Student development team sought for innovative, 3-D virtual exhibition of ‘Lady in Red and Black’

Lady in Red and BlackThe NIU Digital Convergence Lab is recruiting students for a spring 2011 project that will create an interactive, online exhibition of vintage fashions that tells about NIU’s history and culture in the 20th century.

The team will include six undergraduate and graduate students with backgrounds in computer science, art, history, women’s studies, museum studies, communications, theater, engineering, textiles or educational technology.

All interested students are encouraged to apply for the spring 2011 team.

Originally presented by NIU First Lady Barbara Cole Peters, “Lady in Red and Black” paid tribute to the women of NIU and their role in the university and community. This exhibit showcased 20th century dresses in NIU’s school colors on a backdrop of NIU stories and national events.

Peters has engaged audiences with her vintage dress collection in nearly 20 public exhibitions that provide historical insights through fashions of 20th century decades. Each themed exhibit displays period dresses accompanied by descriptions of historical events with news clippings, photos, stories and artifacts, creating a unique experience that blends history, culture, art and fashion.

Peters’ exhibit “The Autumn Leaves” is currently on display in the NIU Art Museum in Altgeld Hall.

This fall, a team at the Digital Convergence Lab began designing an online interpretation of the “Lady in Red and Black” exhibition.

Consulting regularly with Peters, the project team is producing a complete design document and prototypes for an interactive, online experience that transforms the essence and spirit of Peters’ exhibit to an all-digital medium. Distinguished Teaching Professor Rhonda Robinson and graduate students joined the Digital Convergence Lab staff on the fall 2010 design team.

The spring 2011 student team will implement the design, creating a site that can include traditional and interactive digital media, 3D virtual exhibits of dresses and artifacts, video, audio and interactive Flash. The semester will culminate with a presentation to Mrs. Peters and community guests. Students selected for the team can receive three hours credit for an independent study or internship as allowed by their programs.

Interested students should contact Jason Underwood at junderwood@niu.edu. Each should be prepared to submit a resume and attend an interview as part of the selection process.

The Digital Convergence Lab (DCL) was established in 2009 by NIU Outreach and the University Libraries. It is located in 338 Founders Library. Co-directors of the DCL are Aline Click (eLearning Services, NIU Outreach) and Drew Vandecreek (Digital Initiatives, NIU Libraries).

“The Digital Convergence Lab aims to foster community engagement, the utilization of new digital media, experiential learning opportunities, shared research and development,” Click said.

“We invite the NIU community to explore new ways of communicating and sharing of media through digitized text and artifacts, graphics and animation, social networks, virtual environments, mobile devices, video conferencing, serious games and interactive simulations. We encourage interested members of the NIU community to join us by partnering on projects to explore new worlds.”

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