The Innovation Campus: Building Better Ideas

Griffen Kelly, a founder of Trac and a Northwestern alumnus, speaks to students during the weekly dinner at the Garage, which was built in one. Note the parking lines on the floor. CreditNathan Weber for The New York Times

Griffen Kelly, a founder of Trac and a Northwestern alumnus, speaks to students during the weekly dinner at the Garage, which was built in one. Note the parking lines on the floor. CreditNathan Weber for The New York Times

Can architecture spur creativity? Universities are investing in big, high-tech buildings in the hope of evoking big, high-tech thinking.

Where once the campus amenities arms race was waged over luxury dorms and recreation facilities, now colleges and universities are building deluxe structures for the generation of wonderful ideas. They and their partners in industry are pouring millions into new buildings for business, engineering and applied learning that closely resemble the high-tech workplace, itself inspired by the minimally partitioned spaces of the garage and the factory.

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