Background, Context and Acknowledgements

Ground Works is a compendium of exemplary interdisciplinary arts-inclusive collaborative research projects, and a hub for reflection on the processes that drive such work.

Institutional Partners and Leads

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities ( a2ru ), a national network of 40+ research universities, is leading implementation of the GroundWorks platform. Because GroundWorks spotlights exemplary arts-centered research projects and provides a platform for reflection on the processes that drive interdisciplinary collaborative work, it speaks to issues that are central to a2ru’s mission. a2ru fosters and champions the role of the arts and design in research universities, and the GroundWorks peer-reviewed space for arts-integrative projects substantially advances that work.

Carnegie Mellon University ( CMU ) is leading the technical development and implementation of the GroundWorks platform. This project draws on two past community platforms developed at CMU. These are XSEAD - an NSF-funded project to curate collaborations across traditional disciplines - and MakeSchools a platform that cataloged the effects of the maker movement in US Higher education through dynamic contributions. Best practice and lessons learned from both will inform the mechanisms, practices and processes embedded in GroundWorks. With CMU's we seek to establish a socio-technical system to foster cross-cutting exchange and develop a community of practice around art-integrative research.

History and Context

Out of a2ru’s early Mellon-funded research (2012-2015) emerged several arts-integrative “proto-fields” at research universities: Arts & Health, Arts & Entrepreneurship, Creative Placemaking, and SEAD (projects at the intersection of science, engineering, arts, and design). a2ru committed to supporting program development within each of these areas, and understood that a key concern for SEAD projects is peer-reviewed publication; many faculty working at the interstices among disciplines find that their work doesn’t neatly fit the guidelines of traditional peer-reviewed journals, either because it defies disciplinary categorization or because its outcome is not a textual artifact. Working closely with staff from Leonardo, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Illinois, we envisioned an online platform that provides rigorous peer-review for boundary-breaking arts-integrative work. The platform would meet important needs for arts-integrative faculty, institutions and research, and open a space for reflection on the processes that drive arts-integrative projects. Although Ground Work's origins lie with SEAD, we have expanded the notion of arts-integration to include all disciplines, not just science and engineering. Through an iterative and intensely collaborative process, we defined guiding principles, criteria, and operations for the Ground Works platform that launched in 2019 with a special a2ru Conference Edition.

In 2020, Ground Works has begun accepting submissions on a rolling basis, with a standing Editorial Board and a stable of reviewers. All submissions will move through a two-stage review process; accepted submissions will be featured on the platform. Ground Works will be a showcase for projects that spark meaningful dialogue among the disciplines even as they keep the arts at their core. Furthermore, Ground Works editorial staff will select exemplary projects to be case studies in collaboration, interrogating and exposing the processes that underpin successful interdisciplinary collaboration.

Committee and Coordination

Key players, past and present, in the Ground Works enterprise.

Current Team

Daragh Byrne
Platform Lead
Veronica Stanich
Managing Editor


Laurie Baefsky

Ico Bukvic

Daragh Byrne

Edgar Cardenas

Bud Coleman
Kevin Hamilton

Gabriel Harp

Anthony Kolenic

Debra Mexicotte

J.D. Talasek

Ground Works 2021-2022 Editorial Board

Audrey G. Bennett
University of Michigan

Ivica Ico Bukvic
Virginia Tech

Rodrigo Cádiz
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Kyrie E.H Caldwell
University of Wisconsin-Madison

J.R. Campbell
Kent State University

Edgar Cardenas
Michigan State University

Robin Cass
Rochester Institute of Technology

Oṣubi Craig
University of Florida

Lake Douglas
Louisiana State University

Zach Duer
Virginia Tech

Cassandra Fraser
University of Virginia

Eric Handman
University of Utah

Alexandra Harbold
University of Utah

Shumaila Hemani
University of Alberta

Mihyun Kang
Penn State University

Julian Kilker
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Jinku Kim
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Aaron D. Knochel
Penn State University

Samantha Lazar

Amy Lorek
Penn State University

Olivia Lucas
Louisiana State University

Gerald Maa
University of Georgia

Mary Pat McGuire
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Meridith Beck Mink
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Maria C. Olivares
Boston University

Kirsi Peltomäki
Oregon State University

María Isabel García Pérez de Arce
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Nicole Hodges Persley
University of Kansas

Nathan Platte
University of Iowa

Julia M. Ritter
Rutgers University

Rebecca Salzer
University of Alabama

Lourdes Santamaria-Wheeler
University of Florida

Garrett Schumann
Independent Scholar

Laura Shackelford
Rochester Institute of Technology

Stephen Taylor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Thomas Tucker
Virginia Tech

Jacqueline Wernimont

Ground Works 2021-2022 Advisory Board

Cheryl Ball
Wayne State University Libraries
Director of the Digital Publishing Collaborative

Stephen David Beck
Louisiana State University
Associate Vice President for Research & Economic Development
Haymon Professor of Music

Julian Chambliss
Michigan State University
Department of English
Core Faculty, Consortium for Critical Diversity in Digital Age Research (CEDAR)
Val Berryman Curator of History, MSU Museum

Shannon Criss
University of Kansas
Professor of Architecture
School of Architecture and Design

Kevin Hamilton
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor and Dean
College of Fine and Applied Arts

Roger F. Malina
University of Texas at Dallas
Endowed Chair of Art and Technology and Professor of Physics
Executive Editor of Leonardo Publications
Founder of Leonardo/ISAST and Leonardo/OLATS