On August 4th, the New York Times featured an article in their "Education" collection titled "The Innovation Campus: Building Better Ideas." The article focuses on the efforts of many colleges nationwide to invest in creativity-provoking architecture. Alexandra Lange, the article's author, said, "Universities are investing in big, high-tech building in the hope of evoking big, high-tech thinking."
The University of Utah's new $45 million Lassonde Studios was deservedly front and center in the Times' article. The article's header picture shows an inside-out view of the almost finished Lassonde Studios and an entire section devoted to talking about its goals and amenities.
Troy D'Ambrosio, the Lassonde Institute's executive director, is quoted in the article saying, "We have made an effort to say, ‘Entrepreneurs create new things, and you do that too.'" The new building has five floors, each with its own theme. One for gaming and digital media design, one for visual design and the arts, one for adventure and gear, and one for global sustainability. The bottom floor is an innovation machine of its own: a garage featuring workshops with 3D-printers and numerous other prototyping tools.
400 top-talent students have also been accepted into the Lassonde Studios' diverse living arrangements. The "Lassonde 400" can "Live, Create, Launch" in the studios 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A few student startups, such as Cocpit™, have also been awarded office space and other startup services on the the ground-floor of the building. These startups will fully operate from these offices and receive money from the university to hire other students as interns.
The University of Utah isn't the only school investing big money in entrepreneurship and innovation in the U.S. Other schools mentioned in the NY Times article include Cornell Tech, York, Northwestern, Iowa, Stanford, and Wichita State. Many students and colleges are realizing that college is an incredible opportunity for a student to take a risk on doing what they actually want to do.
$45 million is a pretty penny, but that's what universities are willing to spend to help foster innovation and creativity in their students. One can only imagine the companies, products, movements, and technologies that are to come from this next generation. Cocpit™ plans on helping.