Carol LaFayette's Portrait

Carol LaFayette


School of Architecture


Carol LaFayette collaborates with individuals from scientific disciplines to develop ways to experience connections among flora and fauna in rural landscapes. She explores flora, fauna, and phenomena in her laboratory/studio, which is a regenerating, former ranch in Texas.

Her work with leafcutting ants is documented in the PBS series State of Tomorrow, which showed the first digital glimpse of a vast, underground ant colony.

The visualization incorporated data on the ant colony’s underground nest, which was gathered by ground-penetrating radar. The animation was displayed on an immersive visualization system designed by Fred Parke, professor of visualization.

Her artwork is in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and Microcinema International.

She has exhibited interactive installations and video worldwide, including LAB ’11, Sweden; SIGGRAPH; Zebra Poetry on Film, Berlin; Filmstock, UK; and Solomon Projects, Atlanta. Her work has screened on outdoor billboards in LA Freewaves, Los Angeles, and at Victory Media Arts Plaza, Dallas.

Reviews of her artwork have been published in BBC Technology News, Chronicle of Higher Education and Wired. She was a visiting artist at Parsons New School and at the Hungarian Multicultural Center. She is PI of an NSF-sponsored project to form SEAD, a national network for sciences, engineering, arts, and design, to support collaboration across disciplines.

LaFayette is director of the Institute for Applied Creativity at Texas A&M and the Harold L. Adams Interdisciplinary Professor in the Department of Visualization in the College of Architecture.

She earned a BFA in design at the University of Washington and an MFA in interdisciplinary art from State University of New York, Buffalo.