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AIM Lab member Emery Vanderburgh has been awarded two Canada Council for the Arts Research and Creation Grants under the Explore and Create component. For “Depression in Translation,” a collaborative sci-art textile project, created with Amanda Brown and Dimitri Copper, and for “Deconstructions,” an individual project about speculative accessible design. 

An image of a shower chair in the center of the frame. The chair is fractured into several pieces as a visual reference to the title “Deconstructions.” The majority of the chair is covered in a cracked blue and white porcelain texture. Sections of the chair are cut away – the bottom left leg is replaced by a white pencil sketch of the chair’s leg on blue graphing paper, and the middle section of the chair reveals a plain white 3D model of the shower chair. The background is soft watercolor in blues and greys.

Depression in Translation is a continued collaboration with Amanda Brown and Dimitri Copper, based on Amanda’s research on the epigenetic relationship between early-life adversity and depression and suicidality. The two-year grant funding allows for explorations in textiles with the aim of creating six custom dresses, in projection mapping to stage a home environment, and in community consultation to design a multi-media exhibition that demystifies resilience genes and environmental factors for the public. 

Deconstructions is a one-year participatory research project which will create concept art for speculative accessible design and fashion aesthetics. This research and creation phase of the project will result in a website of 3D-modeled spaces and assistive equipment created in collaboration with the disability community. The project centers the concept of fantasy as a form of resistance, where marginalized communities don’t have to limit or adapt their vision of systemic change based on current societal structures; rather, they can create utopic visions to articulate innovative templates for inclusivity.

Depression in Translation
A photo of Amanda wearing the first iteration of the Depression In Translation mask, dress, and coat. In this photo, she is taking off the jacket to reveal the dress. The dress is made of doilies and tulle in varying shades of white, and features embroidered dopamine and serotonin molecules. The mask is a translucent white, featuring six embroidered eyes and two sets of lips, and a pearl headpiece. The jacket is a cream canvas material, with ropes strung in swirls along the lapel, which trail to the ground. She is standing against a stark black background.
Image credit:
Dress and Mask by Amanda Brown 
Coat by Dimitri Copper
Photo by Emery Vanderburgh