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Office of the Vice President for Research

ACCelerate Festival

The Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts and UVA Arts are seeking transdisciplinary interactive projects from both faculty and students to represent the University of Virginia at the next ACCelerate: Creativity and Innovation Festival on April 2022 in Washington DC. The Festival will take place at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and is presented by Virginia Tech and the Smithsonian Institution.

The festival is a celebration of creative exploration and research happening at the nexus of ScienceEngineeringArts, and Design (SEAD). Each ACC Member University will have 1 to 3 projects or performances at the Festival.




Contact Emma Terry, Programs & Communication Director for UVA Arts, with any questions. 

Criteria & Details: 

  • Is in the realm of SEAD: Science, Engineering, Arts, and Design (SEAD).
  • Must have an interactive display and/or have a performance element.
  • Must fit within 12×8 space.
  • No open water, open flames, insects, food, chemicals, or gas allowed.
  • Please see more details on the proposal form.

If your project is selected to participate your team will receive:

  • Hotel, food, & transportation
  • Financial support for the production of materials, displays, A/V equipment, etc. (up to $2,000)
  • Showcase your project to 60,000+ visitors at the Smithsonian
  • PR & media exposure
  • Network with fellow innovators, inventors, and artists






2019 Projects: 

Bio-Inspired Morphing to Create the World’s Largest Wind Turbines
Our mission is to conceptualize, design and demonstrate morphing technologies for 50-megawatt wind turbines that can reduce offshore levelized cost of energy by as much as 50% by 2025. Offshore wind is an incredible energy resource. For wind power to continue its major role in American energy independence, we need to create larger wind turbines with lower energy costs. Traditional upwind blades are too expensive and too heavy to avoid striking their towers. This problem becomes more and more challenging as production wind turbines are scaled up to extreme sizes. How can one adapt turbine designs to suit such extreme scales? MORE >

Arctic Portal

The Arctic is a place where extreme cold climate conditions coupled with the impacts of climate change are often the dominating narratives shaping the discourse about the region. Simultaneously, the climatic shifts are helping to unlock the grips of a deep freeze and opening up new economic, political, and urbanistic potentials. Caught in amidst of these transformations is our capacity to soberly reflect, inflect and steer the narratives of the region as a lived place that is both animated by and actively sculpting the physical environment. MORE >

Kinesthetic Montage Hong Kong
The design research project Kinesthetic Montage Hong Kong explores the unique relationship between film, urban space and movement in Hong Kong by capturing the aesthetic experience of this sensorial rich pedestrian city through audio-visual, graphical, and architectural means. Hong Kong, home to a thriving film culture, is itself a film set. This is manifested in two ways: First, its movies are predominantly shot on location, producing filmic narratives and montages of spaces that in turn reflect back onto the city and its perception. Second, Hong Kong’s extreme density produces a complex network of walking paths, interior and exterior, that emerge in the unique intersection between pedestrian infrastructure, public transport systems, and architecture. Imminent in this intensely layered urban structure are a multitude of potential experiential sequences. Kinesthetic Montage describes the cinematic experience that is produced and experienced by the walking human body as it moves through these spaces. MORE >

[I]nquiry: An Experimental Live, Multimedia Performance
Combining media technologies and live performance, [I]nquiry alludes to the contemporary phenomenon of selfies and prompts a new dialogue about the perception, representation, and projection of the curated self in our digital culture. This collaborative, multimedia dance piece provides a unique, collective experience for the dancers and audience members whereby the festival and museum attendees can interact with the performers during the live performance. MORE >

2017 Projects:

Yamuna River Project
The Yamuna River Project is a multi-year research collaboration between the Delhi Jal Board and the University of Virginia. The Yamuna River Project capitalizes on current conversations within the government to place riverfront restoration and development at the forefront of national consciousness. MORE >

PureMadi has been created by an interdisciplinary collaboration of students and faculty at the University of Virginia. In partnership with the University of Venda in Thohoyandou, South Africa; Rotary International; and developing-world communities in Limpopo Province, South Africa, PureMadi is working to provide sustainable solutions to global water problems. MORE >

The Mantabot team are experts in marine biology, biomechanics, structures, hydrodynamics, and control systems. They have created a prototype molded directly from a real cow-nosed ray. By studying the motions of living rays in the field and in the laboratory and through dissection, this prototype attempts to replicate the near-silent flaps of the wing-like pectoral fins of a ray to swim forward, turn, accelerate, glide, and maintain position. MORE >

#CarbonFeed works by taking in realtime tweets from Twitter users around the world. Based on a customizable set of hashtags, the work listens for specific tweets. The content of these incoming tweets generates a realtime sonic composition and a visual counterpart of compressed air being pumped through tubes of water. MORE >

Ceiling Floats Away
Ceiling Floats Away features UVA Professor of Composition and Computer Technologies, Matthew Burtner and his musical settings of 13 poems by Rita Dove. Burtner recorded Dove reading her poetry and wrote the music to the pace and cadence of the poet’s voice. MORE >

The 2021 ACCelerate festival is programmed by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, and a steering committee from ACC Member Universities.