UW Bothell launches Digital Future Lab

UW Bothell students now have an opportunity to expand their knowledge base by engaging in a collaborative, interdisciplinary digital experience at the Digital Future Lab. Formerly known as the Center for Serious Play (CSP), the Digital Future Lab (DFL) is a place where students can gain valuable hands-on development experience while exploring a broad spectrum of digital media projects with faculty and industry partners.

When director Jason Pace arrived at UW Bothell last year, he found CSP, a hidden gem where gamers simply hung out. Over the past year, Pace and program coordinator Aina Braxton transformed the center by collaborating  with a team of faculty and staff, student interns and industry partners to build a diverse interactive media research and development studio with connection points throughout UW Bothell’s academic programs.

Pace describes the transformation. “The studio has been focused this year on digital platform development, game design, data visualization exploration, social media analysis, online brand design and multimedia performance pieces.” He says, “We're also partnering with Microsoft, the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts and others to develop a wide range of digital media projects.”

The lab embraces and models working studio culture, where students from various disciplines come together in a production environment to create works for public release. The DFL emphasizes the dual role of students as both creators and learners, and provides rich opportunities to develop professional identities through ongoing participation in multidisciplinary project teams and regular interaction with industry partners. Experiences are designed around participation over both the short and long term, with opportunities to publish work to external-facing, lab-managed (and other) online presences.

The lab recently launched a new tech blog designed, developed and powered by students. DFL projects, events, internships, and other Lab news can be found on the Facebook page, Twitter and the website.

The Digital Future Lab is part of UW Bothell’s School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, which offers several new degrees including a Bachelor’s in Interactive Media Design and a Master’s of Science in Cyber Security Engineering.

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