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ExCITe Center: get a sneak peak of Drexel’s new research lab for arts and science

This month, Drexel University will unveil a new home for the Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies Center, a cross-disciplinary clearing house for when the school’s engineering, media and digital art work intersects.

The 11,000 square foot ExCITe Center, inside suite 101 of 3401 Market Street in University City, will house classes, clubs, research and events (yup, including the upcoming Random Hacks of Kindness). Before it begins opening its doors for a series of official dedications, Technically Philly wanted to give a sneak peak.

The 3401 Market building carries some historic significance, once home to a printing company, it became the first building in the burgeoning Market corridor real estate empire of the University City Science Center. Drexel leases out a portion of the building, and this suite was completely renovated this summer, said Drexel engineering dean spokeswoman Elizabeth Brachelli.

“A centerpiece of the ExCITe Center is the Shima Seiki Haute Technology lab, which is a collaboration between Drexel’s Fashion Design, Engineering, and other departments,” said Youngmoo Kim, Center director and the much locally fawned over Drexel electrical engineering professor and associate dean of media technologies. “Shima Seiki makes very cool digital knitting machines — think 3d printers for fabrics — so you can basically “print” a sweater.

The Middlesex County, New Jersey-based company donated more than $1 million in equipment.

“The idea of ExCITe was started about two years ago, in fall 2010, and was formalized as a Drexel strategic initiative in the University’s new strategic plan published last May,” said Brachelli.

Check out a slew of photos of the space on our Facebook page here, before and after furniture was put in the space.

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Kristen Fitch

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