VCAM Welcome from the Director
Welcome to VCAM—a material realization of a key feature of the College’s vision for a 21st-century liberal arts education: that is, the development of students as interpreters and makers of visual media in spaces made for this work.
This educational vision has been nurtured at Haverford for several years in many forms: courses spread through departments and programs, vibrant visual projects that literally pop up all around us every semester, artist and creative residencies, documentary making, and community engagement.
With our architectural partners from MSR design in Minneapolis and our acoustical gurus from Threshold in Chicago, we set out to remake the Old Gym with a philosophy of adaptive renovation, sustainability, simplicity, and innovative potential. Looking around the space, you may note subtle pieces of the old that have been brought into the new—a revitalized track, stair balustrades that become a base for a farm table, a gym floor reused for office and lab ceilings, old squash court glass used for wall boards, campus trees used for wooden stairs and benches—and much more. You will also experience, if you get a chance to work in the building, a system of sophisticated technology and infrastructure put in place to grow with us over the coming decades.
We cannot emphasize strongly enough that VCAM represents an intersection of the physical and the curricular in which modes of seeing, understanding, and remaking the world are activated in productive combinations. Nor can we emphasize too strongly how these intersections are also connections, which take form in VCAM as opportunities for students from across the humanities and arts, the sciences, and the social sciences to join in pursuing links among perception, design, creative and visual production, and ethical engagement locally and globally.
VCAM also creates new platforms and physical tools for learning, engaging all our sensibilities. Such sensibility is expressed in the very architectural makeup of VCAM, designed along the principles of ‘bodies in motion’ and visual play, and we encourage you to visit and explore with all the curiosity and excitement that we feel about this extraordinary addition to the College’s ever-evolving educational environment. Please be in touch with questions or ideas.