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 uses design-based inquiry that draws from feminist, disability and postcolonial theories and explores making practices that integrate digital, built, and living systems to foreground relationality. I use sensors, data creation, and visualization to reflect on body-environment relationships and explore alternative ways of sensing, knowing and relating to others.
My research interests builds on my previous experiences in landscape architecture and urban design, particularly in community and relational spaces like gardens and memorials, craft and art-based practices, and draws from my own experiences with chronic illness.
Selected Works in Digital Media
Sensing Bodies: Reflecting on Human-Plant Relationships through Biodata Displays of Bodily Encounters
Sensing Bodies is an artistic installation consisting of a series of three interactive exhibits that foreground relationships between a human and plant. The relationships are formed through unique reciprocal interactions, in which the biodata of both the human and plant bodies are collected through sensors, processed through circuits and algorithms, and represented through LED displays. The exhibits highlight our embodied encounters as co-constructed and interdependent with more-than-human agencies, pointing to an interspecies intimacy. However, the form of each exhibit, which displays plants inside an illuminated plexiglass box – bounded, framed, and removed from context – is intentionally evocative of a screen. As such, the installation not only invites reflection on our connection to non-human bodies, but also probes a disconnection to the living, local landscapes around us and their sociopolitical entanglements.
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. Specifically, this installation engages the social dimension of embodiment through the mediation of the physical environment. Participants are invited to sit around a table and are given headphones to listen to music. A floral visualization representing the collective heart rates of the participants will be projected onto the table, the size and the colors of each petal shifting with changes in each participant’s body. The visualization showcases how our bodies come into relation with each other and are in and of the environment, as they respond to our surrounding conditions even when we are not aware of it.
Navigating Illness, Finding Place: Enhancing the Experience of Place for People Living with Chronic Illness
When chronic illness, such as Lyme disease, is viewed through a disability lens, equitable access to public spaces becomes an important area for consideration. Yet chronic illness is often viewed solely through an individualistic, medical model lens. We contribute to this field of study in four consecutive steps using Lyme disease as a case study: (1) we highlight urban design and planning literature to make the case for its relevance to chronic illness; (2) we explore the place-related impacts of living with chronic illness through an analysis of interviews with fourteen individuals living with Lyme disease; (3) we derive a set of design guidelines from our literature review and interviews that serve to support populations living with chronic illness; and (4) we 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 Landscapes and Memories of Taipei
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
Other Design Projects/Experiments
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
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
Game Design Studio (instructor), Fall, 2020 | Tatung University, Taipei, Taiwan
Game design studio for second-year university students with emphasis on tabletop games. The studio focused on developing serious games based on UN SDGs. Students were asked to research social and environmental issues in Taiwan, design a serious game, prototype, run user tests and iterate on their designs.
Game Design Studio (instructor), Spring, 2021 | Tatung University, Taipei, Taiwan
Game design studio for second-year university students with emphasis on digital 2D games. This studio was a continuation of the fall studio and allowed students to dive deeper into understanding their social or environmental issues of interests. Students were asked to design a 2D game using Unity, prototype, run user tests and iterate on their designs.
Human-Computer Interaction (co-instructor), Fall, 2020 | National University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan
This HCI seminar for masters students included discussions on HCI concepts, user-centered design, and chatbot implementation. Students were asked to design, test, and iterate on a chatbot prototype that focused on hazard mitigation related to natural disasters in Taiwan. Students engaged with community members through interviews and site visits to develop and test their designs.