Watt Family Innovation Center
Clemson University’s Watt Family Innovation Center (WFIC) provides a unique environment in which advanced instructional technologies foster student engagement and industry partnerships that address real-world complex problems. The 70,000 GSF facility invites students to take ideas from concept to the marketplace by the use of its rich program spaces: Project Labs, high-tech Collaborative Learning rooms, Immersive Visualization Theater, Rapid Prototyping Lab, High Bay Lab, Skills Development Studio, High Tech Auditorium and Project Demonstration and Collaboration spaces. While the WFIC is primarily an institution-wide resource for innovation, the building is also a place to experiment with new learning models for general engineering courses, exposing students to real world challenges that inspire deeper learning.
The building’s raised access floor system along with demountable walls allow rooms to be rapidly reconfigured. The glass walls, natural light, and views to the exterior provide a vibrant atmosphere that puts the creative activities of the center on display. Wireless audio and video connections to the 191 touch-controlled large-screen monitors is seamless and managed from a central Command Control Center. Collaboration software enables simultaneous editing on the “immersive collaboration walls” by multiple users and external partners. Full height Media Walls and immersive technology provide immediate visualization, editing and sharing of student projects. The 210-foot long exterior media mesh allows for the sharing of ideas at a campus scale, promoting innovation and curiosity.
With the WFIC, Clemson will put itself at the forefront of an emerging academic pedagogy, while strengthening relations with private industry and engaging the marketplace.