University celebrates construction launch of Design Innovation Hub

Students celebrating the construction launch on Tuesday.

Samantha Farland

Kent State faculty and students gathered Tuesday to celebrate the construction launch of the new Design Innovation Hub.

The celebration consisted of interactive activities, giveaways, catered food and a ribbon ceremony representing the 28 DI nodes on campus, or lab spaces for students.

The Design Innovation Hub will be a collaborative space for students across disciplines to solve problems.

With its doors opening in August 2020, it will be one of the first milestones in Phase 1 of the university’s 10-year Master Plan.

Kent State President Beverly Warren recognized the new space for its innovation.  

“When I think about all that we have ventured to be bold about, this and this occasion may be our boldest endeavor yet, because behind us is going to become a Mecca of creativity and collaboration and experiential learning,” she said.

The Design Innovation team consists of 28 faculty members.

“This came from faculty and staff who believed in design thinking and design innovation as a way of being, as a way of life,” Warren said.

The Design Innovation Hub will be a place for students of every major on campus.

“It’s to bring people together with different disciplines, different knowledge bases to then begin to think through different approaches to resolve real world problems,” said Todd Diacon, the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

“Part of what we are trying to do is place the idea of making and or prototyping at the center of how we address problem solving,” said J.R. Campbell, the executive director of Kent State’s Design Innovation Initiative.

The renovation of the building will give students an opportunity to collaborate in new ways.

“The future of the DI Hub is exciting because who knows what all of these students from Kent State can come together and create with these new resources,” said fashion design major Eleonore Zurawski, who represents the fashion node on campus. 

Samantha Farland covers construction. Contact her at [email protected].