News | Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology | Virginia Tech

Steelcase funds work to create an active learning space where students and faculty collaborate

A corporate grant will fund efforts to transform an existing Virginia Tech classroom into a living laboratory to support learning strategies that promote engagement, creativity, and collaboration, while helping researchers better understand patterns of active learning.

The educational arm of Steelcase, a company that produces office furniture and architectural and technology products, awarded one of its Active Learning Center grants to a team led by Timothy Baird, assistant professor of geography in the College of Natural Resources and Environment and senior fellow for the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.

Experience music in 360 degrees at Moogfest

DURHAM, N.C. — Sound will literally wash over you during a special spatial sound exhibit at the Durham Armory during Moogfest this week.

A3 (Audio Cubed) will host this 360-degree sound experience starting Thursday afternoon. Featuring more than 20 independent audio sources, the sound is designed to come from every angle throughout each performance.

A3 has been working with Meyer Sound and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology for the project.

“The music is going to be all around you. It is going to be moving. You might hear things coming on one way or from behind you,” Virginia Tech grad student Ryan McHugh said. “This is one of the largest scale spatial audio performances that has been done in the states.”

Virginia Tech collaboration brings virtual reality to Montgomery County Public Schools

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech is teaming up with Blacksburg Middle School to create a virtual reality laboratory and integrate virtual reality technology into the middle school learning experience.

Jonathan Bradley, the innovative technologies coordinator for learning environments at the University Libraries, is assisting in the creation of this pilot installation to spark a larger initiative to bring virtual reality to all Montgomery County public middle schools.

Photos and video: 2018 ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day

April 30 marked the sixth annual ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day. The day celebrates the nexus of science, engineering, arts, and design. Exhibitors from all over campus and across the state displayed their projects at the Moss Arts Center. The theme of the 2018 ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day was Trace, as in to find or discover by investigation, to take a particular path or route, an indication of the existence of something, palimpsest, and a small road.

Congratulations: Maria Jernigan named 2018 Undergraduate Student of the Year

Maria Jernigan, a triple major from Virginia Beach, Virginia, thinks about how virtual reality could enhance high school learning. She absently taps an old-fashioned fountain pen against her notebook as she outlines a project that transports students to Washington, D.C., and Beijing to explore political issues that affect both the United States and China. She hopes the technology will motivate students to solve global issues through collaboration.

Interactive exhibits and immersive technologies in the Cube highlight ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day

With 79 experiences, including performances, demonstrations, expo-style exhibits, and a panel discussion, ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day showcases Virginia Tech’s latest innovations combining science, engineering, arts, and design.

Presented by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), the event will be held April 30 throughout the Moss Arts Center at 190 Alumni Mall. All events are free and open to the public.

Now in its sixth iteration, the theme for this year’s celebration of technology and transdisciplinary research is “Trace,” which can involve discovery through investigation, traveling a particular path or route, or indicating the existence of something.

‘Fog harp’ makes water out of thin air

In some of the most arid regions of the world, from the Sahara to the Andes, special nets have long been used to catch moisture from the air, turning fog into drinking water.

These fog harvesters are put up against wind streams to catch microscopic droplets which gather and merge on a fine mesh until they have enough weight to travel down into a water tank. They provide essential access to water to many communities, and the technology behind them has evolved over the years to offer a higher yield, resistance to the elements and a reduced need for maintenance.

Undergraduate student innovators are finding creative solutions to complex problems

From a workstation prototype that will improve the working conditions for operating room nurses to an infrastructure system designed to protect communities from natural disasters, interdisciplinary teams of Virginia Tech students fueled by university funding are finding creative solutions to real-world problems.

Innovative projects by four undergraduate student teams received support through funding provided by the university’s Creativity and Innovation Strategic Growth Area. Administered by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, the Creativity and Innovation Strategic Growth Area explores innovative technologies and the design of creative experiences to develop impact-driven and meaningful outcomes and solutions.

Virginia Tech ‘fog harp’ increases collection capacity for clean water

After all, installing giant nets along hillsides and mountaintops to catch water out of thin air sounds more like folly than science. However, the practice has become an important avenue to clean water for many who live in arid and semi-arid climates around the world.

A passive, durable, and effective method of water collection, fog harvesting consists of catching the microscopic droplets of water suspended in the wind that make up fog. Fog harvesting is possible – and has gained traction over the last several decades – in areas of Africa, South America, Asia, the Middle East, and even California. As illustrated by recent headlines of South Africa’s countdown to “Day Zero,” or the day the water taps are expected to run dry, water scarcity continues to be a growing problem across the globe.

The Cube: A Place Where Science and Senses Collide

Virtual and augmented reality technologies are changing the research landscape. Scientists can now be transported to any place in the universe, physically explore massive sets of data, visualize and interact with spatial structures of molecules, and walk through a building before it has been constructed.

The Cube, a multidisciplinary, collaborative research environment located in the Moss Arts Center, accomplishes this and more with the Cyclorama, a massive 360-degree cylindrical projection screen suspended from the ceiling. Measuring roughly 32 feet in diameter and 16 feet tall, the unique screen, installed by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) in 2016, provides an immersive stereoscopic experience for up to 60 people.

Middle School Students Build Instruments from Technology at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Middle school students from around the region this week built musical instruments using some of the technology at Virginia Tech. These kids used laptops, computer programs, electronic sensors, and 3-D printers to turn junk into music. Those in charge say the project combines science, engineering, arts, and design.

ESCHER Humanoid Robot

A Virginia Tech art professor and visual communication design professor are working with one of the university’s engineering departments to improve the aesthetics and utility of protective body panels for a robot built by Virginia Tech students to complete search-and-rescue tasks.

First Cube Fest to open Virginia Tech’s unique room to the public

BLACKSBURG – The familiar sounds of a cash register, clanking change and a Pink Floyd bass line filled Virginia Tech’s Cube. Something’s different about this performance. Sound waves are traveling in different ways and coming from totally different angles to create an immersive experience that’s so different from Pink Floyd’s mono sound from stereos around the world via the first song on side two of “Dark Side of the Moon.”

The 2016 Spatial Music Workshop at Virginia Tech: Call for Proposals

BLACKSBURG – The familiar sounds of a cash register, clanking change and a Pink Floyd bass line filled Virginia Tech’s Cube. Something’s different about this performance. Sound waves are traveling in different ways and coming from totally different angles to create an immersive experience that’s so different from Pink Floyd’s mono sound from stereos around the world via the first song on side two of “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Virginia Tech’s first immersive environment specialist makes virtual reality accessible

Virtual and augmented reality technologies are changing the research landscape. Scientists can now be transported to any place in the universe, physically explore massive sets of data, visualize and interact with spatial structures of molecules, and walk through a building before it has been constructed.

Book review: ‘The Innovators,’ on the digital revolution, by Walter Isaacson

In the Industrial Revolution’s wake, aspiring entrepreneurs combed through a landmark biography of inventors for the secrets to success. The five-volume “Lives of the Engineers” by Samuel Smiles, founder of the self-help movement, surveyed a century of human progress with a twist on the Renaissance classic “Lives of the Artists.”