Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stephen Baek, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, recently participated in the creation of a new mural at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, Iowa City, IA.

The mural, unveiled January 10, is sponsored by the Iowa City Public Art program and based around the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).

Baek participated as a member of the Public Digital Arts (PDA) Cluster at the UI. The cluster was formed in 2013 to galvanize the university’s existing strengths in technology and the arts, explore uses for emerging technologies, and engage people across the university and beyond.

The mural, "Exploring Iowa’s Renewable Energy," uses visual, sound, and tactile elements to provide visitors with an interactive experience that spotlights Iowa’s Green Energy potential. Visitors activate light, sound, and wind in a graphically displayed Iowa landscape. Turning a hand crank moves a windmill, covering the solar panel affects the building lights, and touching the river activates light and sound.

Baek was part of a team of students and faculty members from the university who represent a broad range of disciplines including Computer Science, Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Emerging Technologies and Sculpture, Photography, Art and Art History, and Digital Media in Performance. Besides Baek, the UI team included Kyle Rector, Daniel Fine, Daniel Miller, Yifan Du, Colleen Reynolds, and Jon Winet. Additionally, photographer Dana Keeton contributed to the project.