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New Creative Technology Lab opens its doors

FCAD’s new Creative Technology Lab is equipped with leading-edge technology to foster disruptive creative exploration
November 05, 2019

TORONTO, November 5, 2019 -- FCAD opens the doors to its new lab, and with that, the doors to a new realm of innovation by launching a space that blends the engineering of technology with creative uses and applications. The new state-of-the-art lab, called the Creative Technology Lab, will support disruptive research, specialized curriculum and innovative entrepreneurship. Equipped with leading-edge technology to foster novel explorations, the Creative Technology Lab is designed to enrich the creative research of all nine FCAD schools, affiliated zones and incubation spaces. 

The 7500 square foot facility is located on the ground floor of the Daphne Coxwell Complex and houses revolutionary equipment such as: KUKA robotic arms, CNC machines, advanced fabrication equipment, carbon fibre 3D printers, large-scale laser cutters, virtual reality controlled robotics, augmented reality and a 3D knitting machine.

“Technology, if applied with a creative lens, is a tool that enhances the development of new frontiers, not just in entertainment and artistic expression, but in all forms of user experience design,” said Charles Falzon, dean of FCAD. “Our Creative Technology Lab is a state-of-the-art technology sandbox that enables the FCAD community to push the boundaries and harness technology in dynamic and creative ways.”

The Creative Technology Lab presents the Uncanny Robots project led by Michael Bergmann, co-investigated by Linda Zhang, Louis Laberge-Cote and Belinda McGuire. Blurring the lines between performers, audiences and technology, this project explores the possibilities of human-robot interactions in dance performance

Photo credit: Nicole Fonseca

Crowds gather at the Creative Technology Lab launch to applaud the presentation of the Uncanny Robots project

Photo credit: Nicole Fonseca

The grand opening of the Creative Technology Lab, attended by industry partners on October 29, showcased projects that exemplified the advanced possibilities the lab can offer, including, live human-robot dance performance with the world-renowned KUKA robot and interactive multimedia journalism involving 360-degree video.

In his opening remarks, the Provost and Vice-President Academic, Michael Benarroch, spoke about the unique offerings of the Creative Technology Lab adding that “our students and faculty will have access to equipment that very few schools in North America are able to provide.”

The unveiling of the space featured exhibits of research that explored: human-robot interactions, multimedia journalism, cross-reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) among many other technologies of global relevance.

“This is more than a fabrication space; we are a lab that engages many forms of technology through a diverse and forward thinking community who strive to push the limits of what is possible,” said Jonathon Anderson, Creative Technology Lab director and associate professor at the School of Interior Design. “We seek to disrupt the traditional notions that are commonly associated with this type of facility by creating an environment that provides hands-on training for FCAD researchers and students to engage directly with equipment.”

“This is more than a fabrication space; we are a lab that engages many forms of technology through a diverse and forward thinking community who strive to push the limits of what is possible,” said Jonathon Anderson, Creative Technology Lab director and associate professor at the School of Interior Design. “We seek to disrupt the traditional notions that are commonly associated with this type of facility by creating an environment that provides hands-on training for FCAD researchers and students to engage directly with equipment.”

Among the 13 research projects and six curriculum-based projects house in the lab, are: Louis-Étienne Dubois’ work with Cirque Du Soleil on a crowd scouting project that capitalizes on virtual reality as a means to engage the user within the scouting process; Adrian Ma’s exploration of 360 degree video technology as a means of exploring dynamic interactive multimedia journalism; Michael Bergmann’s performance innovation that blurs the lines between human and robot interactions.

The ideas nurtured at the Creative Technology Lab are pioneering advanced applications and novel concepts for the creative industries. FCAD is honoured to work with partners that share a passion for creative technology, research, and education such as Myant, an international leader in the realm of Textile Computing™, and Autodesk, a leading-edge software company specializing in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software.

The Creative Technology Lab is representative of FCAD’s dedication to propel frontline innovation for the creative industries through nurturing spaces that bring together thought leaders for interdisciplinary collaboration. With access to new cutting-edge tools and resources, makers from all corners of the creative landscape can unify within the innovation ecosystem that defines FCAD. The advanced technologies offered at the Creative Technology Lab complement the faculty’s rich scholarly, research and creative activities and act as a vessel for impactful innovation across FCAD.

VIP guests watch and record the human-robot performance at the Creative Technology Lab's launch

Photo credit: Nicole Fonseca

Researchers at the Creative Technology Lab showcase advanced VR technologies on opening night 

Photo credit: Nicole Fonseca

FCAD at Ryerson University 

Ryerson FCAD is an impactful education hub and innovation ecosystem at the heart of Canada’s media, design and creative industries. It is grounded in Canadian values but with a truly international perspective and scope. It is home to many of Canada’s top schools and programs in their field and recognized as a leading institution around the world.

Myant 

Myant has become the world’s first end-to-end Textile Computing™ company with a mission to empower humanity using IoT-enabled textiles. Myant developed the capabilities required to design, engineer and manufacture connected textile solutions so that other innovators, be they large enterprises or small startups, can help deliver on the promise of Textile Computing™.

Autodesk 

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of 3D software for global markets. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries—including the last 19 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects—use Autodesk software to design, visualize, and simulate their ideas before they're ever built or created. 

 

Media contact:

Nicole Bartnicki

FCAD at Ryerson University

Coordinator, Marketing and Communications

nicole.bartnicki@ryerson.ca