New ASU visualization and prototyping lab to be dedicated in memory of geometric modeling innovator Gerald Farin

Public invited to Friday ceremony at Grant Street Studios in downtown Phoenix

April 20, 2017

When Gerald Farin worked with colleagues to establish the Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling (PRISM) center at Arizona State University, he showed how design and the arts at ASU, as well as other disciplines, could benefit from geometric modeling. This Friday, more than two decades later, a new visualization and prototyping lab at the School of Art’s Grant Street Studios in downtown Phoenix will be dedicated in his memory.

“He was a trusted colleague and legendary teacher who guided a generation of students at ASU from 1987 until his death in 2016,” said Dan Collins, one of the founders of the PRISM lab and a professor of intermedia in the School of Art, part of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts.  Binded Gypsum 3D print "Michael Just shaved his beard and has been second guessing since," by ASU grad student Andrew Noble. This Binded Gypsum 3-D print, titled "Michael just shaved his beard and has been second-guessing since," was created by graduate art student Andrew Noble using resources from the 3DVP lab. Photo courtesy of the Gerald Farin Lab for 3D Visualization and Prototyping Download Full Image

In addition to founding the PRISM lab with Collins and colleagues Anshuman Razdan and Mark Henderson, Farin was a computer science professor for 29 years in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and considered a visionary.

“He was a brilliant computer scientist, educator and interdisciplinary thinker who was instrumental in establishing research in visualization and prototyping on the ASU campus and fostering an international dialogue around geometric modeling,” Collins said.

Just as the PRISM lab is a center for interdisciplinary research involving 3-D data, modeling, visualization and analysis, the new Gerald Farin Lab for 3D Visualization and Prototyping (3DVP) promises to be a space where researchers, students and collaborators will benefit from its resources.

Thanks to a generous one-time grant from ASU President Michael Crow, the lab will have five systems — four 3-D printers and one small CNC router, which will be on display during Friday evening’s dedication ceremony. The event will also include the unveiling of a new high-resolution, handheld 3-D scanner as well as DIY-type body scanners built with students. Artwork, forensic models from ASU West, medical teaching models from a collaboration with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and more will be on hand at the dedication.

In addition, local engineer Steve Graber is in the process of building a large-scale “deltabot”-type machine for the lab that will be capable of creating a printed object more than 4 feet tall.

The School of Art, Fulton Schools of Engineering and the PRISM lab will dedicate the 3DVP at 7 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Grant Street Studios. The event coincides with Third Fridays, when the university community and the general public are invited to visit galleries, and the lab will be open from 6 until 9 p.m. 

Sarah A. McCarty

Communications and marketing coordinator, School and Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute


ASU Origins Project film screenings focus on climate

April 20, 2017

The Origins Project at Arizona State University will screen two new climate-inspired films and then engage in conversations with leading filmmakers and leading climate experts on April 28 and 29, at Gammage Auditorium on the Tempe campus. The films to be screened are “Before the Flood” and “Salt and Fire.”

“Climate change is inextricably linked to questions of water, from sea level rise to the availability of fresh water,” said Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Project. “What better way to introduce these problems than to screen two films by legendary directors that explore these issues in very different ways and then discuss the films with a world-renowned expert on climate issues, and allow audiences to ask questions provoked by the films. It will be an amazing weekend. “  poster for "Before the Flood" event “Before the Flood," a new documentary film featuring Leonardo DiCaprio will air at 7 p.m., April 28. Download Full Image

“Before the Flood,” a new documentary film featuring Leonardo DiCaprio will air at 7 p.m. April 28. The film also has contributions by several scientists and researchers around the world who talk about the reality of climate change as they witness its effects first hand. After the screening, Krauss will sit down with Fisher Stevens, director of "Before the Food," to talk about the issues raised in the film and answer audience questions.

A new feature film called “Salt and Fire,” which was directed by Werner Herzog, will air at 7 p.m. April 29. "Salt and Fire" is about a scientist who blames the head of a large company for an ecological disaster in South America. After the screening, Kraus will be joined by Herzog, who has been a creative force in film making for the past 40 years, and Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of economics, leader in sustainable development and senior UN advisor. The three of them will talk about issues raised in the film, how to plan for the best future of Earth and take questions from the audience.

“Living in the Southwest people may not be as concerned about sea level rise, but availability of fresh water is going to affect people from developing nations to the first world,” Krauss added. “Climate change is going to impact everyone on Earth one way or another. Fortune favors the prepared mind, which is why the Origins Project is exploring origins of the future as we think about how to mediate or head off these impacts.”

Tickets for the film screenings and discussions can be purchased for individual nights or as a package for both nights. Prices range from $7.50 for individual films to $52 for the package. They can be found on line through and at the ASU Gammage Box Office, (480) 965-3434. ASU students can obtain free tickets (two tickets per student ID to be picked up the Gammage box office) for each of these events.

Associate Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications