UNC Asheville, like the city in its name, is known for doing things a little outside the box. Call it an innovation center, a design lab, a fabrication facility or a makerspace, the university will soon have two new spaces to call home and to create new things. These makers resource centers will take students off campus and into their creative careers, and as far as coming out of the box, they may well blow the box away.
The first space, which will be a place where people in diverse professions come together to design, test, prototype and create collaboratively, is a nearly 12,000-square-foot facility in the River Arts Makers Place (RAMP) scheduled to open this August.
The second space, due to start operations in 2018, is called the Center for Creative Entrepreneurship (CCE) based at The Hive AVL, a property development initiative of The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) in downtown Asheville. Once complete, both facilities will reshape the experience and marketability of students in art, engineering, computer science, new media and other majors.
These new off-campus creative spaces offer students an incredible pathway of experience. They benefit from new, much larger spaces and tools to develop their expertise. Access to collaborators, community networks and entrepreneurial resources ensures their work is refined and improved as they take the future into their own hands.
Cross-disciplinary projects in Creative Fabrication and Sculpture taught by professors from several departments this past spring gives a glimpse of what the future holds in these spaces.