Miami students cook up creativity in Idea Kitchen
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 01:09
While typical students have to book study spaces at the crowded King Library to do group work, members of the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute now have their own unique space.
The new Idea Kitchen on the second floor of Benton Hall is designed to encourage collaboration and inspiration. With large whiteboards, circular tables and sticky notes covering the walls, the spirit behind the creation of the room was teamwork, according to Executive Director of the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute, Louise Morman.
“We wanted a space that totally fosters collaboration and creativity. Everything is about being together, eyeball to eyeball interaction,” professor Louise Morman, executive director of the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute said.
The Lockheed Leadership Institute is a program that allows leaders in the school of Engineering and Applied Science to think strategically, work collaboratively with others, effectively communicate their ideas and find innovative solutions to society’s most complex problems, according to the Institute's official web page.
The concept of the Idea Kitchen came after student went on a trip to the Lockheed Martin Center of Innovation in Virginia. The students went as guest of Lockheed Martin so that they could experience one of the top innovation laboratories of its type. Miami alum Bran Ferran was one of its primary designers.
“All the offices were open. When I saw this place it was like, ‘Oh my goodness the creativity!’” Morman said.
The name, the “Idea Kitchen” actually came from a room on the floor below that the students once used as a group workspace. According to Morman, the room had cabinets that reminded many students of a kitchen, and the name came out of that.
Although the Idea Kitchen wasn’t officially finished until a few weeks ago, students were using the space as early as last year. According to Morman, many events such as Engineers Week were planned in the space before completion.
“It’s really easy to come in here and bounce ideas off one another,” Senior Lauren Saintz said.
Senior Taylor White said he is also a fan of the new space because it allows for cooperation across departments.
“The Idea Kitchen has been a great space for our organization to utilize, particularly because it allows us to interact with people across all departments of the school,” White said. “It’s this shared interdisciplinary space decoupled from a traditional quiet working environment that really allows us to come up with innovate ideas and solutions for the school and our community.”
Last week, the space was used to hold an event to thank the donors for the Idea Kitchen. These donors included several businesses as well as some alumni donors, according to Morman.
Morman said she is hopeful that the collaboration skills the students develop in the room impact their futures positively.
“I hope, they the students, will develop that collaboration ability that they’re going to carry well into their careers in the future,” Morman said. “Being comfortable with working in teams and collaborating is just as important for engineers as physics and math.”
For now the room seems to be working, Morman said.
“It’s made things a lot easier and enhanced the ability to work in teams because you have the space to work in teams.”