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CHCI participation in the Creativity + Innovation Destination Area

August 25, 2021

The Center for Human-Computer Interaction (CHCI) is proud to support and participate in the Destination Area known as Creativity + Innovation, which also encompasses a geographic district on the eastern side of the Blacksburg campus. The Creativity + Innovation Destination Area (C+I DA) fosters a community of faculty and students engaging in transdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate study, research and performance. C+I integrates arts, business, design, humanities, and technology into a holistic, transdisciplinary, and experiential curriculum. The transformative education model is intended to meet emerging challenges and opportunities by developing the next generation of creatives, entrepreneurs, leaders, and innovators. The C+I Destination Area is led by CHCI member Ivica Ico Bukvic, who is a Composition and Creative Technologies faculty in the Music Program of the School of Performing Arts. 

The C+I District is a physical area anchored by the Moss Arts Center and the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT), and spans the School of Performing Arts, the School of Visual Arts, and the University LIbraries. CHCI has affiliated faculty in each of these disciplines and physical spaces. The C+I district also includes Squires Student Center, Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown, the Media building, and a newly completed residence hall. The new residence hall (near University Libraries) will welcome three living-learning communities; Studio 72 for art and design, Innovate for entrepreneurship, and Rhizome, with a focus on shaping the built and natural environment to bring about change. The residence hall houses 600 students and contains 30,000 square feet of space for artistic, performance, and research-based experiences.

CHCI has a physical home (meeting space and some research labs) in the Moss Arts Center (where ICAT is also located), and quite a few CHCI affiliated faculty and students distributed throughout the district. The Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) supports the use of advanced technology to address challenges and spur opportunities for creativity. CHCI supports this mission by advocating for a human-centered approach to technology. 

CHCI contributes to the C+I Destination Area in several ways. For example, CHCI members Jimmy Ivory, Zach Duer, Scott McCrickard and Myounghoon (Philart) Jeon, in collaboration with the C+I education group, developed and promoted HCI-related coursework in the proposed “Design Tech” Minor (“Design + Technology + Creative Expression”) currently going through the approval process. Todd Ogle was the founding program manager of the C+I destination area. In addition, CHCI Director Doug Bowman was a member of the founding stakeholder committee for C+I. 

Here’s a quick look at some of the CHCI affiliated faculty in C+I:

  • School of Visual Arts

    • Meaghan Dee has a design focus on branding, typography, editorial design, user-experience, and packaging. She regularly collaborates on Freelance Design projects and Grant research.

    • Meredith Drum works across the disciplines of animation, video, mobile media, installation, and various modes of public participation. Her projects center around the cultivation of care for others, particularly the vulnerable, especially non-human life.

    • Zach Duer works at a series of intersections: sound and visualization; careful composition and improvised performance; intuitive musical spontaneity and structured digital systems.

    • Patrick Finley is currently working on FitHub, is a fitness app for the Android and iPhone platforms that acts as a hub to all wearable fitness devices.

    • Wallace Lages focuses on human-computer interaction, games, and mixed reality, often using collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches.

    • Jeff Joiner is the Director of FourDesign and chair of the Visual Communication Design Program in SOVA. Prior to joining academia, Jeff worked as a professional designer, art director, and creative director for agencies and studios throughout the US for almost two decades.

    • Thomas Tucker works in 3D visualization, animation, virtual reality, projection mapping in a variety of transdisciplinary projects, such as, virtual spatial environments, groundbreaking scientific and historic visualizations, and dynamic interactive artworks.

  • School of the Performing Arts:

    • Ivica Ico Bukvic focuses on multisensory immersion with particular focus on spatial audio and immersive sonification, new interfaces for musical expression, exploring connections between the arts and human health, and recontextualizing STEM K-12 education through innovative approaches to creativity and technology.

    • Justin Perkinson  works at the intersection of immersive storytelling, emerging technologies, and environmental and social impact. His VR project, “Under the Net”, is the United Nations Foundation’s first-ever virtual reality film, created for the “Nothing But Nets” campaign to fight the global malaria crisis. Justin is currently working with an interdisciplinary VT team on a 360° project to support the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s freshwater mussels conservation efforts.

  • University Libraries

VT news stories about the C+I District and Destination Area:

Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Program ready to welcome students and faculty

Imagine That: A destination for Creativity and Innovation

Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Program Residence Hall