FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts, with Lee Caplin’s iSTAR, Create Immersive Innovation Studio, Allowing Students to Become Tomorrow’s XR Leaders


FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) has partnered with Lee Caplin’s iSTAR Enterprises to create the Immersive Studios for Altered Reality (iSTAR) at the Biscayne Bay Campus. The facility will open to students in fall 2019, and will align with other strategic partners and sponsors in months to come. With the development of iSTAR, FIU students are poised to become future leaders and innovators in the world of extended reality (XR).

“The future is now and XR is impacting every area of our lives from eSports to architecture and further,” said Brian Schriner, dean of the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts. “iSTAR is an essential part of keeping our students ahead of the XR curve by providing the tools to lead in their industry with the innovation and global-facing focus we are known for as a university.”

Through a significant gift from Lee Caplin, founder of Picture Entertainment in collaboration with Observe Media, the program will provide student mentorship and hands-on internship opportunities with leading companies to further prepare students for employment using the latest innovations in technology surrounding all industries. Goldman Sachs estimates growth in the AR/VR industry to be $95 billion by 2025.

“XR is rapidly advancing and we are bringing the best of the best in to teach students not only how to build new technology, but become leaders of innovation and drive this sector forward,” said Travis Cloyd, member of Producers Guild of America, XR producer, and adjunct professor.

iSTAR is a collaboration between Mr. Schriner, Lee Caplin, and Travis Cloyd. A longtime supporter of FIU, Caplin serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for CARTA.  He co-founded Penske Media Corporation, which owns and operates such brands as Variety Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine.  He is known for his work on Academy award-nominated and Emmy winning content.

The program will reside in a dedicated portion of Academic Center II, at the Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC) that houses the School of Communication + Journalism. iSTAR Enterprises will design, construct and operate the facility.

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