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Farley Center's Creative Tech Showcase 2019

Creative Tech: A Juried Showcase of Whole-Brain Innovation.

In its first year on May 23, 2019, the Creative Tech Showcase is hosted by The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Professor Elizabeth Lukehart. Generously supported by the Murphy Society, the Creative Tech Showcase features innovative and entrepreneurial student projects at the intersection of the arts and technology. 

The event was attended by an estimated 150-200 people, making it the largest Farley Center event in at least 4 years. Approximately 150 people participated in the people’s choice award voting by text message. Feedback from both students and participants was extremely positive, citing the unique nature of both the event itself and the projects. We were strongly encouraged to hold the event annually. Through this event we were able to generate the awareness and interest in the arts and technology, translating to more student projects and ideas cultivated within this fertile ground.

The event showcased the truly interdisciplinary, whole-brained innovation at the heart of creative technology, as evidenced by the diversity of disciplines represented on the teams. We received applications from students or teams that ranged from sophomores to graduate students. There were 18 academic disciplines represented on the teams that applied to the showcase, ranging from IEMS, MADE, and EECS to journalism, music technology, and creative writing.

Meet the Teams:
Crescendo: Alec D’Alelio, ’19 and Robert Belson, ’19 - Crescendo is a locally-focused, digital music discovery platform. Users can discover and directly support local, emerging artists by purchasing concert tickets and merchandise through the platform.

Lux: Sophie Davis, ‘21 and Tarushi Sharma, ‘19 – In the tradition of designed objects, Lux is a consciously-designed lamp that integrates with sleep-tracking technology to wake you up with a bright light sunrise at the optimal point in your sleep.

I can't wait to see you again: Tyler Ennis, ’20, Vishal Giridhar, ’20, and Avi Shulman, ’21 - I can't wait to see you again is a new media installation that attempts to capture the human essence through interactive programs and free-standing structures. The main spectacle is a fully automated garden that provides the plant's water and nutrient needs based on the individual's own inputs.

Powder Blue Media: Nathan Graber-Lipperman, ’21, Andrew Fenichel, ’21, Karim Noorani, ’22, Owen Guetschow, ’21, and Jack Lido, ‘21 - Powder Blue Media is home to two unique brands that aspire to be the voice of a generation: UNPLUGG'D and Forty-Two. Through the integration of technology and storytelling, this group hands the microphone over to users to create timeless and engaging content for the new media site.

Jazz Hands: Idrees Kamal ’20 - Jazz Hands is a MIDI data glove that can interface with any DAW to help musicians and producers compose like never before. The glove’s sensors readily allow anyone to make music electronically — no experience required.

Auxilia: Morgan Lewis, ’18 - Auxilia is a new type of guitar stand that resides on the guitar itself. It stays out of the way and out of sight while you are playing, deploys automatically when you set the guitar down, and tucks away snugly with your guitar in a hardshell case at the end of the day. Auxilia fits seamlessly on your guitar and within your lifestyle.

The Melodi House: Arno Murcia, ’20, Selin Yacizi, ’21, and Alex Halimi, ’21 – Through in-person creativity-focused events, The Melodi House aims to facilitate the conversations, relationships, and events students crave. An online platform allows student to connect and share art in a digital space, as well.

Nissim: Aaron “Nissim” Senfeld, ’21 – Despite spatial and equipment constraints, Nissim created a successful, commercial production studio out of his dorm. Nissim’s installation is an interactive recreation of the production studio, featuring the design solutions that allowed him to produce commercially-viable music used by nationally known hip-hop artists.

Emerging Artist Awardee: Ikechi Ihemeson (‘Kechi), ’19 – ‘Kechi is a lyrical soul artist, songwriter, composer, and poet completing his BA in music at Bienen. The showcase featured a live performance of his original music by his band, Heart ‘n’ SOL.

Meet the Judges:
Heather Aranyi - Heather is a successful serial entrepreneur in creative industries and real estate, as well as a master soloist, educator, choral conductor, consultant, and professional cantor. Heather holds a certificate in entrepreneurship from Harvard Business School, as well as graduate degrees in Voice and Opera from Northwestern University and Early Childhood Development from The Erikson Institute at Loyola University.

Chuck Bontrager – A professional violinist and Bienen alumnus, Chuck currently serves as Concertmaster for the Chicago company of Hamilton: An American Musical. He has performed in over twenty other productions on the Broadway in Chicago series, as well as shows with Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf, and Goodman theaters. Chuck also teaches at Columbia College Chicago and the Merit School of Music.

Doug Lambert – Experienced serial entrepreneur, Doug has worked within multiple industries, including digital, hospitality, entertainment, and biotechnology. He is currently the CEO of Scale Momentum, a multichannel supply chain and advisory firm serving the industrial hemp industry.

First place prize ($1200) winner: Morgan Lewis, Auxilia; prize money will go to the patent application process.

Second place prize ($800) winner: Idrees Kamal, Jazz Hands; prize money will allow him to develop a high-fidelity prototype.

Third place prize ($400) winner: Aaron “Nissim” Senfeld; prize money will go to production equipment upgrades, and marketing costs for his new album.

People’s Choice Award ($200) winner: The Melodi House; prize money will help them build out their online platform for sharing and curating creative works.

Emerging Artist Award ($200) winner: Ikechi Ihemeson, aka ‘Kechi; prize money will go to studio time to record a full length album.


The Creative Tech Showcase could not have happened without the support of the following individuals:

The Farley Center Team

Heather Aranyi

Billy Banks

Mike Moyer

Neal Sales-Griffin

This event was generously supported by a Murphy Society Award.

Many thanks to the Murphy Society and Dean Julio Ottino for bringing the Creative Tech Showcase to life.

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