Beardsley 101 - the Ideal Lab

The Idea Lab

A laboratory for ideas

ITS is pleased to announce the opening of Beardsley 101, The Idea Lab. The new space features comfy chairs and beanbags, a distinct DIY conference table, and three interesting technologies. It’s a place to relax, to collaborate, and to engage in media-rich experiences. It’s a playground for the imagination — an ideal setting in which to brainstorm, to design and flesh out projects, or simply to have fun and let creative minds wander.

The technologies mentioned above include virtual reality, flight simulation, and a green screen fit for a small film studio. Each of those things is useful on its own, and they also overlap in some surprising ways. 

Virtual reality enables immersive experience, whether gaming, exploring the moon Apollo 11 VR HD, or learning about Chernobyl. The green screen, along with compositing software like AfterEffects, Premiere, and Photoshop, will enable digital artists and filmmakers to create special effects and spectacle, to set stories against otherworldly backdrops, and to produce news programming on virtual sets.

Combine the green screen and VR with one another, and some interesting possibilities beyond traditional media begin to take shape.

Flight simulation is cited as a valuable use case in the video above (if you haven’t clicked the link yet, take a look now). Our simulator is not intended for pilot training, but it will enable anyone to enjoy the wonder of flight, provide enhanced learning experiences, and perhaps capture the imagination of a would-be engineer.

We are also using the space to showcase and prototype capacity and technology we have. Much of the furniture in the Idea Lab was built in the MakerSpace, and the green screen is intended to prototype a green screen that will be built into a new production studio in a (renovated) Martin Hall.

We welcome faculty, staff, and students from any discipline to use Beardsley 101, and we’re eager to learn about projects and collaborations that spring from the space. Stop by, make yourself at home, and reach out with your ideas.  Doors are unlocked weekdays from 9 – 4 pm, or you can access the space by appointment.