Category Higher Education

Great Lakes Visitor Center

Center for Freshwater Research and Education

In a collaborative project between Xibitz and Lord Cultural Resources, a new lobby for the Great Lakes Visitor Center in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan was created. The Center for Freshwater Research and Education lobby features multiple interactive learning experiences that showcase the complex Great Lakes Ecosystem. In this area, you will observe a large, custom, acrylic sturgeon tank containing live fish, multiple static graphics, dimensional text, and a multi-layer interactive spinner made from phenolic images. Several low-level interactive experiences prompt inspiration from the observer to think like fishery managers and to learn more about their impact on our freshwater ecosystem. Other displays include a donor wall and multiple millwork structures that educate and engage visitors to be proactive in maintaining the health of our Great Lakes. 

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Universities Space Research Association

Headquarters Interactive Lobby Exhibit

Columbia, MD

Crossing the threshold of the new headquarters of the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), you get the sense of entering another dimension. Highly reflective surfaces like black glass, automobile-finish white panels and glossy grey floors create a feel of expansiveness and depth, echoing the infinite breadth of the galaxies. 

To articulate and implement the design intent for the introductory exhibit, Hickok Cole brought in Xibitz. From design refinement, to shop drawings and production, to installation, the Xibitz team delivered a highly refined and sophisticated display that mimics the tight tolerances and crisp design of spacecraft. A closer look at the exhibit reveals free-standing walls describing each of the USRA-related disciplines, including planetary science, earth science and space nuclear power. The display walls feature touch screen monitors; backlit graphics; and artifact cases with specimens like moon rocks and meteors, and sophisticated observation equipment like x-ray and parabolic mirrors.

New York University

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis

New York, NY

NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis houses the activities of six diverse yet converging programs that seek ways to connect intellectual inquiry with lived experience. So when students and faculty needed a new space designed it called for a novel approach. The design by Lewis Architects locates faculty offices at the perimeter of the space, yet carves away the offices at strategic locations.

Supporting this plan, Xibitz worked under the guidance of graphics consultant Design360 to ensure this would be no ordinary academic setting. Among the Xibitz contributions are environmental graphics in many forms. Brightly colored, custom-fabricated acrylic boxes are inserted through the walls between the offices and corridors, text along the conference and meeting rooms is vinyl on glass but becomes 3-D as it spills over the sill. Printed 3-Form panels slide along a track to separate conference and common rooms as desired.

The overall result: A Best of Year Merit Award, Educational, from Interior Design.

University of North Texas

University Union

Denton, TX

Brand elements were designed, produced and installed over 3 floors of the Union building and consist of various graphics that combine materials such as direct printed custom wallpaper, cut vinyl, 3-Dimensional graphic boxes, and 3-Dimensional text. World Map display is formed with hundreds of 1/2” custom, brand-colored pegs. History moments are depicted on direct printed stainless steel text and combine push through dimensional text to create a dynamic display. The showcase of the project is the Hanging Sculpture that dimensionally communicates the core values of the university in a cascading letter sculpture. The 20’ long, 6’ deep, 14’ high sculpture begins at the ceiling line of the third floor and finishes below the ceiling line on the second floor. 12,000 individual 1/2” and 3/4” thick acrylic letters are suspended from the ceiling on over 1500 1/32” diameter stainless steel cables. The letters are attached with hidden crimps and are installed sparsely at the top of the sculpture, appearing to fall from the ceiling, coming together in greater density at the bottom to form words.

Colorado State University

Lory Student Center

Fort Collins, CO

The Lory Student Center is a community gathering place for everyone on the Colorado State University (CSU) campus, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors. After 50 years and 20,000 people a day, it was time to renovate the Lory Student Center inside and out. In the course of the renovation, Perkins&Will and its Branded Environments team identified 11 key “brand story” elements that convey the Center’s history, provide opportunities for donor and other recognition, and capture the spirit and unique essence of CSU. Xibitz captured this  framework. The University  prioritized project expenditures and enabled the development of fundraising tools. The approach also resulted in a flexible master plan for the initial project installation and a roadmap for adding elements in the future. The ensuing design by Perkins & Will turns the University’s emblems and team colors into a vibrant source of energy that permeates the Center.

Wake Forest School of Medicine

Deacon Gallery Welcome Center

Winton-Salem, NC

The Deacon Gallery celebrates alumni, staff, students, donors, and the history of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine – serving as the epicenter for alumni programs, tours of the school, and meeting place. 

Xibitz assembled a team of Peter Hyde Design, Angle Park (interactive media), Fleming Museum Consulting (interpretive plan and exhibit script) for the exhibit design, fabrication, and installation. Visitors are drawn to and engaged with, curving walls of graphics, artifact cases, and oversized touch monitors with custom “apps” to deep-dive into WFSOM stories. Other design/build elements included room-naming donor plaques and a dimensional lenticular wall linking the “Education” and “Research” areas of the campus.

George Mason University

Horizon Hall

Fairfax, VA

As part of a collaborative effort, Perkins&Will and Xibitz created an exclusive space for George Mason University (GMU). This project incorporated three key elements that resulted in a successful fusion of tradition and innovation. Using a printed pattern design, the first component consists of multiple stories of wallpaper that change color on every floor. The second component further captures the expression and culture of GMU. In what is known as the World Wall, a map of the world is framed with acrylic fins which are covered with cut vinyl. GMU’s mission statement is incorporated in each of the languages spoken at the University, thereby illustrating GMU’s core institutional characteristic of being culturally diverse. In addition, light passes through the vinyl and light casts the words in between the fins. The map is inverted to force the question of “whose perspective is right?” The third component is a two-story, wood veneer wall behind which Xibitz placed a 13-foot by 17-foot digital screen. In front of the screen, veneer panels were created so that they are concealed behind the wood. When the lights are off, it looks like a wall. With light, two excerpts from literature are displayed. It is intended that both excerpts be read simultaneously in order to stimulate the question – Does the second text alter or enhance the meaning of the first? 

University of Illinois

Welcome Center

Urbana, IL

In 2017 the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign celebrated its sesquicentennial while simultaneously opening a new Welcome Center. The Welcome Center, located in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, is open to the public and serves to celebrate the University’s heritage and contributions to society. 

Visitors are greeted by cherrywood-clad discovery boxes. The boxes are over 10 feet tall and contain school artifacts, backlit graphics, and interactive video media ribbon. Tabletop displays in coffee tables encase touchscreens to provide interactive information. The lobby displays a showstopping theme sculpture, spanning the entire height of the atrium. Dozens of diplomas cascade from the ceiling, suspended by almost indistinguishable wire.

University of Kentucky

Gatton Student Union Center

Lexington, KY

Xibitz collaborated with Perkins&Will to create a branded environment for the Gatton Student Union Center, a gathering place for students and faculty with a wide range of options for dining, entertainment, and education opportunities. This facility is already home to the King Culture Center, Dinkle-Mas Suite for LGBTQ Resources, WRFL Radio, and the Center for Student Involvement. 

Xibitz produced and installed a large-scale, realistic, bronze wildcat sculpture, along with digitally printed, custom graphics that can be enjoyed throughout the facility. The custom cat paws that traverse the floor play the University’s fight song when a student or visitor walks through the lobby.

Finally, Xibitz created custom printed gradient Lintec window film throughout the facility along with various locations of stainless steel and custom painted, dimensional lettering. We crafted a light sculpture that forms the state of Kentucky to always show pride in the Wildcat’s home state.

University of Tennessee Research Association

Solar Educational Exhibit 

Knoxville, Tennessee

Creating an educational exhibit that will engage multiple audiences requires a team that can leverage its combined strengths imaginatively and effectively. Perkins&Will Branded Environments and Xibitz employed a collaborative design/build approach to develop this new immersive and interactive exhibit. Working with The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF), in conjunction with its West Tennessee Solar Farm project, the team developed solutions to educate and resonate with diverse audiences, from 4-H groups to solar-value-chain industry leaders to city/county government and more. 

The combined result is SPECTRUM, a unique experience that will teach visitors about the past, present and future of solar power in Tennessee, and which makes complex concepts fun through attention-grabbing graphics, dynamic use of scale and creative interactive technologies. Relying on light as a narration device, the exhibit is designed to engage users upon arrival and spark a sense of discovery in the building’s Welcome Center.The exhibit also has a mobile element to be used at tradeshows, educational venues and public events to promote the UTRF brand and solar power industry.