The Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation will unveil its new Innovation Lab in the Fall semester, according to director Peter Rachor. Finishing touches are being put on the lab, located in Franz Hall room 123, along with the new, updated Franz Center office in room 121.
The Innovation Lab is based on the model of the d.school Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, and is designed by the same firm, Steelcase. Designers from Steelcase worked with local dealer SmithCFI and a diverse team of UP students and faculty to develop the new lab’s design.
“This is designed to be a learning studio, as opposed to a lecture space,” says Rachor. “It is the first real innovation space of its kind in the state, which enhances our leading role in innovation offerings and supports creativity and learning styles for our students.”
The idea for the Innovation Lab came from students who participated in the National Science Foundation’s University Innovation Fellows program (http://universityinnovationfellows.org). As part of the program, they spend a weekend at Stanford’s d.school and returned with a mission to develop a similar space at UP. The lab was funded through the RISE Campaign, including the support of several donors to the Franz Center.
The lab will be open to all students, faculty, and staff, regardless of major. The space can be used for group project sessions, class assignments, breakout sessions, and more. The lab will offer technology and office configurations to facilitate collaboration and idea generation, as well as materials and tools for early stage prototyping and mock-ups.
Scheduling for the two innovation pods will be done online, and will be incorporated into the Clark Library’s scheduling app later this semester. Eventually, card keys will allow access from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with extended hours in the future.
An official opening ceremony will take place in October. For more information contact the Franz Center at x7769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.