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The best of the arts and sciences at Florida State University came together last week as students from the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance’s Department of Interior Architecture + Design participated in a charette at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory Sept. 29-Oct. 3.
The charette was to give the students an experience to create “a coordinated, innovative, modern and updated space to house hands-on science exhibits and reinforce the scientific and technological reputation of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory,” according to the MagLab. The goal was to design interactive experiences for guests of the MagLab. Specifically, students were to create conceptual design iterations for the MagLab main lobby and public visitor areas, highlighting the high-tech and innovative research conducted there. “The experience was purely academic for the students, but some of their concepts may actually be used during renovation,” said Steve Webber, Assistant Professor of the Department of Interior Architecture + Design
Students were grouped off into 26 teams of 5 members, with an intentional mix of sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students. This allowed the older students to mentor the younger ones and encouraged them to work with different skill sets.
The MagLab provided the funds for the event, which was organized by interior design faculty members Tony Purvis and Steve Webber. At the kickoff event on Sept. 29, Gregory Boebinger, director of the MagLab, introduced students to the facility and its mission. Students then took a walking tour of the facility and met with Mk Haley, Disney Imagineer and FSU Entrepreneur in Residence, and Andy Welch, FSU facilities representative.
Friday, October 3rd, the 26 teams submitted their final designs and group evaluation worksheets. The drawings, which describe the concept and intent of the designs, are displayed on the walls of the Mag Lab. The faculty of the Department of Interior Architecture + Design will judge the final projects on October 17th based on criteria on a ballot.
From 1970 – 1990, MIT owned the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and after a competition in 1989, Florida State University won it in 1990. The MagLab is the highest power magnetic laboratory in the world. The mission is to operate a world-leading, high magnetic field user program while carrying out in-house research, maintaining facilities and developing new magnets and equipment to use them. The MagLab has a diverse audience, such as scientists, K – 12 students, teachers, funding agencies and the general public. In 2017, there will be another competition to claim ownership of the MagLab.
Photos by Tiffany Fuentes