Osher Fellow • Summer 2008, spring 2009
John Roloff is a visual artist who works conceptually with site, process, and natural systems. He is known primarily for his outdoor kiln/furnace projects done from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, as well as other large-scale environmental and gallery installations investigating geologic and natural phenomena. He is currently a professor of sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition to numerous environmental, site-specific installations in the United States, Canada and Europe, his work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, Photoscene Cologne, the Venice Architectural and Art Biennales, and other venues. John participated in a planning meeting for the outdoor spaces of the Exploratorium’s new home at piers 15 and 17. His clear and creative thinking led the Outdoor Exploratorium team to invite him to research and explore possible concepts for a piece at their Fort Mason site. In his role as Osher Fellow, John has continued and expanded his research in both the Outdoor project and the piers site.
Maria Rosario Jackson
Osher Fellow • November, 2015
Maria Rosario Jackson is an expert in the fields of urban planning, comprehensive community revitalization, and arts and culture. She speaks frequently about the need for "cultural kitchens" to nurture creative work and the human need for aesthetic expression—particularly for low- and moderate-income communities of color. Cultural kitchens are spaces or organizations that foster cultural self-determination, tradition, and innovation—places where artists and tradition-bearers can share their talents and encourage others.
Jackson is senior advisor to the Arts and Culture Program at the Kresge Foundation. She serves on the advisory board of the Lambent Foundation and as a member of the board of directors for both the National Performance Network and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. She teaches arts management in the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. For 18 years she was director of the Culture, Creativity, and Communities Program at the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC-based national public policy research organization. At the Urban Institute, Jackson led research to measure the cultural vitality and the role of arts and culture in community revitalization and the development of art spaces. She also researched support systems for artists and participated in projects concerned with public housing, public education, public safety, and parks.She received a PhD in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Osher Fellow • March and July, 1993
Steven is chair of the biology department at Open University in London, director of the Brain and Behavior Research Group, and author of the book Learning and Memory. He offered ideas to integrate biology exhibits with many of the other themes in the Exploratorium, specifically by making links between the perception exhibits and the brain processes that underlie them. He also helped us develop a plan for cognition exhibit areas.
Osher Fellow • March 2004
Rebecca Ross is an artist, engineer, and research scientist in the realm of software engineering and computer design, including graphic design. She holds dual appointments from New York University: she is a research scientist at the NYU Center for Advanced Technology and a professor at the Gallatin School. She is also adjunct faculty for the interactive telecommunications program, where she has her students design alternative uses for cell phone technology. Ms. Ross develops data visualization techniques for handheld electronic devices using global positioning system (GPS) technology and for online interactive programs and applications that take publicly available data and statistics and translate them into works that provide context and meaning for the viewer.
Osher Fellow • April and July, 1988
Oliver is a professor of clinical neurophysiology, Alfred Einstein School of Medicine, New York, and author of numerous books including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Seeing Voices. He helped in our development of a temporary exhibition called Memory.
Osher Fellow • November - December 2016
Stefan Sagmeister studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and at the Pratt Institute in New York. He formed New York-based Sagmeister Inc. in New York City in 1993. His firm has created branding, graphics, and packaging for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, the Guggenheim Museum, and Time Warner.
Stefan Sagmeister is also the author of the books Made You Look and Things I have Learned in My Life So Far. Solo exhibitions of Sagmeister’s work have shown in Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Osaka, Prague, Cologne, and Seoul. He teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Arts in New York and has been appointed the Frank Stanton Chair at the Cooper Union School of Art, New York. Sagmeister is the recipient of a 2013 AIGA Medal.
Osher Fellow • March, 2015
Dr. Sass is an architect, computer scientist, and researcher who explores digital design and fabrication. As an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at MIT, Sass has taught courses in digital fabrication and design computing since 2002. Sass has been published widely, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York has exhibited his work.
Sass’s research builds on his belief that handcrafted construction will soon be a thing of the past. He predicts that in the future, buildings will be "printed" with machines run by computers. These printed buildings can be constructed faster—and with greater precision—than conventional, handmade buildings. They can also be printed with the latest technologies and reduce many of our current energy needs.
Sass proposes that the practice of architecture must incorporate new, emerging means of machine operation within the fields of design and construction. These changes will require the development of a new knowledge base for design—one where designers will play a larger role in the delivery process. Sass believes the challenge for architecture—both in schools and in the profession—will be to develop research and teaching agendas that are relevant to creative digital design and fabrication—from furniture to skyscrapers.
Osher Fellow • November 2007, September 2008
Keith Sawyer, a professor of psychology and education at Washington University in St. Louis, is one of the country’s leading scientific experts on creativity. His research focus is creativity, learning, and play, and he studies the hidden role of collaboration, conversation, interaction, and improvisation in innovation. Keith’s resume also includes a computer science degree from MIT and Ph.D. in psychology from University of Chicago, plus a stint designing video games for ATARI and 20 years experience as a working jazz pianist. His book Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration tears down some of the most popular myths about creativity and erects new principles in their place. The empowering message is that all of us have the potential to be more creative; we just need to learn the secrets of group genius. While at the Exploratorium, he gave a provocative talk on the myth of lone creativity.
Osher Fellow • April 1998
Jonathan is associate professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, and research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center. Memory is his main work focus, but he also has strong interests in many different areas of cognition, such as decision making, consciousness, language, and learning. Part of his fellowship was spent exploring the kinds of learning that occur at the Exploratorium and ways that we can maximize the museum’s unique learning environment. His weekly brown bag lunches for the staff covered topics from creativity to verbal interference in memory. His perspectives were of relevance and interest in our refocusing and education projects, and our Explainer program.
Osher Fellow • January 1992
A Harvard University physics professor, Judah studies learning and the use of technology to make abstract ideas much more accessible. He is recognized as a leader in the cognitive science education research field. He helped with the planning of our next major step in exhibit development on cognition, as well as in the expansion of our teacher programs and media and communication endeavors.
Osher Fellow • October 1995 and March 1996
Art is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. His research background in biology and psychology enabled us to build strong conceptual foundations for the creation of a new exhibit area on memory. The first part of his fellowship was primarily focused on meeting with exhibit and program staff to provide an overview of fundamental ideas and questions in memory research. He also brought some of his graduate students to the museum to critique text for some of the prototype exhibit ideas. In addition to conceptual knowledge, Art provided us access to a wealth of resources in memory fields. In the spring, he helped organize a day-long advisory meeting for the Exploratorium’s Memory project with top-level psychologists and neuroscientists.