Siebel Center for Design will connect students across campus


Jessica Jutzi

The model of the new Siebel Center for Design is displayed in the Link Gallery in the Art and Design Building.

By Karen Liu and Luke Cooper

University Professor Andrew Singer from the department of electrical and computer engineering has been appointed the interim director at the Siebel Center for Design.

As an entrepreneur, Singer founded two communication network technology companies. He is the Fox Family Professor in electrical and computer engineering and the director of the College of Engineering’s Technology Entrepreneur Center.

An international search will be conducted for the center’s inaugural director.

“We’re looking for someone who is dynamic, someone who is excited about design thinking, someone who is excited about helping the University of Illinois to have a one-of-a-kind center like no other at any other university of its scale,” Singer said.

Singer will guide the development of the center’s signature programs, help foster design thinking and education throughout the University and lead the planning of the center’s $48 million home.

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The Siebel Center for Design is a campus-wide hub for student-focused thinking and learning, founded in October 2016 as a $25 million gift from the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation.

The center is planning to undergo construction beginning this summer, which is estimated to last 18 months.

The center aims to create an environment that emphasizes technology, creativity, purpose and collaboration.

The planned location for the center is between Huff Hall and the Art and Design Building, which Singer said is not without a reason.

The facility is being made for all students on campus to have access to it.

“Its location was chosen to really be central to where students are across our campus, and it is not an engineering facility,” Singer said. “It’s meant to stitch together students from LAS, Engineering, Business, Art and Design and ACES, so its location is really central to a lot of the design activities that already go on across campus.”

Karen Liu and Luke Cooper contributed to this report.

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