With more than 60 opportunities for exploration, including immersive experiences, demonstrations, interactive expo-style exhibits, and a panel discussion, ICAT Creativity + Innovation Day showcases Virginia Tech’s latest innovations from the university’s Creativity and Innovation District, a new community designed to foster the creative process, from idea creation to commercialization.

Presented by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT), the event will be held on May 6 throughout the Moss Arts Center at 190 Alumni Mall and in the Media Building, located at 101 Draper Road. All events are free and open to the public.

Meet the faculty and students who are combining science, engineering, arts, and design to develop new possibilities for exploration, expression, and creativity and learn more about their work. Featuring research from faculty and students representing seven of Virginia Tech’s colleges and three of its research institutes, exhibits will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Now in its seventh iteration, the theme for this year’s celebration of technology and transdisciplinary research is “Perspectives.” Participants will have the opportunity to interact with augmented reality – scanning a real-life painting and hearing it speak, explaining its culture and background; learn how recycled water bottles are being transformed into 3D-printed objects; and experience an interactive virtual reality escape room.

The Cube, a four-story, high-tech laboratory used for research, immersive environments, performance, and audio and visual installations, will be open to the public and feature several immersive projects, including an exploration of a DNA strand and a simulation on collective animal behavior that takes participants into the swarm, the herd, and the flock.

Panel discussion, “Perspectives on Careers in Creativity and Innovation”

A panel discussion will be held at 10 a.m. on May 6 in the Moss Arts Center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located in the Street and Davis Performance Hall. Four professionals at different points in their respective creativity and innovation-based careers with discuss their unique experiences and perspectives. Moderated by Lisa McNair, director of the Center for Research in SEAD Education at Virginia Tech, and a special guest high school student, the panel will include:

A current Virginia Tech student majoring in industrial design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Kaelum Hasler is the founder and lead designer of Rendyr Desktop Robotics, a Blacksburg-based startup created to make rapid prototyping and digital fabrication accessible for everyone.

Setor Zilevu is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech with a research focus on human-computer interaction, user experience design, and user interface design. He is a GEM Fellow and a member of the Intel Artificial Intelligence Student Ambassador Program.

Aki Ishida is an assistant professor of architecture in Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Her work combines her interest in active public engagement of space with spatial uses of light, with the goal of increasing public and student awareness about the artistic and technical potentials of light and sensory environments through transdisciplinary collaborations.

Brandy Salmon, associate vice president for innovation and partnerships, is serving as the managing director of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus, leading a cross-functional delivery team to set the vision for the campus and launch key efforts. With more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of research and business, Salmon came to Virginia Tech to oversee a discovery-to-market approach to strengthen industry partnerships and innovation.

"ICAT: Open (at the) Source" exhibition

Currently on view in the center’s Francis T. Eck Exhibition Corridor, “ICAT: Open (at the) Source” encourages visitors to explore and experience the research and innovation that’s happening within ICAT. Visitors will become more than just viewers, but partners in exploration with the students, faculty, and staff of ICAT and its creative community. The exhibition features innovative works inspired by the theme “Perspectives” that are at the intersection of geography and computer science, evolutionary genomics and visual art, as well as documentary film and the natural sciences. The exhibition will be on display until June 1.

Awards will recognize ICAT Day exhibitors in a variety of categories, including innovative output efforts and potential external impact, effective research process communication, and most popular project.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email kacy@vt.edu during regular business hours.

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