the effective center of an activity, region, or network.
When the renovated Michigan Union opens in winter 2020, members of student organizations and aspiring leaders will find the IdeaHub -- a purposeful space to share ideas, to collaborate and to practice leadership.
It will be a space filled with activity, thoughtfulness, inspiration and ingenuity. It will be a place where things happen.
The IdeaHub is an integral and much-anticipated addition to the renovated Michigan Union. Crews start work in spring 2018 on the renewal project, which began with the gathering of student thoughts, opinions and advice regarding their current needs and the needs of future students. Student voices have been central to every aspect of the project.
Helen He, chair of the Michigan Union Board of Representatives, says “Student input was critical to the Michigan Union renovation process. Thousands of students walk into the Union each day and their activity is what makes the Union thrive. Students provide a fresh and necessary perspective to the renovations and we know that the end results will reflect what students have voiced.”
Located on the second floor of the Union, the IdeaHub will wrap around a newly enclosed courtyard on the first level. This design will recall the way the historic balcony originally overlooked the courtyard. This inclusive space for student organizations and activities aims to be a welcoming and encouraging environment for people from different interests, disciplines, faiths, and ethnicities.
“The IdeaHub is a co-working space for student organizations that physically and visually connects to the social spaces on the main level of the Union. It will provide a highly visible and vibrant forum to support student organizations and foster involvement, collaboration, creativity and debate,” explains Amy White, director of the Michigan Union and associate director of University Unions.
With students leading both the creation of the space as well as design decisions, the IdeaHub will include flexible meeting spaces, movement studios, collaboration booths, and built-in lockers for short-term storage, shifting from the current shared private offices to central gathering, collaboration, and resource space.
“It’s something colleges are increasingly exploring, and Michigan students advocated for collaborative, creative spaces,” says White. “The Ideahub mirrors much of the post-college work world our students may eventually experience, and allows for use by a wide range of organizations and student leaders, not only those who were successful in receiving an office allocation..”
The IdeaHub also helps provide functional working space for ALL student organizations.
“There are 1400 student organizations on campus, but fewer than 100 had office spaces in University Unions buildings. Students were looking for a way to serve all organizations and the IdeaHub opens that space for collective use,” White explains.
Among the specific IdeaHub features that will be used by U-M’s student organizations are:
Flexible meeting and gathering spaces
Resources (including organization advising and leadership development programs)
Collaborative cubicles and writeable surfaces
A creative room to paint and create projects
Lockers for short-term storage
Additional lower level storage for less-used items
The Michigan Union renovation is expected to be completed in spring 2020. Be sure to come back to this website often for updates.