Kent State Celebrates Construction Launch of Its Design Innovation Hub
Kent State University celebrated the launch of a dynamic new space, the Design Innovation (DI) Hub, which will bring innovations from many disciplines together in a 68,000-square-foot building near the center of the Kent Campus.
The construction launch, which marks the beginning of a major renovation of the former Art Building, was celebrated April 23 with a ribbon ceremony, interactive activities and collaborative pop-up design innovation challenges. The DI Hub is expected to open by fall of 2020.
Kent State President Beverly J. Warren said the DI Hub will encourage collaboration.
“To ensure students are equipped to succeed in this new era, Kent State is on a path to set the standard for the 21st-century university — a networked environment that emphasizes a culture of innovation, collaboration across disciplines and visionary leadership for the information age,” President Warren said.
The DI Hub will offer a space that sparks open-access collaborations in an environment that fosters innovation. That is the creativity sought by a community of inquisitive people to facilitate cross-disciplinary communication and problem-solving.
“Our goal is to leverage and elevate the entire Design Innovation Ecosystem — DI Hub and DI nodes — to best expose our students and community members to the resources and possibilities,” said J.R. Campbell, executive director of the Design Innovation Initiative at Kent State.
The DI Hub will connect students, faculty and the community to a network of existing spaces or DI “nodes,” makerspaces and resource laboratories across the university. This connection will improve innovation at the intersections between disciplines and increase awareness and access to the broad range of university design, technology and resource laboratories.
In addition, the DI Hub will include a new, large dining venue that will seat about 350 people and offer unique menu items.
The DI Hub is among the major milestones in phase one of the university’s Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State, a $1 billion facilities master plan.
The initiative will bring together ideas and innovations from many discipline including aeronautics, art, design, engineering, brain health, sustainability, biochemistry, marketing, advanced materials science/liquid crystals, computer science, fashion and entrepreneurship.