I’m a PhD student in the Design & Social Justice Studio at Georgia Tech’s Digital Media program. My advisor is Dr. Nassim Parvin. My academic research combines feminist, disability and postcolonial theories with design-based inquiry to explore making practices that integrate built, digital, and living systems. I use sensors, data, and visualization to reflect on body-environment relationships and explore alternative ways of sensing, knowing and relating to others.

My work builds on my previous experiences in landscape architecture, art-based practices, and draws from my experiences with chronic illness.

Selected Works in Digital Media


Sensing Bodies

Being, Feeling, and Breathing with Plants

Sensing Bodies is an art installation that explores the intricate relationships between people and plants. The installation features three interactive exhibits that each showcase a unique plant and its sociopolitical entanglements. Each exhibit invites embodied interactions and captures reciprocal relationships between the person and the plant through bio-sensors and LED data displays. The biodata display represents the plant and human bodies as a collective and highlights embodied encounters as co-constructed and interdependent with more-than-human agencies.


Heart Sense

An interactive visualization of embodied social connection

Heart Sense is an art installation that uses representation, tracking, and visualizations of physiological data to investigate and reflect upon the body in ways that depart from quantitative self and spur curiosity about scientific measurements. This installation engages the social dimension of embodiment through the mediation of the physical environment. Participants are invited to sit around a table and listen to music while a floral visualization representing their collective heart rates is projected onto the table. The flower shifts each participant’s body and how their bodies come into relation with each other.


Navigating Illness, Finding Place

Enhancing the experience of place for people with chronic illness

This project explores possibilities of designing for chronic illness using Lyme disease as a case study. Specifically, we explore the place-related impacts of living with chronic illness through interviews with individuals living with Lyme disease, synthesize a set of design guidelines that serve to support populations living with chronic illness, and present an interactive mapping prototype that applies our design guidelines to support individuals living with chronic illness in experiencing and navigating public and outdoor spaces.


Screen Printed Memories

This art exhibit consists of a series of original screen prints depicting a selection of my favorite places in Taipei, where I grew up. They express nostalgic meditations at the intersection of memory and imagination that reflect on shared experiences with my family. Each print is made with three silk screens and a combination of three different colored inks. An AR app was developed for the art exhibit. Upon scanning each print, the app displays a photo or video of the landscape, people, and memory that inspired the design.

Selected Works in Landscape & Urban Design

Publications & Presentations

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Gupta, Shubhangi, Janicki, Sylvia, Casula, Pooja and Nassim Parvin. (2022). Rethinking Safe Mobility: the Case of Safetipin in India. ACM Information & Communication Technologies and Development Conference (ICTD ‘22). Forthcoming.

Janicki, Sylvia, Ziegler, Matt, and Jennifer Mankoff. (2021). Navigating Illness, Finding Place: Enhancing the Experience of Place for People with Chronic Illness. ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (COMPASS ’21). Available at: https://doi.org/10/1145/3460112.3471955

Chen, Yen-Fu and Sylvia Janicki. (2020). A Cognitive-Based Board Game With Augmented Reality for Older Adults: Development and Usability Study. JMIR Serious Games. 8(4):e22007. doi: 10.2196/22007. PMID: 33315015; PMCID: PMC7769693. Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33315015


Janicki, Sylvia. (2018). [Dis]placed by Illness: Lyme disease as a Case for Re-imagining Everyday Places to Recognize Invisible Chronic illnesses. MLA and MUP Thesis. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Available at https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/42423


Johnson, Lorraine; Janicki, Sylvia (2022): Access to Care in Lyme Disease: Clinician Barriers to Providing Care. Chartbook. figshare. Book. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.21321195

Conference Presentations

Sylvia Janicki, Katherine Bennett, Alexandra Riggs. 2023. Embodied Histories: Crafting Interactive Narratives. Roundtable Discussion at WGS South Conference. Virtual: Mar 30 – Apr 1, 2023.

Sylvia Janicki, Shubhangi Gupta. 2021. Unsettling Boundaries through Data. Workshop at the Information+ Conference. Virtual: Sep 29 – Oct 1, 2021.

Sylvia Janicki. 2021. Selective Memories, Shifting Places: Exploring Repressed Spatial Narratives of Taiwan’s White Terror Era. Presented at the Land/scaping Taiwan Workshop organized by University of Washington’s Taiwan Studies Program. Virtual: Jan, 2021.

Sylvia Janicki. 2019. [Dis]placed by Illness: Exploring Narratives of Chronic Illness for a More Inclusive Built Environment. Presented at the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Conference in Sacremento, CA: Mar 6 – 9, 2019.

Exhibits & Demos

Sylvia Janicki. “A Memorial To Earth.” Demonstrated at the 4S/ECOCITE Annual Conference, Universidad Iberoamericana, Cholula, Mexico, December 6-10th, 2022.

Sylvia Janicki, Noura Howell, Anne Sullivan, Nassim Parvin. “Sensing Bodies: Reflections on Human-Plant Relationships” Demonstrated at the GVU 30th Anniversary Event, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, November 2nd, 2022.

Sylvia Janicki, Aditya Anupam, Nassim Parvin. “Heart Sense: An Interactive Visualization of Embodied Social Connection.” Demonstrated at the GVU 30th Anniversary Event, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, November 2nd, 2022.

Sylvia Janicki, Aditya Anupam, Shubhangi Gupta, Mohsin Yousufi, Pooja Casula, Anne Pollock, Lewis Wheaton and Nassim Parvin. “Heart Sense.” Demonstrated at ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival 2022, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C., April 8th – 10th, 2022.

Sylvia Janicki. “Screen Printed Memories in Taipei Landscapes.” Exhibited as featured artist at Minami Zephyr, Taipei, Taiwan, April 18th – May 11th, 2021.