HUMlab-X and the Umeå Arts Campus

We are just in the process of wrapping a major expansion of HUMlab on campus, which is really exciting, but at the same time, we are also planning ahead for the new HUMlab – HUMlab-X – on the Umeå Arts Campus.

The Umeå Arts Campus is a very exciting development bringing together the Institute of Design, the Academy of Fine Arts, the new School of Architecture, BildMuseet and HUMlab-X.

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Picture credits: Umeå University and the Balticgruppen

The Institute of Design and the Academy of Fine Arts are already localized on the Arts Campus – right on the river between the city center and the main campus of Umeå University. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk to the main campus and about 5-10 minutes to walk into town.

The School of Architecture is being built right now and will soon be finished, and the new premises for BildMuseet and the new HUMlab-X will be finished by the end of 2011.

HUMlab-X will be a creative hot spot and meeting place for all the other schools as well as for the whole university, industry, artists, and the City of Umeå. There will be a focus on digital mediation and culture, media spaces, digital humanities, visualization, simulation and physical computing, and projects will range from research and development projects to artistic projects and  industry collaboration. We will work closely with the various programs on the Arts Campus as well as provide a link to the main campus (as we will be in both places). One of the basic ideas behind HUMlab-X is ‘reaching out’ – on multiple levels.

Yesterday I had a couple of meetings at the Institute of Design and took the opportunity to look at the construction site, and was happy to see that you can actually see HUMlab-X now.

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The large building in the background is the School of Architecture. The space at the center of the picture (bottom floor)  is HUMlab-X. One identifying factor is the hole/tub that has been dug to allow for us to have a large interactive floor. The hole is somewhat easier to see in this picture.

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The hole has a wooden fence around it and is fairly close to the School of Architecture. In any case, this is a very material aspect to HUMlab-X and the Arts Campus. Much of the work, naturally, is also to plan for the future operation, new research projects, student programs, collaborative ventures and much more. Exciting times!

Importantly, the establishment of the new HUMlab-X does not mean that we will not continue to develop the current HUMlab. On the contrary, there is a lot of new projects and possibilities in the pipeline. The two labs will work synergetically and will complement each other.

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