The Academy of Art University is located in San Francisco and has been since its founding in 1929. The mission of the university is to prepare students to be professionals in a number of areas. Those areas include design, communication, and arts. The Academy offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. The Academy offers a general education program for undergraduates that provides them with a well rounded offering of courses to make them as the school’s Mission Statement states “educated global citizens.”
A recent event demonstrated the reach of the students in their community. A group made a presentation to the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation. The presentation used augmented reality and was focused on the Tenderloin District in San Francisco. The purpose was to make the neighborhood safer. These students are from the Academy of Art University’s School of Game Development. The presentation involved Tenderfeels, a new smartphone application focused on making the Tenderloin a better place to live.
The Tenderloin District is an historic area in the city that is home to about 25,000 residents. It has the highest rate of poverty and violent crime in San Francisco. It offers an opportunity for the students to test out their app. The four students who designed the app spoke about how it can obtain data from residents about their moods towards life on their block. They can say they are happy, disgusted, or angry. The information will be provided to organizations who can then deal with the current emotions of the residents.
Augmented reality is a concept to use the real world and then impose feelings about the world from individuals in an instant. Instead of taking surveys and waiting for the results, everyone can see in a moment that residents on one block are all angry about their conditions. This then allows for action to be taken to respond to the data from Tenderfeels.
The Academy of Art University is showing students that the principles of video games can be used in the real world to solve serious problems. This is part of the mission of the Academy of Art University that is providing a creative environment in an urban setting. The location of the academy in San Francisco is a great place for the students to reach out to the area, and see how their talents can make a difference in the real world.
The academy has a student population of over 14,000. It is everything you would expect in a digital age. The university has also gone green, with LED lighting, composting, bio-diesel vehicles, and recycling. The school represents everything San Francisco which includes a spirit of innovation, diversity, and belief that students can and will make a difference with their education and community outreach. The Academy of Art University’s website calls San Francisco a “mecca of creativity.” The school is certainly making itself part of that mecca. It is sending its graduates out into the world with a new idea of the endless possibilities of the new digital world.