New Exhibitions at MSU Museum Showcase Faculty Research, Unveiling Innovative Perspectives

The Michigan State University (MSU) Museum is excited to announce two compelling exhibitions featuring faculty research at Michigan State University. VirtualGenome and Domicology – Creating a Sustainable Built Environment, exemplify the Museum’s commitment to serving as a catalyst for interdisciplinary exploration and research.

VirtualGenome, currently open in the New Horizons Gallery, presents a Virtual Reality (VR)-based immersive platform curated by Dr. Jianrong Wang from the MSU Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering. Developed as part of a National Science Foundation Grant, this interactive exhibition enables museumgoers to delve into the 3D structure of the human genome. Visitors can navigate the genetic landscape, exploring spatial organization, observing genes, related proteins, and gaining insight into cellular structures using an accessible and engaging VR technology.

Devon Akmon, MSU Museum Director, expressed enthusiasm about the innovative exhibitions, stating, “These exhibitions highlight the remarkable research of faculty on campus. The MSU Museum seeks to collaborate with faculty in creative ways to advance teaching, learning, and research, thereby setting new standards for an academic museum’s role in serving communities.”

Adjacent to VirtualGenome, opening mid-December in the Sandbox Gallery, is Domicology – Creating a Sustainable Built Environment. Curated by faculty and staff from the Center for Community and Economic Development, the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction, and MSU Surplus and Recycling, this exhibition focuses on the life cycles of structures, emphasizing the urgent need for sustainable practices in the built environment.

As visitors journey through Domicology, they will confront the stark reality of linear structure life cycles, grappling with depictions of blighted communities and the consequences of structural abandonment. However, the exhibition also presents a hopeful vision—a circular approach to the end-of-life stages of structures. Attendees will explore innovative practices such as deconstruction, material salvage reuse possibilities, and the creation of resale markets. The concept of “Designing for Deconstruction” illustrates how future structures can be constructed with sustainability in mind.

VirtualGenome is on view through March 2, 2024, while Domicology – Creating a Sustainable Built Environment opens December 19, 2023, and will be at the MSU Museum through March 2024.

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