The Daily Illini

Editorial: Design Center innovative in more ways than one

By The Daily Illini Editorial Board

As a University known for innovation and research, it’s important that we not limit these potential opportunities to create things and instead offer them to everyone.

While there are already buildings on campus that allow people from various backgrounds to work on projects, like the National Center for Supercomputing Applications or the Beckman Institute, the University is creating a place where students from various disciplines can collaborate on projects together using state-of-the-art technology.

The new Design Center will be available to the campus community and is meant to be a place where students are able to work to design solutions for real-world problems through collaboration, critical thinking and testing.

In addition to physical tools like 3-D printing, the center will utilize virtual reality that will allow the campus community to connect with others and share ideas.

The center is important in that it allows campus-wide collaborations. Students from all majors and disciplines can work together on problems, themes and skills. While we are definitely a university that prides itself on our engineering programs, this center will provide a chance to share the wealth and allow all students to experience the type of education so highly spoken of.

By bringing students together, the center brings together different outlooks and experiences, allowing for unique and diverse ways of looking at presented issues.

Any project that solicits advice from multiple viewpoints is likely to be more complete and offer unique solutions that otherwise wouldn’t come up. Not only does this center provide the opportunity for students of all races, genders and economic backgrounds to partake — which we should all know the importance of — but it furthers the aspect of diversity by being available to all fields of study.

This is an extra level of diversity that may be overlooked, given the inherent engineering and design themes.

Students working at the center will also be able to utilize the help and guidance of researchers at the University, further encouraging campus-wide collaboration and a sense of community. By conducting their own research at the center, students will add to the wealth of knowledge that is achieved through research conducted there.

Offering the campus as a whole an opportunity to solve problems and create is very important. All students will be able to experience the amazing resources the University provides to them, where only a few were able to utilize them in other spaces.

In addition to the benefit it provides the University through encouraging the community to work together, the center is also a welcome change of pace. Instead of donations only benefitting specific programs, the center benefits the University programs as a whole.

It encourages students to come together to solve problems rather than to stay separated from each other. By opening up the floor for others to contribute their ideas and research, there is potential to help solidify the University’s reputation as a place of innovation and research.

Through the creation of the Design Center, not only are we encouraging problem solving and design skills for what could potentially be the betterment of society, we’re also thinking outside the box for the betterment of our students.

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