What is the Idea Forge?
The Idea Forge is a flexible, cross-disciplinary collaborative space where students can imagine, design, create, and test products and solutions to meet a range of societal and customer needs. The space includes Design Center Colorado and supports student teams working on invention and innovation as part of courses, as well as design and development driven by entrepreneurial-minded individuals and service-oriented groups such as Engineers Without Borders. With all these students working side-by-side, the Idea Forge boosts student learning through collaborative, hands-on experience, while supporting industry interaction through scheduled workshops as well as spontaneous exchanges. This unique space prepares our students to start the future companies that will fuel Colorado’s economy and workforce.
What does the Idea Forge include?
The Idea Forge was created from a unique opportunity to repurpose approximately 22,000 square feet of the former law library in the Fleming Building on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. We proposed to create a series of reconfigurable, interconnected “makerspaces,” where formal and informal learning could co-exist and enhance each other. The “Forge” was designed to support a variety of interactions among various cross sections of students. Students in all departments and programs in the College of Engineering and Applied Science now have access to the Forge, including the ATLAS Institute and our residential academic programs. Even students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences and undertaking our new Bachelor of Arts major in Computer Science or our new Pre-Engineering Program have access to the Forge’s equipment and space to build what they imagine. Rapid prototyping, welding and electronics shops, and advanced machining facilities are included within a space that is open and reconfigurable to handle the needs of different projects over time.
You can lend your support in a variety of ways. The newly designed and constructed space offers exciting naming opportunities for individuals and companies to support our students’ new learning and creating environment. Or, you may opt to get involved with senior projects and mentor students in hands-on design and development. We are always looking for new partners to help our students excel in the classroom and in their future careers, and we invite you to become one of these visionary leaders by getting involved now and supporting the Idea Forge.