• [A monopath is]…a person with a narrow mind, a one-track brain, a bore, a super-specialist, an expert with no other interests–in other words the role-model of choice in the Western world.”

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The Cube at Virginia Tech is a Data Exploration Facility Like No Other

  • September 2, 2015
  • By Susan Bland     
Students and researchers can explore and interact with literally anything in the world in in full-scale virtual environments.


Unique in the world, no space exemplifies the union of art and technology quite like the Moss Arts Center Cube at Virginia Tech. A $15 million, four-story experimental space and data exploration facility shared between the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the Cube serves a number of purposes.

As a black box theatre, it accommodates live performances and installations. Yet this black box theatre is unlike any other. A highly adaptable space outfitted with a collection of high-powered, cutting-edge audio and visual equipment, the Cube is also a high-tech laboratory where students and researchers can explore and interact with literally anything in the world in real-time—from the smallest molecule to the largest building—in full-scale virtual environments.

Students, faculty, and national and international guest artists and researchers come from a variety of disciplines, representing the areas of science, engineering, art, and design, to collaborate on research and experimentation activities in big data exploration, immersive environments, intimate performances, audio and visual installations, and experiential investigations of all types.

With motion capture cameras throughout the facility, the Cube tracks people as they move through the space. Armed with head-mounted displays or tablets, users are transported to virtual worlds, interacting with an environment in real-time, just as they would if they were actually there. Not only can you see everything as you travel through these environments, but you can hear everything, as well. With one of the most advanced sound systems in the world, the Cube features 148 speakers and four subwoofers suspended from all four levels, including several floor-standing speakers, offering 360-degree audio capabilities to deliver a true and complete immersive experience.