BY: ANNA PRENTISS
With innovation at the forefront of Florida State University’s strategic plan, FSU’s Innovation Hub has opened a new media design lab available to all faculty, staff and students that will provide space for creative collaboration and synergistic transdisciplinary innovation.
The Gail Rubini New Media Design Lab serves as a lasting tribute to the vision and commitment of the late Professor Emerita Gail Rubini (1950-2022), while also facilitating various forms of digital creative design and prototyping.
“Gail believed that design tools and education should be accessible to students in all disciplines,” said Ken Baldauf, director of the Innovation Hub. “The hub is an interdisciplinary resource where we teach and practice design thinking, applying emerging technologies in human creativity to develop solutions to the vexing, complex and wicked challenges of the day.”
The Rubini Lab supports immersive design in XR and 360, 2D design in Adobe Suite, as well as UX design and coding and is equipped with 14 high-end Alienware workstations, Vive XR Elite headsets and Microsoft Surface Studio workstations.
“Gail felt that design thinking in pursuit of innovation is a constant and essential part of education,” said Conrad Gleber, Rubini’s husband. “The lab will be the place for students of all majors to experience the pursuit of innovation.”
The Innovation Hub is advertising for a new faculty position in New and Immersive Media Design. The person who fills this role will use the new lab to teach introductory courses in VR Development and New Media Design while working with experienced design faculty from across campus to develop other courses, workshops, projects and academic programming.
“The lab, combined with the new faculty line, provides an important first step in bringing departments together around interdisciplinary design projects,” said Jim Clark, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “My hope is the establishment of the lab will serve as the proverbial snowball, rolling down the hill, growing and inspiring many more design initiatives on campus.”
The dedication of the Rubini Lab was held Friday, April 28, following the Seminole Innovators Showcase, a spring semester event that recognizes and celebrates innovative student achievements. Student participants receive special recognition and are awarded Seminole Innovator Medallions.
“The greatest gift that a talented and inspiring teacher like Gail can give is to live in perpetuity through a space for students, faculty and citizens that is so open and so inviting where they can really deepen their learning, have new experiences and spark new innovations,” Clark said. “We’re so lucky to have a place like this at Florida State.”
For more information, visit innovation.fsu.edu.