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Solving Problems Through Research

What We Offer: Arts, Architecture, and Design

The arts and architecture are essential for beauty and quality of life and for understanding the impacts of new technologies and guiding thoughtful implementation. The arts are a clear and direct expression of cultures and global interconnectedness, providing access to the understanding of societal and individual difference through universal artistic vocabularies. Theatre, music, visual art, creative writing, and dance are valuable tools in opening difficult conversations in societies by exploring values, self-interests, and concerns of the community. Opportunities for public dialogue, fostered by programming, aesthetic exploration, and artistic research, nurture innovative partnerships between artists and community organizations.

Special research centers include the following:

The International Archive of Women in Architecture documents the history of women's involvement in architecture by collecting, preserving, storing, and making available to researchers the professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics, and urban planners, and the records of women's architectural organizations, from around the world.

The Virginia Tech Collaborative for Creative Technologies in the Arts and Design (CCTAD) is committed to the transformative power of the arts, and exploration of the intersection between human creativity and technology, focusing on digital and interactive art. CCTAD will work closely with the Art Museum of Western Virginia to establish the New River Valley and Roanoke region as a setting for innovative, world-class art and artists.

Building a livable solar house

Problem: There is an energy crisis but the power of the sun is being overlooked.

Solution: Design and build a prototype solar house.

Solar House Photo

Students, faculty, and staff from architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, and mechanical, structural, and electrical engineering collaborated to design, build, and operate a solar house that demonstrates a comfortable living and working environment and sustainable construction.

  • translucent walls that transmit natural light and deliver high insulation and sound absorption value
  • tunable walls for any desired color; no painting required
  • a compact plan that offers spatial generosity
  • radiant floor heat
  • high-pressure heat pumps for hot water for the radiant system
  • sustainable, healthy materials

Virginia Tech's team won Best Architecture, Best Dwelling, and Best Daylight; tied for Best Electric Light; and placed fourth overall. Learn more.