Project Planetaria People


Project Planetaria is a collaboration of UCSD faculty and graduate students from the Departments of Physics, Theatre & Dance and Visual Arts.  Founded in December 2011, we are investigating ways of exploring astronomical phenomena and information outside traditional modes, by engaging multiple senses, embodying experience, exploring social analogs, breaking down time and space barriers, and incorporating participatory behaviors. Data-driven performance, transsensory transformation, architectural mapping, and metaphor are all tools we are using to better understand the Universe and our place within it.


image-of-adam-burgasser-associate-professor-astrophysics-ucsdAdam Burgasser (Physics) is an observational astrophysicist specializing in very low mass stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets. He has published over 150 papers in his field, and is best known for defining the “T” spectral class of brown dwarfs. He earned his BS in Physics from UCSD in 1996 and PhD in Physics from Caltech in 2001. He comes to this project with crazy ideas about dancing your PhD and making art out of stellar orbits. He was previously a Hubble and Spitzer postdoctoral fellow, and faculty at MIT where his name lives on in the AJB Endowed Chair of Astrophysics.



image-of-Tara-Knight-assitant-professor-visual-arts-ucsdTara Knight (Theatre & Dance) is a filmmaker, animator and projection designer; her short films and animations have screened at museums and galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. In 2011, Tara earned an Emmy for her work on The Floating World with Malashock Dance at the San Diego Museum of Art. Tara got her BA in Film Theory and Production from Hampshire College, and her MFA in Visual Art from UC San Diego. She has previously been the Associate Director for Culture, Art and Technology at UC San Diego’s Sixth College, and joined the Theatre faculty in 2009.


image-of-Michael-Trigilio-assitant-professor-visual-arts-ucsdMichael Trigilio (Visual Arts) is a multimedia artist with a special focus on sound art. Michael’s work in video, sound, and radio has been presented in many venues nationally and internationally, including the Anthology Film Archives in New York, Southern Exposure in San Francisco, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain in Strasbourg, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He earned his B.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1999 and his MFA from Mills College in 2003.




Undergraduate and Graduate Student Collaborators

image-of-daniella-bardalez-gagliuffi-graduate-student-physics-ucsdDaniella Baradalez Gagliuffi (Physics) is a graduate student who arrived at UCSD in 2011. Daniella is originally from Peru, and received her Bachelor’s in Physics at MIT in 2011.  She has contributed to defining astronomical datasets, including catalog and spectroscopic libraries.





Screen shot 2013-03-02 at 2.59.08 PMAdrian Phillips (Visual Arts) is an undergraduate student who worked with Michael Trigilio in 2012 as a Sophomore as part of the CalIT2 Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.  He developed models for Project Planetaria Devices (PPDs) and demonstrated their use in interacting with selected media; he has also explored alternative representations of movement.


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