Location: East Lansing, Michigan
A visiting high schooler looking through the glass into MSU’s Center for Immersive Media Studies would find an enrapturing scene: college students broadcasting on camera, animating, and designing. Not long ago, that venue for visual arts was disguised by thick brick. In November 2016, renovations ended for the 5,700 square foot space first envisioned last January.
Today, a motion capture studio allows students to produce original content with the same technology as the professionals in animation and game design. Flexible furniture in the space moves easily to facilitate group collaboration or individual studies. In the broadcast studio, students gain professional experience with lighting, technology, and ambiance aimed to recreate the feel of a state-of-the-art newsroom.
Determined to create a space with maximum flexibility for the students and instructors, the design team carefully coordinated each light fixture, diffuser, wall opening, and power outlet to produce a space that is not only dynamic in its time, but will adapt to the latest technology in media for years to come. Above all, the designers wanted to find a way to showcase the department to alumni and attract creative talent. An influx of students would further develop MSU’s reputation as a hub for tech-minded communicators and increase revenue for the entire university.
A series of glass panel walls separate spectators from the bustling activity inside without diminishing the element of spaciousness. This unique, dual function barrier both mimics the window of a bigtime newsroom while exhibiting the center to passersby. Students learn to ignore the distraction of the nearby viewers, a valuable skill in their field.
For a student on the inside, a simple pane of glass celebrates ambition realized. For the high schooler gazing in, that same pane of glass offers a first glimpse into the future, made possible in one accessible location.