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New Associate Dean, Research joins the Faculty of Fine Arts

Joanna Berzowska brings combination of art and design expertise with research funding success to new role
January 24, 2017
By Andy Murdoch

Assistant Professor and Research Director XS Labs Joanna Berzowska Assistant Professor and Research Director XS Labs Joanna Berzowska

Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts welcomes Joanna Berzowska as the new associate dean, research as of January 24, 2017.

Berzowska is an associate professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts.

“Not only does Joanna radiate enthusiasm and energy, she has the rare ability to move across numerous arenas of activity with ease. She is as comfortable in the classroom as she is in the lab, as engaged in an industry meeting as she is in a workshop with students, as excited to tackle major grant applications as she is in composing a syllabus. We are thrilled Joanna will assume the associate dean role in the Faculty to guide us through the next few years of both focused and collaborative work in the university,” says Rebecca Duclos, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts.

She is the founder and research director of XS Labs, a Concordia design research studio with a focus on innovation in the fields of electronic textiles and reactive garments that can enable computationally-mediated interactions with the environment and the individual.

A core component of her research involves developing methods, materials, and technologies in the form of soft electronic circuits and composite fibers.

Her research and work has been shown in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in NYC, the V&A in London, the Millenium Museum in Beijing, various SIGGRAPH Art Galleries, ISEA, the Art Directors Club in NYC, the Australian Museum in Sydney, NTT ICC in Tokyo, and Ars Electronica Center in Linz among others. She lectures internationally about the field of electronic textiles and related social, cultural, aesthetic, and political issues. In 2016 she won the Montreal Y Foundation’s Women of Distinction Award for Science and Technology.

She is also Head of electronic textiles at OM signal, a Montreal tech company developing a line of smart garments that track your biosignals to help improve your health, fitness, and well-being.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work in our diverse research environment, to build on current strengths, and to develop future initiatives that highlight the exciting potential of deep interdisciplinarity, social and cultural activism, entrepreneurship, and emerging science and technology,” says Berzowska.

Berzowska replaces Anne Whitelaw, who has served as associate dean since 2014. Whitelaw first came to Concordia in 2011 as an associate professor in Art History. In January, she started her new position in the Office of the Provost as the vice-provost of Planning and Positioning.

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