With the introduction of the digital media arts (DMA) major to Hamline’s undergraduate liberal arts degree offerings in the fall semester of 2012, students with interests in video production, audio production, website design, graphic design, and the digital arts can turn their talents and passions into a degree. With the growth of the program, the need for more space and technology to facilitate existing and prospective DMA students grew as well. That need has since been met with the creation of the innovative DMA lab, located in the basement of the Bush Memorial Library.
The digital media arts major allows students to receive hands on experience with media technology. The new lab is equipped with twenty brand new Apple iMacs with access to the entire Adobe Creative Suite for audio, video, and image editing. Software includes Adobe InDesign, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, Photoshop, and much more. These programs allow students to use top of the line editing software that will help them to further their knowledge and build their portfolio in the digital arts. There are Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small Tablets attached to each monitor. The lab is also designed to support group multimedia collaboration and sharing.
The original DMA lab, located in the basement of Drew Residence Hall, houses fifteen Apple desktops. The same Adobe programs are available at that location. In addition, fifteen Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablets allow students to digitally paint, draw, and sketch. While the Drew lab is reserved for students within the DMA major, now that the DMA program has expanded, the lab in Bush Memorial Library is available for students from all majors and minors after 5 p.m. on weekdays, Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sundays from 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
“The new lab was definitely needed,” said first year student Cole Mayer, who took an introduction to digital video class in the Bush Memorial Library DMA lab. “It’s facilitated a new way of teaching. Every pod of computers has its own TV and the instructor can take control of everyone’s monitor so students can see each other’s work. There’s more group work in the digital media arts classes; you can sit next to your friends, take a look at their projects, and give each other critiques. It’s pretty sweet.”
The new lab means new opportunities for students in DMA classes, and also for students who are pursuing the major. By adding another lab on campus, the amount of DMA workspaces available more than doubles, and makes editing software more readily available to students. The new space is also conducive with new courses that will be available in the spring semester of 2014 and beyond, providing instruction on different aspects of the digital arts that have not yet been offered.