RIT student helps Vignelli Center gallery create a virtual presence

RIT student helps Vignelli Center gallery create a virtual presence

RIT was the first university in the country to offer a 3D digital design major, which has become one of RIT’s differentiating programs within the College of Art and Design. Jacob Irizarry, a fourth-year 3D digital design student from Skokie, Ill., has been managing a new project at the Vignelli Center for Design Studies using the skills he has gained from this program to create a virtual presence for the gallery in the center.

Explain your project at the Vignelli Center for Design Studies.

This past May, I was hired by Vignelli Center to virtualize the space, following a trend where museums are making everything available on the Internet, specifically using Google Maps. 

For instance, visitors can take a tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris and see the Mona Lisa, which hangs behind bulletproof glass, from the comfort of their own homes. This is what we wanted to create for the Vignelli Center. It has been a long-term dream for Josh Owen, the center’s director, to get everything put up on the RIT website. When I heard about the project, I was immediately intrigued and drawn to it. The idea of immortalizing such beautiful works of art grabbed my attention, especially during times when there was not a lot of foot traffic due to COVID-19 restrictions. I have also loved taking classes at the Vignelli Center with Professor Roger Remington, who was the previous director of the center and is now retired. 

How have the skills you obtained from the 3D digital design program helped you manage this project?

We enrolled in a lot of classes, such as conceptualizing and photogrammetry courses, that prepare us to work in a 3D space. These courses help us build a better foundation that equipped me to really understand the Vignelli Center space and what I could do there. In addition, my research played a major role in opening my eyes to the numerous possibilities with this project. I was given the incredible opportunity to manage and produce the entire project from start to finish. 

The result we are hoping to achieve is to allow the Vignelli Center to be accessible to many who would otherwise not be able to come and see the space in person. 

How has working on this project helped prepare you for your career goals?

Working on this project from start to finish was vital in giving me a good taste of what it would be like post-graduation. If I choose to freelance a lot of my work, this was an excellent opportunity to learn how to do that in terms of flexibility, self-timing, self-pacing, managing all the aspects that go into a project, exercising my creative ideas, and making sure the end-product is the very best. 

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