What sort of space fosters “creative collisions?” That is exactly the question we contemplated in designing the ExCITe Center at Drexel University. As new technologies give rise to new forms of creative expression, artistic visions are driving the development of new technologies. In response, the ExCITe Center is spearheading research and re-inventing education that blurs the lines between science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics and creative expression.
Kollect is a characteristic project of the Center. It provides physical therapy to young patients with cerebral palsy using Microsoft Kinect games to build muscle endurance and improve overall health. It also reflects the Center’s embrace of regional partnerships, which it has established with IBM, Temple University, the Navy Yard, and the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
At once a research center, educational program and resource hub for the local digital creative economy, ExCITe houses sound stations, computer stations, meeting spaces, and the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab, which features Sheima Seiki whole garment knitting machines. Located on the first floor of 3401 Market Street, the ExCITe Center bears little resemblance to the dark, cubicled offices that it replaced. Instead the 13,600-SF open loft-like space projects an industrial vibe that recalls the building’s original use as a paper warehouse. Infilled bays have been replaced by soaring windows that allow abundant light and inspiring views of the street beyond.