Alkek One makes new and emerging technology available to Texas State community

Giant spider added through augmented reality
Learn how augmented reality works in the Immersion Studio and at an Alkek One workshop.

What is Alkek One?
Alkek One is a hub of technology-focused spaces located on the first floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University. Our spaces feature a variety of technology that centers on maker culture, immersive reality, time-based media, geographic information systems, and digital design. At the core of Alkek One is a micro-credentialing program, which fosters the connection between the physical spaces and the foundational concepts and skills that enable students to innovate using the technologies and tools available in those spaces. For the Fall 2020 semester, we are offering a series of online workshops that will teach you how to get started with creating in Alkek One; check out our offerings here.

At Alkek One, we aim to:

  • empower students to openly explore, problem-solve, and innovate
  • engage students in communities of practice, where they can learn, share, and collaborate
  • prepare students for success in a technology-driven workforce

What are the featured spaces?
YouStar Studios
The YouStar Studios include a suite of multimedia technologies that enable users to create video and audio content for use in other Alkek One spaces, class projects, presentations, performances, or any other special project. Spaces include two one-button video recording studios, two audio recording studios, and a production studio. Sample equipment in these spaces includes: podcasting equipment, sound mixers, a piano and keyboards. The studios are reservable on a first-come, first-served basis.

Immersion Studio
Immersive technologies are now not only allowing us to access new modes of seeing, hearing, and sensing media, they are also paving the way to a new art form–one that has the potential to radically change the way we create media and connect with each other. The Immersion Studio embraces the burgeoning industry term “XR” to describe the entire spectrum of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, cinematic reality, and 360-degree video, and to make room for the next “reality”. The “X” represents a question mark that asks us to imagine the future of human interaction in technologically-mediated environments.

The MakerSpace supports additive, subtractive, and smart manufacturing by providing patrons with an array of tools geared towards creativity and innovation, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, routers, embroidery machines, vinyl cutters, circuit board printers, and so much more. These tools can also be used to bring to life projects created in other Alkek One spaces…create a 3D model in the design space, view it in holographic form in the Immersion Studio, then print it using the 3D printers in the MakerSpace!

The GeoSpace provides patrons with opportunities to approach data in unique ways. It makes use of GIS technologies and data visualization tools to explore computational relationships among the measurable properties of our planet and to promote artistic visions of our world. In science, engineering, art, architecture, geography, digital humanities and other areas, one of the most helpful ways to gain insights from data is to view the story it tells from more than one perspective or in more than one dimension.

Design Space
The Design Space houses editing and production workstations with software dedicated to all things design: 2D graphic design, 3D modeling, animation, game and simulation design. Patrons can produce content that can be used in other Alkek One spaces, such as designing vector graphics to feed into the laser cutter in the MakerSpace or creating textures for 3D models that can be used in the Immersion Studio.

This article was contributed by University Libraries’ Digital Literacy Program Coordinator Brittney Johnson.