. The key is not to talk about what you know, but to really look for a difficult part, something you DONT KNOW exactly yet, and then talk about it. I also suggest reading Hinreich Von Kleist’s: On the Gradual Production of Thoughts Whilst Speaking. It sets the tone and the basic ideas. 

Discussion Topic:  Consider your vision for the future.  Are there things that struck you this semester—interesting, surprising, useful, that give you ideas, insight—that you can take with you as you realize your vision/work for the future?

Dorothy Parvaz, special projects editor and reporter for Al Jazeera International, exemplifies disciplinary and cultural transduction. Students from Transduction, those with interest in Middle East, Policy and Media Studies and journalism themes all enjoyed separate engaging discussions with Dorothy during her visit.  Faculty from Politics, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures, History, Chemistry, Architecture, German, Media Studies, American Studies and more met with Dorothy for conversation.

The OpenTable event featuring Dorothy, with Bill Quandt from Politics and Elizabeth Thompson from History. Graduate students from Politics and Religious Studies and undergrads, including first years from various fields and schools, both the College and Engineering, were present, and contributed. Even a prospective student was there! The discussion got heated at one point with disagreement surrounding reasons for low voter turnout and engagement in the democratic process in the US versus other countries like Afghanistan. We enjoyed the lively debate, as well as the friendly jokes and handshake afterwards.  Thanks Dorothy for sharing your story, and challenging us to be better informed about what’s going on in the world. Thank you Lisa Goff for your important contributions as cohost for Dorothy’s visit.




Great visit with Natalie Jeremijenko. We were enthralled with her talk and had a blast brainstorming about ideas and projects at OpenGrounds. Lots to think about, and great to get together with students and colleagues from across Grounds to imagine what might be possible. Thanks for coming Natalie! Hope to see you back in Cville soon. Thank you Bill Sherman and Lindsey Hepler for the Transduction-OpenGrounds partnership.



Jason Kelly Johnson met with a group of students and faculty from Architecture, Darden, Computer Science, Music, Physics, Chemistry and Medicine at OpenGrounds to talk about Maker Spaces. He told us about different kinds of innovative spaces around the country and world, even in Charlottesville, the kinds of activities than happen there, and ways that they are challenging and enhancing society and traditional education. The conversation evolved into a brainstorming session about what we want, need and dream of doing at UVA. The scheduled 1.5 hour session quickly became 2.5 and many people stayed longer than that to exchange ideas and generate even more. Thank you Jason! Thank you OpenGrounds! Thank you Lucia Phinney from Architecture for the idea to bring Jason here and for helping to make it happen.

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20140226_2337 cropWilma Subra spoke to a packed house of ~200 people in Clark Hall about the health hazards of toxic chemical exposures and her work to empower affected communities. Discussion continued the next day at OpenGrounds. See the OpenGrounds blog for an account of this event. On Tuesday, Ms. Subra met with students and faculty in Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Thought and Practice, Landscape Architecture, and the Transduction team. On Wednesday, she visited the Eco Tech Regenerative Technologies class in Architecture, met with students and faculty in global health, public health and law, and was hosted for dinner and discussion at Hereford College. Generous with her time and expertise, Wilma Subra also met with the directors and staff at the UVA Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Environmental Health Sciences and a group of ~30 at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville. Thank you Wilma for your insight and inspiration.

Eisenberg OpenGroundsAt OpenGrounds, Ram Eisenberg spoke about consideration, being cared for, and the power of unfinished spaces in environmental design. His current work and practice are strongly influenced by Eugene GendlinThe University of Chicago philosopher and psychotherapist known for thinking on the edge and focusing methods, and a bodily felt sense. A video of this discussion may be found on YouTube.

Transduction is collaborating with OpenGrounds to host an Open Table Discussion series. A complete list may be found here. Typically, these events will take place on Wednesdays at lunch time at the OpenGrounds Corner Studio (exception: Park, Tuesday, WallSpace). They provide a chance for informal discussion with distinguished speakers on additional cutting edge topics. All are welcome. Bring your lunch, participate and engage. For more information and to register, find OpenGrounds Discussion links associated with speakers on the Transduction schedule or contact Lindsey Hepler, Program Manager,, 434.243.4889.