American Arts Incubator

Elaine was selected to go to Moscow, Russia partnering with Garage Museum of Contemporary Art to host the AAI workshop, production lab and art exhibition addressing the social challenge during the month long exchange to each country. The participants were introduced to various techniques like Human Centered Design and rapid prototyping, encouraging them to use interactivity as ways of creating empathy and inclusion.

Social Inclusion

Elaine Cheung addressed disability inclusion during her AAI Residency, working with those with physical or sensory impairments that in some way hinder or distort their ability to function, interact, and move through an able-bodied world. She has engaged with disabled and able-bodied participants to use human centered design practices as a way to cultivate awareness, initialize dialogue, and suggest actionable steps towards inclusion and accessibility in Russia.


Elaine Cheung

Community Projects

Four teams of artists explored aspects of inclusion through design prototypes that envisioned what futuristic inclusive programs could look like in local Moscow communities. Each project focused on a different aspect of inclusion: raising awareness about inclusive museum practices, facilitating inventive communication within communities, developing new mobility opportunities and experiences for people with and without disabilities.


Design & Research

From concept to prototyping to consulting with target audiences abroad to interpret design briefs, we used human centered design research strategies to investigate, inform and empathize with potential users that have disabilities and call attention to community and social issues through art and design research. We conducted UX research and interviews at the Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities to gain insights on the rehabilitation process for those with mobility issues. We discussed how patients get around in the center and out in the public streets of Moscow, explored the various rehabilitation sensory rooms for patients and learned more about the behaviors and needs motivating people in wheelchairs and those who experience impaired mobility.

I led and taught teams of local young artists to design interactive, technically-driven prototypes and art installations, organizing and running workshops at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. We explored coding, physical computing, artificial intelligent systems and system design through various technology lectures and workshops to get participants ready for prototyping. We also used Human Centered Design techniques to break down our insights from the Rehabilitation Center visit and the talk from museum visitors with sensory disabilities. This helped the artist participants in developing their community projects with newfound insights, motives and research. The four teams continuously developed and eventually presented their community projects at Garage.