The Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts engage artists, scholars, designers, educators, scientists, and technicians in the exploration of the intersections between the arts, science and technology. Scholarly, creative and pedagogical projects investigate virtual reality, human computer interface, visualization and 3D simulation. The lab develops projects in partnership with our international clients - investigating the forefront of discourse in emergent media design.


  • Investigate the forefront of virtual and hybrid design technologies and how they might apply to nurturing new learning cultures
  • Help establish a strategic vision and direction for University direction and investment in the study and design of virtual and hybrid environments, simulations, and human computer interaction when creating new learning cultures 
  • Generate, prototype, review, and disseminate knowledge pertaining to virtual and hybrid environments learning technologies
  • Through speaking, international presentations, successful grantsmanship, and building of emergent solutions, IDIA will contribute to the advancement of new learning solutions using virtual and hybrid world technologies
  • Recommend relevant technological infrastructure and technological trends in support of new models for research, design, learning, and instruction
  • Assist in advancing Ball State University’s reputation in exploratory 3D learning environments
  • Recruit international scholars, artists, and experts to work alongside Ball State faculty and students in this studio-based laboratory
  • Provide consultation and expertise on the innovative use of 3D virtual and hybrid learning environments


Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts [IDIA Lab] developed through support by the Lilly Foundation, Inc. and leveraging the international recognition of IDIA in virtual reality, interactive interface, hybrid worlds, simulation and human computer interface.

Accomplishments of the IDIA have included:

  • The ACUTA Award for Institutional Excellence and the Campus Technology Innovators Award for Virtual Worlds Learning for its development of an open source software product developed for the Blackboard Greenhouse Award for Virtual Worlds and its Virtual Cinematography project
  • In 2011, IDIA was commissioned by author, critic and museum director Michael Rush to develop artwork and a virtual events program for the new Eli and Edythe Broad Museum at MSU, designed by Zaha Hadid Associates
  • Scholars in the virtual archeology community have been working closely with IDIA in developing innovative virtual simulations of lost architectural sites – including a large-scale recreation of Hadrian’s Villa in ancient Rome; simulated astro-archeological structural studies; and virtual polychrome simulations of antiquarian sculpture. Senior Director of HDT, John Fillwalk, serves on the Advisory Board of the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory at the University of Virginia, directed by Bernard Frischer
  • IDIA was invited to contribute to Intel’s ScienceSim virtual laboratory in Open Simulator 
  • Professor Fillwalk serves as president of the Hans Breder Foundation, an international foundation dedicated to the archive, exhibition and dissemination of digital Intermedia art
  • In 2010, IDIA was invited to the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai to exhibit their hybrid design work

The IDIA is has an active record of international dissemination including invitational speaking engagements, panels, festivals, museum exhibitions, commissions and papers – representing BSU as an innovator in virtual solutions in teaching, learning and design.