ICAT Learning Studio (253A) in the Moss Arts Center
New Town Project and Blacksburg 16 Squares
Speakers: Thomas Tucker, School of Visual Arts; Todd Ogle, TLOS; David Hicks, School of Education
New Town was an African American neighborhood in Blacksburg, Virginia from the late 19th century until the mid- 1960’s. It consisted of Gilbert Street and a small lane that were home to about 20 families. New Town, today, has been redeveloped as a shopping and office complex. To memorialize New Town and its people, a prototype that is a technology-based re-creation of New Town was developed to show how is was about 1950. The New Town Remembered program includes virtual and augmented reality representations of homes and people and educational programs and materials designed for school age children.
The Blacksburg 16 Squares Project captures the dynamics of change from the original “16 Squares” of the Town of Blacksburg donated by William Black and place across time by employing virtual and augmented reality. Blacksburg was charted in 1798 and has had over two centuries of development. By creating a multilayered and sophisticated program, not only does this project provide a factual history of this town, but also an educational treasure about the successes and challenges of civic life capturing the extensive emotions that people experienced as they lived at various times.