Media Bridge showcases student, staff creativity

The Media Bridge, a new project between Crosland Tower and Price Gilbert Memorial Library, features artwork and graphics from the Tech Community. // Photos by Alex Dubé Student Publications

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include the correct date of the Media Bridge launch, March 30

The recent introduction of the Media Bridge, located on the crosswalk between Crosland Tower and Price Gilbert Memorial Library, has attracted the attention of students and staff alike. 

While walking, members of the Tech community get glimpses of artwork and information have been seen flashing across the screen.

The large-scale digital screen was designed to showcase Tech’s culture of research, scholarship and creativity using the capabilities of digital media.

The on-screen display consists of short, visually compelling motion graphics that allow on-lookers to gather information and resources or even look at displays of artwork and creativity sent in by students themselves.

“Long thought of as merely repositories for the physical storage of knowledge, libraries have evolved in this new century to be engines of creation and discovery, hubs of human connection and ingenuity,” said Jason Wright, communications manager for the Tech Library. 

“Media Bridge will demonstrate this active role, highlighting the research and scholarship of our faculty and students.”

Wright mentioned that there is more than just STEM-themed content being featured. 

“Through the visualization of data and information, the Library will curate content emphasizing the creative culture of campus, featuring not only innovations in science and technology, but also the human stories of our scholarly community engaged in making the connections between innovation, inspiration and understanding,” Wright said.

With the idea for the Media Bridge project originating back in 2017, it took a total of four years to reach completion. 

The bridge installation officially began in August of 2020 and was completed on Sept. 16, 2021. 

The timeline of the project was affected by the pandemic due to supply chain shortages. 

The delays ended up pushing back the launch date as well as the construction of the bridge. 

While the bridge itself has been installed, the technology is still in its testing stages. The size and complexity of the project makes fine tuning necessary in order to achieve a smoothly running screen. The bridge is set to officially launch the week of March 30.

In hopes of making the project interactive and allowing the Tech community to contribute to the bridge, Stuart Romm, professor of the practice in the School of Architecture, and Hunter Spence, lecturer in the School of Industrial Design, recently began teaching a grant-funded class this semester called Library Interactive Media Workshop 4833/8833 which is held in the library.

“Those students are being tasked with creating material for the bridge and increasing its interactivity … The course is designed as a pilot program where students can begin creating content for the bridge,” Wright said. 

The goal is that eventually, students, researchers and staff will all be able to seamlessly build and contribute content to be displayed on the bridge.

The bridge consists of six different established content modes including The Whistle, Art/Ambience, Events, Research and Researchers, Places and Data in which content can be divided into when being displayed.

The Interactive content mode is still in the works. This content mode would allow for the flow of real-time data onto the screen as well as creating iterative public art. 

The Interactive aspect of the project, while still in production, is being perfected and expanded on through the course that is being taught by both Romm and Spence.

“I think that it’s great how interactive they are making this project. 

“It’s always a great idea to involve students and allow them to express themselves through means that can be presented to others on campus,” said Kaitlyn Bagnoni, first-year AE.

With the help of the entire Tech community, the Media Bridge project team hopes to launch a successful bridge that allows for the distribution of information as well as an enhancement of and an emphasis on creativity seen within Tech’s students and staff.