These days, MakerSpaces are popping up in Universities around the Globe. These centers of entrepreneurial activity generate ideas from students, recent grads and established professionals. Through key partnerships with the local community, MakerSpaces are generating real investment into startup businesses.
HLW has been working with Hofstra University to design their Zarb School of Business scheduled to open in 2018. The key element of this new 52,000 sqft building in Hempstead, New York is their Business Incubator. Strategically located on the ground level to draw people in, HLW is creating an active and dynamic space that allows various disciplines and organizations to cross pollinate and incubate new innovative ideas. The Center for Entrepreneurship and ideaHUb is scheduled to house 20 workstations, three offices, a Maker Space, and a Multi-function presentation zone. HLW worked with the Center for Entrepreneurship to develop a strategy for their programs and development.
Key elements in MakerSpace design often feature space for collaborative work in teams. Working together allows ideas to be tested and tried before sharing with a larger audience. Often, Incubator operating hours are later than a typical University building to encourage a more relaxed workshop atmosphere. Lectures and events bring in visibility and showcase the work being done in these Hubs of creativity. We often design areas for panels, seminars and lectures being held in the workspace. Many senior entrepreneurs visit Universities to share their experience and provide advice. Technology plays a major role in these events allowing them to be streamed or reordered and played back later. We also see the latest projection and audio equipment being designed in these presentation zones.
What would a Maker Space be without the latest technology?! In a world that is ever changing, we see rooms devoted to the use of 3D printers and drones. HLW typically designs these areas with flexibility in mind so as to be congruent with all types of new technology. We leave ample space in these rooms to account for people working in teams to operate the equipment. We also work with the design engineers to provide ample power such as with electrical raceways above work areas.
A number of trends in the design of these spaces have emerged with a look and feel resembling that of a Blue Chip Tech Giant. Makerspaces’ with their expensive equipment need to have a secure area, but they also have a desire to be transparent and encourage others to see the activity inside. The staff in the Hubs want others to walk by and see what is going on and be inspired to get involved. Large operable glass wall systems provide a visible connection to the University while being able to see what is going on inside. Even in a new building, we see our clients looking for an industrial type look. We see this in our designs with exposed concrete floors and ductwork.
We see the Makerspaces’ as a trend that is not going away anytime soon. These Hubs of innovation create long term key partnerships with businesses that encourage growth and opportunity for years to come.
Hofstra University Zarb School of Business is breaking ground on May 10, 2017, for more information click here!
Author: Carolyn Morin, Project Architect, Senior Associate