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People | BE Attends SCUP Symposium

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Bailey Edward’s foundation is being a responsive architecture, engineering and construction management firm, and that means we are always looking forward, towards new ideas, concepts and innovation. This past month, Michael Petti and Damon Wilson attended the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) North Central Micro Symposium on Planning for Innovation in Higher Education. Hosted by BE client, Northwestern University, Michael and Damon learned more about a new campus trend: creating highly versatile makerspaces for students to foster startups and entrepreneurial ideas.

These spaces are highly flexible and can accommodate the needs of its changing users quickly, transforming every few months for those who are using it, such as The Garage at Northwestern. The Garage, where the symposium was held, is a hub for student entrepreneurship and a pioneer for campus innovation spaces. The Garage hosts 60 start-ups throughout the year and provides a place for them to develop their ideas, supplying students with the tools and resources they need. As a panelist mentioned, “Students can never have enough whiteboards and sticky notes,” meaning the design of these spaces must include ample wall space for students to write and pin up ideas as they collaborate with their team. The panel featured speakers from Northwestern University, Marquette University, and University of Illinois at Chicago, another BE client that is currently utilizing these maker-spaces.

Currently, BE is developing a master plan for the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) and a similar maker-space concept will be incorporated. IMSA works to promote student growth by providing opportunities congruent with those in a university system. Exposing students to these state-of-the-art innovation spaces will help students build their entrepreneurial skills and develop their creativity through collaboration.

Attending this SCUP event was a great opportunity to connect with industry professionals, learn about new trends in the industry and provide better insight and design to our education clients.