Students design a campus art-finding app.

There’s a new way to tour the growing collection of Rice Public Art across campus, thanks to a student-designed app. The Rice Public Art app is an interactive guide to every piece of public art on Rice’s campus. Free and available for download in the Apple store, the app is the result of a close collaboration with the Rice Apps club and the Moody Center for the Arts.

From James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany Skyspace” and Michael Heizer’s “45°, 90°, 180°” to more intimate pieces like Anny Coury’s “Owl” tucked inside Allen Center, the app’s map feature allows users to embark on a self-guided circuit of art throughout campus. Users can also access a list of public art pieces arranged in order of proximity to their phone’s location. The app will update as new pieces of public art are acquired and installed.

“We are thrilled to have such a well-designed app for students and campus visitors to discover and engage with Rice’s stellar public art collection,” said Alison Weaver, the Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director of the Moody Center. “The student developers, designers and product managers have done an outstanding job creating a valuable resource in support of the arts at Rice.” 

Rice Apps club members are placed on teams and given briefs from real-world clients who need software solutions. The team of student developers responsible for the Rice Public Art app’s creation included eight students who dedicated more than four hours a week to the cause. 

Developing a fully functional, public-facing app has been a novel adventure for the team. “I’ve never done anything with phones before, so this is new for me,” said Adam Zawierucha ’23. Other team members included Ryan Knightly ’23, Danny Andreini ’20, Ginny Jeon ’21, Nicholas Meisburger ’22, Katherine Ngo ’20, Jiin Rhew ’22 and Ananya Vaidya ’23.