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Taubman College Students Propose Campuses of the Future

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Taubman College Students Propose Campuses of the Future

Five Taubman College student projects were selected from over 50 entries to be part of a project showcase on October 26th, 2017 for the President’s Bicentennial Colloquium Campus of The Future competition. University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel described the final colloquia as a forum that “examines and imagines what our future campus might look like. The University of Michigan and higher education itself are working to adjust to the demands and opportunities presented by new technologies, economic realities, and unprecedented access to information.” The University invited students to propose and speculate what that future campus may be. A panel of three nationally recognized thought leaders in technology, design and higher education interacted with the students and engaged them about their projects including architect Jenny Sabin. More information about this bicentennial event can be found here.

The following individuals and teams were highlighted at the colloquium:

Rachel Jaffe (Master of Urban and Regional Planning)

Jaffe’s proposal, Adjacent, develops a mobile app which acts as a virtual incubator to connect student entrepreneurs from different disciplines. Within the app, students share interests, skills, and ideas allowing for a new and attainable entrepreneurial model.

Stephanie Bunt (Master of Architecture)

In Guide to the Future: A Manual of Campus Civic Space, Bunt looked back to 1952 when the first north campus expansion was developed. By comparing the 21st century reality to the original plan to expand along the Huron River, we can see the flaws in our current civic spaces.

Initiative for Inclusive Design (Student Group)

Initiative for Inclusive Design (IID), a Taubman College student organization dedicated to examining architecture through the lens of disability, also submitted a project. The students looked at the university at the scales of room, building, and campus to suggest a more equitable education and inclusive use of educational space. Designers: Celeste Adams, Ellis Wills Begley, Michelle Bonin, Jake Gondek, Leah Hong, Mitchell Lawrence, Mieko Preston, Antonela Sallaku, Brenna Thompson, Jordan Turkomani, Rachel Wittenberg, and Aimee Wolf.

Drew Kaczmarek (Master of Architecture)

Kaczmarek’s proposal imagined an alternate reality in which the small academic building housing Architecture classes never moved from central campus to its new location on North Campus. Instead, he designs a process combining digital fabrication and bacteria formation to create a constantly building and growing structure.

Irene Wanqi Yang (Master of Architecture)

Yang’s research involved looking at Detroit’s recent history of demolition. She considered both the amount of waste which might be used as source material for other projects, as well as the surplus of vacant land, which is now available for new uses.

Wei Wu (Master of Architecture)

This project, Underground Campus, looks into the possibility of expanding the university beneath the existing one. In the proposal, subterranean academic buildings and new landscapes mirror the relationships of the original central campus.  The underground campus also allows massive experimental projects like particle colliders and can facilitate alternate infrastructures, such as underground autonomous vehicle system.