For Mr. Smarr – who as director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in the 1990’s oversaw the development of Mosaic, the first World Wide Web browser – this synthesis of art and science is vital in light of the role he expects artists to play in designing the future.
The six-story Calit2 laboratory, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, is designed for 900 faculty and student researchers. Two separate wings extend from the main building. On one side is an ultrasterile set of nanotechnology clean rooms designed for making devices like sensors for detecting pollutants, biological warfare agents and cancer cells. On the other side is a new digital media arts center composed of auditoriums and computer visualization laboratories, where the Calit2 scientists, engineers and artists can display their projects.