Space should encourage desired behaviors and support business strategy.
Space is the body language of an organization.
— Chris Fink, Founding Faculty at Stanford University’s d.school
Students feel creative license with spaces they can modify, own, and hack. MIC's "hackable" raw materiality of exposed steel, concrete, and un-stained wood embraces the idea of freedom to experiment and take risks.
Students can work where they want, with whom they want, when they want, like in many professional creative environments. The block scheduling and self-directed project-based learning model instills skill development, which was cited as an important competency during the business partner visioning sessions.
MIC is designed for flexibility to accommodate future industry needs and curriculum (e.g., a recent increase in cybersecurity offerings and a decrease in drafting and engineering classes). Structural systems are independent of wall systems, allowing enclosures to be moved or demounted as programs change. Modular aluminum façade panels match the module of windows, allowing interchangeability as demanded by evolving interior functions.
The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) is an evolution of traditional education models that recognizes the role of space design in preparing students for life after graduation. This new type of academic campus was developed in concert with the University of Central Missouri, Lee’s Summit School District, Metropolitan Community Colleges, and local industry partners.
"[Missouri Innovation Campus and its partners are] working together to equip students with better skills, allow them to graduate faster, with less debt — and with the certainty to be able to get a job at the other end. That is exactly the kind of innovation we need when it comes to college costs and I want the entire country to notice it."
— President Barack Obama
The rising cost of higher education dictates the need for an alternate, accelerated delivery model that enables students to learn from active professionals and gain practical experiences, while earning an associate degree by the end of high school. The basic structure of this innovative program includes:
- Students enter accelerated degree pathways following their sophomore year in high school
- Associate degree credentials are achieved by high school graduation
- Bachelor degree credentials are achieved with two years of college, heavily funded by three-year paid internships
- Business partners collaborate with MIC in ongoing partnerships to develop and fine-tune curriculum and competencies, ensuring alignment of graduate skillsets with industry needs
The design integrates the workplace and the classroom. This “campus in a building” translates design trends from the contemporary workplace, supporting flipped classroom instructional models in a team-based, self-directed learning model. The distinctions among spaces for lecture, lab, meeting, work, and community are blurred, enabling students to choose the environment that best fits their activity modes and gain competency-based skills at their own pace.
This building is much more like the open labs of professional engineering environments. The openness of the space allows us to be inspired by what's going on around us.
— Corbin, MIC Student