Microsoft has donated more than $2.4 million worth of Expression Studio software to Savannah College of Art and Design
, giving design students access to cutting-edge development technology. According to the company, the gift is the largest deployment of its toolset in an educational environment to date.
The software will be available in computer labs, classrooms, and on personal computers of students enrolled in design-based programs.
The package comprises Expression Web, essentially an update of FrontPage, for creating web sites; Expression Blend (formally Interactive Designer) for designing interactive experiences for Windows Expression Design (formally Graphic Designer) for the design of visual elements for web and Windows experiences; and a new tool, Expression Media, which provides digital asset management and unifies team workflow across the suite.
The donation represents a three-year electronic fulfillment that comes as a part of the Design Academic Alliance Program in which Microsoft has partnered with colleges and universities to give them and their students access to the most up-to-date software.
Josephine Leong, chair of the interactive design and game development department at SCAD, was quoted in a press release as saying, “By putting these tools into the hands of our students, we will see a level of innovation beyond what is typically seen in an art and design program. Our game artists are quickly becoming technical artists who not only have a high level of aesthetics but are also technically capable of bringing their ideas to life. Our graduate students will use the tools to research and innovate new techniques in interactive media. Students will explore the use of XNA not just for games but also for creating interactive media art projects.”