Library’s Cube adds new dimensions to creative expression

virtual reality

Eric Orosco tests out the virtual reality system in the Cube, an innovative new space for students, faculty and staff that provides resources and technology to encourage Cross-disciplinary exploration, Collaboration and Creation. (photo by Jaslyn Gilbert)

The renovation of the University Library will transform it from a traditional place where students check out materials or read documents to a multi-functional gathering-research-maker space for 21st century innovation and learning.

COP’s new multi-disciplinary program, Media X, will have a featured space called the Studio on the library’s main floor. Construction on the 1,000-square-foot space began in mid-July and is expected to finish sometime in October.

“We are envisioning this as a sort of hub to additional maker spaces that are around campus,” said Innovative Spaces Coordinator Jeremy Hanlon.

One area students, faculty and staff can visit right now is the Cube, located in the room where the One Button Studio used to be.

The Cube has a 3D printer, a 3D scanner, a computer design station and a virtual reality space. People can go to the space and meet with Hanlon, talk over their ideas and decide on the best way to create what they want.

“So, really this becomes a hub for them to bring their ideas in, explore as far as they can take it with the technology, the software and the 3D printing and then have services available to them to actually make the thing,” Hanlon said.

The technology many people are especially excited by the Oculus Rift virtual reality station. One of the most common questions Hanlon gets is, “What can I do with it?” Hanlon says, pretty much whatever you can think of.

One idea being explored is the possibility of taking the Digital Delta Project a step further. Last spring, students recreated Stockton’s lost Little Manila community in a 3D video game. The next project could be a virtual environment so players can immerse themselves in a place they can no longer visit. There has been talk of creating a virtual recreation of John Muir’s cabin, for example.

“I’m hoping that, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ Hanlon said.

The Cube is open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday-Friday through the summer. Visit the Cube’s web page to make a reservation.

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