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Entries in Academic Incubator (9)


Places to Test, Break and Rebuild

Pieces of our Livesby GollyGforce is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Making is part of our DNA”, says Shane Farritor, referring to the culture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Farritor is the founder and faculty sponsor of the Nebraska Innovation Studio, a new maker space designed by Gensler that is part engineering lab, part art studio, and part business accelerator. “There are so many talented people who grow up in rural areas building and creating things. It’s one of the things I most respect about the state,” he says. Farritor grew up tinkering in his family’s hardware store, and eventually went onto earn a Ph.D. at MIT, where he spent many hours in the MIT Hobby Shop—a unique extracurricular facility where students have access to sophisticated equipment, but with the freedom to pursue their own projects. The Institute makes this resource available, in large part, because of a deeply-held belief that hands-on experimentation develops important problem solving and analytical skills. Perhaps equally important, the Hobby Shop provides an outlet for exploration of personal interests outside of curricular requirements.

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What TMCx Could Mean for Houston’s Future

Texas Medical Center’s TMCx business accelerator. Image © Shau Lin Hon

Bold ideas like the Texas Medical Center’s new TMCx business accelerator can change cities and affect the lives of millions of people the world over. Not only will new discoveries born at TMCx reflect well on its hometown, Houston, they could also change the future of healthcare delivery and advance care.

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Academic Incubators: Garage Innovation Meets Higher Education

This post is the first in Academic Incubators, a series in which Gensler designers will explain what academic incubators are and explore why universities build them, students gravitate to them and private industry funds them.

The MIT – SUTD International Design Centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, connects students to its partner institution in Singapore as well as to private industry. Image © Gensler

Google and Facebook are two of the best-known corporations in the world, and the stories of their creation share a common core: both were founded by students while attending universities.

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Academic Incubators: Fostering Connections at the University of East London

The University of East London (UEL). Image © Morley von Sternberg

Einstein once said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” and this line of reasoning is especially relevant in the redevelopment of University of East London’s Knowledge Dock space. College and universities have begun to realise that solving the problems inherent to their current on-campus spaces will require seeking inspiration from non-educational environments. They are eschewing the type of reasoning which they’ve used in the past in favour of ideas embraced by other successful industries.

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