U. of Utah designs dorm with Silicon Valley in mind
- The University of Utah is building a residence hall modeled after Silicon Valley workspaces and startups in San Francisco and New York.
- The head of the building’s design firm, Mehrdad Yazdani, told Bloomberg that the space will give students “the flexibility to be in their pajamas and then create something.” The building will feature a 20,000-square-foot workspace open 24 hours a day, complete with 3D printers and rooms to build prototypes.
- The building, called Lassonde Studios, will house about 400 students and cost $45 million to build. The university will finance 70% of the cost with debt, and donors will foot the bill for the rest.
The university is hoping this move will attract the next round of Zuckerbergs, and it isn't alone in doing so. Special housing meant to facilitate collaboration among prospective entrepreneurs has also been created by Baylor University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The University of Utah building is planned to house both undergrad and graduate students to foster mentoring relationships, with shared rooms designed with less privacy and more open meeting space than normal to encourage students to work on startups together. Students would also connect via video games, pool tables, foosball tables, and a coffee shop, and the building’s design allows for reconfiguring rooms and expanding the garage as student needs change.