San Diego Business Journal A $67 million Design and Innovation Building has opened at the University of California San Diego as part of what the university is billing as its “new front door.”

The 74,000-square-foot Design and Innovation Building is already known on campus as DIB.
 Together with a recently completed $50 million amphitheater, the newly opened Blue Line Trolley stop at UCSD and an existing 183,000-square-foot Structural Materials Engineering Building, DIB now welcomes visitors and students to the La Jolla campus.

As its name suggests, the four-story Design and Innovation Building is meant to be place where ground-breaking ideas and inventions flourish with connections among students, faculty and industry.


The university has described the new building as “a transformational project” meant to encourage new ideas, products and services.


The goal is to encourage more collaboration among the Jacobs School of Engineering, Visual Arts, Cognitive Science, the Design Lab, the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, the Alumni Association and others.


Spaces


The Design and Innovation Building is divided into four separate areas – The Basement, a Maker Space, the Design Lab, and the Entrepreneurship.


The Basement on the ground floor is the entrepreneurial hub of the university, an incubator for startups. It’s meant to be a place where students can take ideas and turn them into reality, creating startup companies.


Operable glass walls allow for easy outdoor access.


The Maker Space is on the second floor.


Managed by the Qualcomm Institute, the Maker Space is a hands-on workshop where inventions come to life, drawing on people from different disciplines across the campus.


Teams of students can use laser cutters to work with metal, wood and foam, and 3D printers as they experiment to build whatever they can dream up.


There’s also a terrace where projects created in the Maker Space can be put on public display.


The third floor of the building is home to the Design Lab, established as an international center for human-centered design.


Human-centered design focuses on how everything from consumer products to government policies affect people and how people interact with new technology.


Faculty from the arts, humanities, engineering and the sciences will work together in looking at such issues as education, health, mobility, communication and urban planning.


The fourth floor is home to UC San Diego’s Entrepreneurship Center where the university community and the greater community at large are meant to come together to hasten the creation and start of UC San Diego-born companies and other organizations.


With that in mind, the Entrepreneurship Center has meeting rooms and communal areas where people can share ideas and work together in taking the concepts and research that spring from the university and translate them into practical applications.


Open look


Thanks to its location and open glass façade of large windows, much of what happens inside the Design and Innovation Building will be on display as people pass by on the new trolley Blue Line extension.


The Design and Innovation Building was designed by EHDD of San Francisco and built by BNBuilders with San Diego offices in Sorrento Valley.


The structure itself is meant to look open and permeable with easy access between the interior and exterior.


The curved-shape of the four-story building gives riders a changing view inside through floor-to-ceiling glass façade as they pass by, providing a glimpse of some of the more dynamic programs underway at the university.


On the west side of the building facing away from the trolley, a tear-drop shaped roundabout leads up to the building to calm traffic and provide a sense of arrival.