Thursday, April 15-Saturday, May 15, 2021

Francis T. Eck Exhibition Corridor

ICAT: Open (at the) Source gives users the opportunity to explore innovative Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) projects. Powered by advanced technology and networks of creative people, ICAT helps create immersive connections that make virtual shared arts experiences possible and support opportunities for teachers and students of all ages that span distances and learning environments.

With the theme Bridging Physical Distance, we share innovative technologies and creative solutions that help connect people across distances. Since its inception ICAT has supported work that creatively links individuals and groups from separate locations, and our current social distanced reality is propelling this innovation forward. Augmented and virtual reality allow people to visit places they cannot physically experience, such as interactive online spaces like Mozilla Hubs.


ARCritique: Supporting Remote Design Critique of Physical Artifacts Through Collaborative Augmented Reality

Collaborative critique around physical mockups is an essential activity in the teaching and research in many disciplines, such as industrial design. Moving this process online poses difficulty to this type of critique session due to the extra challenge in communication around physical artifacts. ARCritique is a mobile augmented reality application that uses AR to help connect remote instructors and students. The application allows users to scan physical mockups and share the resulting 3D models, view the model simultaneously in a shared virtual environment from remote physical locations, and point to and draw on the model to aid communication.

Team Members/Artists:
Yuan Li, Ph.D. student, Department of Computer Science
David Hicks, professor, School of Education
Wallace S. Lages, assistant professor, School of Visual Art
Sang Won Lee, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science
Akshay Sharma, associate professor, School of Architecture and Design
Doug A. Bowman, professor, Department of Computer Science

Other Contributing Individuals:
Benjamin Kirkland, adjunct instructor, School of Architecture and Design
Zach Kennedy, Industrial Design undergraduate student

Connecting Virginia Learning Communities: New eXtended Reality-Based Library Tools

When the challenges due to current COVID-19 restrictions are removed, group activities in schools and workplaces will resume but will also have to adapt to the new reality where COVID-19 and similar pandemics can occur. New technologies, especially eXtended Reality (XR), are blurring the difference between the real and virtual worlds. XR-based products and solutions could transform all aspects of education and training, including experiential learning, hands-on demonstration, virtual lab activities, and assessment. This team is developing an IoT-enabled XR infrastructure and tools to support library activities while enhancing university connections to learning communities throughout the commonwealth. The team focuses on teacher/educator professional development and adoption of new technologies to be used in STEM education.

Team Members/Artists:
Denis Gracanin, Department of Computer Science
Jim Egenrieder, Thinkabit Lab, Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability
Deborah Cash, University Libraries
Abdulaziz Alhamadani, Department of Computer Science

Other Contributing Individuals:
Commonwealth Learning Systems, LLC

Girls Launch! Kindergarten Science Outreach Continuation and Expansion

How do little kids know that girls can be scientists? Through Girls Launch!, they meet women researchers and do science with them! This kindergarten science visits program was started in 2017 by a graduate student working with Virginia Tech’s Center for Communicating Science and the Department of Psychology’s iLEAP Lab; the program was interrupted this spring by the coronavirus pandemic. Girls Launch! supported 10 graduate women to create short, kindergarten-friendly videos related to their research. Having a library of videos has allowed us to extend the reach of the program to other schools and families and to continue Girls Launch! when visitors can’t connect with children in person. The videos and accompanying activity guides, available in English and Spanish, are posted on the Center for Communicating Science YouTube channel and are being incorporated into lesson plans shared on #GoOpenVA.

Team Members/Artists:
Carolyn J. Kroehler, associate director, Center for Communicating Science
Vanessa Diaz, collegiate assistant professor, Department of Psychology
Patricia Raun, director, Center for Communicating Science
Christina Martin, STEM coordinator, Giles County Public Schools
Lori Evans, kindergarten teacher, Giles County Public Schools

Other Contributing Individuals:
Jennifer Appiah-Kubi, graduate student, Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Allison Castaneda, graduate student; Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health
Udaya Sree Datla, graduate student; Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health
Ellen Garcia, graduate student, Department of Biological Sciences
Sarah Khatibzadeh, graduate student, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences
Abigail Lewis, graduate student, Department of Biological Sciences
Kaitlin Read, graduate student, Biomedical Sciences, Ohio State University
Amelia Tankersley, graduate student, Department of Psychology
Khanh To, graduate student, Department of Geosciences
Amber Wendler, graduate student, Department of Biological Sciences

Virtual Sculpture Garden

The Virtual Sculpture Garden is a virtual reality environment created to display 3D artworks by Virginia Tech and New River Valley community members. Approved artwork is placed automatically within the garden along with the artist’s name and a statement; as the team receives more artworks, the garden will grow to fit the collection. The team created this virtual space, inspired by the Appalachian region, in order to connect people to and through the arts even when they can’t be together physically. There is something simple and special about wandering through a garden full of artwork. The team hopes that as you explore the garden, you become inspired to learn more about 3D art, create your own, and share it with them! It doesn’t need to be amazing to be expressive or to connect with others.

You can visit the Virtual Sculpture Garden through a desktop web browser or virtual reality headset at To submit your own sculpture, use the simple form found on the garden’s webpage or email the team with any questions.

The Virtual Sculpture Garden was created by students and faculty in the University Libraries and Moss Arts Center, and was made possible in part by a grant from ICAT.

Team Members/Artists:
Trevor Finney, creative services coordinator, University Libraries
Reneé Alarid, associate director of creative services, Moss Arts Center
Jonathan Bradley, head of studios and innovative technologies, University Libraries
Alice Rogers, manager of media design studios, University Libraries

Other Contributing Individuals:
Dylan Craft, studio student fellow, University Libraries
Alex Krasner, Virtual Environments Studio graduate student, University Libraries
Giang Vu Binh Nguyen, studio student fellow, University Libraries