The University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design commissioned a benchmarking study which concluded the school lacked properly sized studio spaces, as well as much needed maker space and collaboration areas.
The project site was an existing two-story space that served as a de facto student work space. The space wasn’t well utilized, lacked proper utilities and lacked a sense of identity relative to the surrounding School of Architecture. The project infilled the two-story space, formerly known as Slusser Gallery; and created much needed spaces for instructional studios, collaborative student work commons (maker spaces), and seminar rooms. The plan configuration is designed such that a future addition could be connected to this area.
The studio and maker spaces readily adapt to the needs of the students with mobile tables, custom made mobile storage units which are multi-purpose and stackable, retractable utility drops throughout the spaces, flexible lighting options for work and presentation, and utility chases for current and future equipment.
The architecture is designed for interaction by the students. MDF corridor wall panels are designed to be replaced with student work. Writable corridor walls become opportunity for collaboration and engagement. The use of MDF, wood, and metal in the corridors reflects the types of materials readily utilized by the faculty and students within the School of Art.