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Grady Family Foundation – Innovation Loft

Grady Family Foundation - Innovation Loft

Southern Illinois University

School of Engineering student project teams have a new space where they can collaborate to develop conceptual designs and use the same space to fabricate and bring their projects to life. It was important that the space would be borderless, without walls isolating the teams, but open to allow the creative buzz to energize the students. Located on the second level of The Fowler Student Design Center Building, the space has an airy feel with movable tables, chairs and display devices that can be easily rearranged depending on the user group’s size and need for concentration. Modular sofas can also be rearranged and are used as seating for presentations and for a more relaxed meeting space. The Louer team listened closely to the School of Engineering when they talked about how they wanted the space to work, and chose furniture that could be moved about and still withstand the rigors of heavy student use. Different heights of tables and chairs were employed to give the space visual interest as you enter. Even the large monitors are on stands with large casters so they can be rearranged to accommodate the task, and also act as dividers between work groups. A pattern of floor outlets makes this possible along with the wireless internet connection.

Due to renovations of Founders Hall, one of the older buildings on campus, it was necessary to move occupants to temporary office space during construction. This necessitated development of the “Swing Space” which would be used first by the School of Business followed by other Schools as Founders Hall construction moved through that building until it could be completed.

The Swing Space offices were created using Haworth Compose Panel Systems for workstations and offices. Faculty occupying the space were provided sliding doors to their workstations to afford them privacy and security. Glass toppers were used to allow for both a private, yet open feel to the space.

After the first phase when The School of Business was able to move back to their permanent offices in Founders Hall, The School of Education moved into the space after some simple modifications to the layout. Changes were easily accomplished due to the flexibility of the Compose Systems furniture.