Paul Wittenbraker received a BA from Wabash College and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He was director of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in downtown Grand Rapids, and he is now Associate Professor at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). In 1999, he started Civic Studio, for which he received a Michigan Campus Compact Award. Wittenbraker also led the development of the Visual Studies studio major, which focuses on new media and contextual practice. In addition to teaching and advising in Visual Studies, he is developing the Office for Public Culture. The Office is a platform for research, public dialogue, and the creation of cultural products that motivate public discourse. Organized in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, it works in public with artists, scholars, and residents. Recent public presentations include the lecture "Civic Studio and the Plastic City" as part of the Cranbrook Academy of Art's Critical Studies Series and the exhibit "Facing Michigan" at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. Research interests include theories and representations of public space, technology and culture, and policy and cultural institutions.