The Innovation Hub is a networking hotspot, allowing academia and industry to collide, create and connect. The transformative space – formerly an art deco 1929 Sears department store – is designed for collaboration, flexible research and prototyping.
A 12,000-sf maker space and microfactory is outfitted with a broad array of tools from traditional to state of the art – including high-performing 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC router and a waterjet cutter. A fabrication area with natural light anchors the north end of the space and is connected visually to the Venture Lab above.
The Venture Lab connects students, faculty and alumni with investors to help launch new companies and bring technology advances to market. Continuing the central theme of connectivity, this space opens directly to the shared corridor and gallery.
An adjacent high bay space was designed with deep, isolated foundations to allow for large scale, sensitive additive manufacturing equipment in the future. It currently is serving as a flexible workshop.
Other spaces include classrooms, leased corporate labs and office suites and shared multipurpose labs. Everything is designed for flexibility to allow for the addition of equipment as needs evolve.
Common shared amenities are centrally located to promote the collision of the multi-faceted groups using the building – students, faculty, industry leaders, private corporations, non-profits and researchers. The integration of transparency into the learning and lab space provides a visual connection and promotes the innovation taking place.
Laboratory programming and planning