Computational Media, Arts & Cultures Graduate Programs at Duke University

Computational Media, Arts & Cultures


Smith Warehouse, 114 S Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC

The Smith Warehouse Bays 9-12 are the home of the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies, the Information Science + Studies Program, and the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI). Just down the road is the Carpentry Shop where the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts is housed, and beyond that is the Center for Documentary Studies. Across Main Street is Duke’s East Campus, and numerous bars, restaurants and shopping areas are within walking distance of the Warehouse. In addition, the Franklin Humanities Institute is in Bays 4-6 of the Warehouse.

Media Arts Lab in Bay 11 

Shared space for students to work. Includes overhead projection, soft seating, tables, and access to hardware and software for media and game studies work.

Production Resources

The ISS Lab in Bay 10 and Complex Systems Lab in Bay 11 own multiple 3D printers and a laser cutter that are shared by the Smith Warehouse Community. The ISS lab also has desktop computers with advanced multimedia software, iPads, cameras, and other resources for media production.  Access is prioritized for ISS students, the MFAEDA, and the Art, Art History and Visual Studies community, including students in the MA.

Collaborative Research Labs – see descriptions on individual Research Lab sites:

  • Duke, Art Law and Markets (DALMI) (van Miegroet)
  • Emergence (Seaman and Supko)
  • S-1 Speculative Sensation (Hansen and Olson)
  • DiG Digital Archeology (Forte)
  • Information Science + Studies (Szabo)
  • Franklin Humanities Institute Labs, by permission from Lab Directors (rotating labs)
  • Bass Connections Research Groups, by permission by Project Directors (rotating projects)

The Visual Media Center (VMC) comprises the continuously expanding digital image collection, a scanning lab with film and flatbed scanners, a printing lab with a 12-ink plotter printer, a large exhibition space, and offices and work space for staff. The VMC is staffed by a director and an imaging specialist/web manager. Visual Media Collections @ Duke ( is the online image database for the Visual Media Center’s digital collections. It is built on the MDID platform (Madison Digital Image Database software). The MDID online database is accessible to the university community. Through the University Libraries, Duke also subscribes to ARTstor, an online image database now containing over one million images (


Additional Campus Resources

Duke DiVE

The Duke immersive Virtual Environment (DiVE) is headed by Regis Kopper (Pratt School of Engineering) in collaboration with our Visualization & Interactive Systems Group. The DiVE is a fully immersive and interactive 6-sided CAVE-like system, funded by a major research instrument grant from NSF in 2004.  Located in Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, the DiVE is a 3m x 3m x 3m stereoscopic rear projected room with head and hand tracking and real time computer graphics.  All six surfaces—the four walls, the ceiling and the floor—are used as screens onto which computer graphics are displayed.  It is a fully immersive room; the individual (researcher, educator, student, etc.) literally walks into the virtual world, is surrounded by the display and can interact with virtual objects in the world. Stereo glasses provide depth perception, and a handheld “wand” controls navigation and input to into the world for manipulating virtual objects.   The DiVE is one of nine 6-sided CAVE-like system in the world.  This unique resource is ideal for experiencing architecture, sculpture, and cultural spaces at full size, one-to-one scale.  Through the use of the DiVE, students in Media Arts + Sciences will gain a deeper understanding of modeling real-world objects.  Issues such as lighting, scale, mass, and space are readily apparent when one is inside a building as compared to the “God’s Eye” view typically given on a desktop system. We also plan to export 3D realizations to our student teaching and project space in Bay 10, which is equipped with wall-to-wall screens and advanced 3D projection capability.

  The LINK

The Link in Perkins Library is an expansive and flexible campus facility offering innovative spatial and technological approaches to teaching and learning.   The leading edge teaching facility provides 6 large classrooms, 2 seminar rooms, and a number of smaller breakout spaces for students to work. The facility allows for video-conferencing, session recording, teaching with multiple monitors, and other innovative pedagogical techniques. It also contains a PC class-room with specialized software for CAD design and computer programming. This software base can be adapted according to faculty needs through an imaging process managed by the Link team. Additionally, the Link offers a tablet PC laptop cart and a Mac laptop cart for individual student use. These images also can be adapted according to faculty needs.

The Link MediaWall (

The Link MediaWalls are highly-visible and very capable exhibition venues, located in the lower level of Perkins Library, available for use by the Duke community. They include a 18-panel tiled wall display and a traditional-media wall.  Both facilities are equipped with a series of directional speakers and network cameras, and are driven by a multi-core graphics server. The tile array can output a total potential field of 18.8 megapixels, allowing for the real-time display of high-resolution imagery. The Media Wall is programmed and maintained by our Visualization & Interactive Systems Team (VIS), based in Bay 11, and coded by our resident programmer and licensed architect (MArch), Todd Berreth (see This resource will provide the MA+S MA and PhD students a public mechanism for displaying work that takes advantage of this type of interface. An experimental version of the media wall is also available in Bay 11.

RENCI Engagement Center

The Duke RENCI Engagement Center provides another potential site for collaboration and digital media expression. The multi-touch screen wall is being used to test out new interfaces for navigation in maps, 3D models, and virtual world spaces. MA students might develop and share work in this environment as well.


Duke Libraries/The Edge

  • Data and Visualization Services
  • Digital Scholarship Services


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