The Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture is a learning space in the Department of Art History and Archaeology made possible by the generosity of the Robert H. Smith family. Combining sophisticated technology, adaptable work spaces, and a dynamic visualization facility, the Collaboratory provides a focal point in the department for applying new technology to study art and architecture in ways not previously possible, and for experimenting with new means of sharing ideas and research with students and colleagues.
The center of the Collaboratory, both conceptually and physically, is a large room containing a floor-to-ceiling curved projection surface and a comprehensive technology installation to support ambitious projects, such as effective virtual reality and multi-modal displays. The space functions as a classroom, providing visualization possibilities not available elsewhere on campus, and as a lab, in which scholars from myriad disciplines explore new possibilities for visualization and communication. As the name suggests, the facility is designed to encourage collaboration among students and scholars from all disciplines as they use new visualization techniques and information resources to develop understanding and expand knowledge.