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Science, technology, and creativity: OSU blurs the lines between the arts and STEM with new PRAx building

The Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts will provide science, technology, engineering, and math students the opportunity to receive a unique understanding of the world through the arts.

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PRAx creates a new type of space where students can use the arts to support their educational mission. Artist's rendering courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
PRAx creates a new type of space where students can use the arts to support their educational mission. Artist’s rendering courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.

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The PRAx building will provide STEM students the opportunity to receive a unique understanding of the world through the arts. “We’re going to try to bring in artists who are using data rich and computationally rich visualizations, performances, technology, and so on, as part of a focus around PRAx,” Feser noted. 

An artist's aerial rendering of the new Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts in the southeastern quadrant of OSU’s campus in Corvallis. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
An artist’s aerial rendering of the new Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts building in the southeastern quadrant of OSU’s campus in Corvallis. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The Lynne Hallstrom Detrick Concert Hall merges extraordinary acoustics with an intimate scale – 490 seats – to create a world-class performance experience for every member of the audience. Artist’s rendering courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The Lynne Hallstrom Detrick Concert Hall merges extraordinary acoustics with an intimate scale – 490 seats – to create a world-class performance experience for every member of the audience. Artist’s rendering courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The design firm Holst Architecture chose lighter, creamier colors, as opposed to reddish ones, in order to tie the new building to its more immediate surroundings on the OSU campus. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The design firm Holst Architecture chose lighter, creamier colors for the building’s brick masonry, as opposed to the reddish academic ones, in order to tie the new building to its more immediate surroundings on the southeast edge of the OSU campus. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.

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Holst Architecture combined wood as a warmer material to counteract the creamy brick masonry of the building's facade. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
Holst Architecture combined wood as a warmer material to counteract the creamy brick masonry of the building’s facade. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
According to Holst Architecture's Dave Otto, the use of the warmest woods always signifies points where you interact with the building itself, such as this corridor. Artist's rendering courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
According to Holst Architecture’s Dave Otte, the use of the warmest woods always signifies points where you interact with the building itself, such as this corridor. Artist’s rendering courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
A dark-stained wood was used where it would be exposed to the weather, allowing it to develop a patina through age and exposure. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
A dark-stained wood was used where it would be exposed to the weather, allowing it to develop a patina through age and exposure. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.

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Washougal Art & Music Festival

The concert hall currently under construction. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The concert hall currently under construction. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
Jaffe Holden, an acoustic engineering company, helped build acoustic panels for multiple venues in the PRAx building, mainly the concert hall. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
Jaffe Holden, an acoustic engineering company, helped build acoustic panels for multiple venues in the PRAx building, mainly the concert hall. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The building features windows for people to look into interior spaces, such as with the Kate and John Stirek Gallery in order to peer through the windows and view the art. Artist's rendering courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The building features windows for people to look into interior spaces, such as with the Kate and John Stirek Gallery in order to peer through the windows and view the art. Artist’s rendering courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.

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The new PRAx center will feature concerts, exhibitions, and performances by internationally touring artists and by OSU student ensembles. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.
The new PRAx center will feature concerts, exhibitions, and performances by internationally touring artists and by OSU student ensembles. Photo courtesy of the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Alexander Banks is a journalism student at Oregon State University. Outside of freelancing, he also works as a news contributor and columnist for The Daily Barometer, a student-run newspaper at the university. He enjoys photography, photo and video editing, graphic design, and watching movies in his free time. He is also an introvert and cat lover.

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