Scott Betz has been appointed as the Interim Director of the Center for
Design Innovation (CDI). He is also Co-chair of the committee conducting the
search for CDI’s new permanent director, the vacancy of which was created by
the former director’s career move to another state.
Scott Betz arrived in North Carolina’s Piedmont area as an artist and educator, just as discussions of CDI’s formation were beginning across the community and among its partnering campuses: Forsyth Technical Community College, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), and Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). Betz joined the latter as an Associate Professor in 2004. He was appointed as the Foundation and Studio Art Coordinator in 2005-07 and as the Art Program Coordinator in 2007-09. Betz was then promoted to Professor of Art + Visual Studies in 2010.
He led the 500-member national higher education organization Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE) through three elected terms, stepping down after the term limit of six years. Serving from 2007 until 2013, Betz oversaw the complete redesign of the organization’s financial system, the peer-reviewed publication FATE in Review, and the communications newsletter and website. A nationally recognized artist and administrator, Betz also leads in research on “first year” art pedagogy.
His creative research is well known internationally through successful collaborations among media and across a variety of genres including traditional studios, installation, sound and game design. His work has been the basis of more than 100 exhibitions in Colombia, China, Australia, Argentina, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, Japan, and across the United States. In June 2013, he was invited to speak on the subject of 3D Printing for the international artist lecture series in conjunction with the Kraków Print Triennial at the Kunstlerhaus Museum, Vienna.
Betz has collaborated on numerous CDI-based projects and public programs
since the Center’s inception, has been a member of CDI’s
Chancellor-appointed Building Committee, and has co-taught at CDI with WSSU
Assistant Professor of Life Sciences / CDI Design Researcher Nickolay
Hristov for two Provost’s initiative Liberal Learning Seminar classes,
Scientific Visualization and Motion Capture.
Scott Betz credits his initial move to the region year ago, in part, to the collaborative environment that he found among CDI constituents. “When I interviewed for my position at WSSU, I was introduced to the idea that would become CDI,” says Betz. “The intersection of creative design and technology and the innovative approach to collaborative processes and workflows drew me to consider seriously my move to the Winston-Salem area,” he continues.
In support of its innovative, design-focused learning, research, and entrepreneurial activity, CDI sustains an environment that includes start-of-the-art computers, 3D printers, high-speed cameras, and laser scanners as well as reconfigurable, open spaces that encourage collaboration.
In the current CDI space, staff and collaborators have been initializing research and design projects with associated courses, workshops, seminars, and public events. In the small studio, computers display results of video experiments, 3D graphics, data visualizations, and multimedia productions. In this creative space, students, displaced workers, and lifelong learners work across disciplines, institutions, and economic sectors to push the boundaries of existing knowledge and practice.
“CDI has accomplished so much during this initial start-up phase,” says Betz, “and we’re poised to build on the foundation laid so far.” The new facility, currently under development in the south end of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, will allow for an expanded roster of programs, faculty, and researchers. This new facility will extend CDI’s ability to prepare the workforce with the concepts and skills needed for creative participation in today's knowledge economy, thus accelerating the growth of design-intensive activity in northwest North Carolina.