Future University – Edge Zones
February 5, 2013 – 6:47 pm | No Comment

I’ve been thinking a bit about the future of the university, and it seems to me that a new model may be emerging, one that has something of the traditional sanctuary of a place of learning, but that innovatively engages communities, both local and international. There will, of course, have to be those preserves where students and teachers can contemplate their experience and learn together, but there must also be what, for the moment, one might think of as an edge zone where interactions of many kinds might take place.

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Media Rich Environments – ADMZ Idea Cafe

Submitted by on September 27, 2010 – 10:00 pmNo Comment

One of the challenges faced by organizations with multiple locations or with disparate work groups or multiple partnerships is the ability to easily exchange information and communicate ideas effectively. Technology provides a wide range of options for supporting these activities and is increasingly effective in bridging global distances.

However, technology alone cannot fully meet the challenges presented by distributed work and locations. Co-location must play a role for coordinating and bringing together groups for face to face interactions. While it is often unrealistic to bring entire teams together, some augmented presence may be required. Therefore hybrid spaces are needed that brings multiple people together in a media rich and technologically sophisticated environment.

One possible model for such a hybrid environment is the proposed Idea Cafe for the Abu Dhabi Media Zone. The ADMZ is a campus designed to house and support media organizations ranging from CNN and the BBC to the Al Hilal Group. The proposed Idea Cafe was initiated by Michael Joroff in partnership with Anderson Porter Design and Tactable. The project is intended to facilitate interactions between various media organizations and function as a social and knowledge networking site.

The Idea Cafe is comprised of a Launch-pad for product launch, orientation and education displays, Work and Play Places with incubator facilities and staff, an Idea Club with exhibit and display capabilities, and a Hyper-Pod with media intensive collaboration, brainstorming, and immersive interactions.  Flexible configurations with movable media walls allow for events, new product releases and evaluations, focused customer presentations, concept development, informal tours, or relaxing in a bar/nightclub setting.

The planning, design and operational support of these media rich hybrid spaces requires a high degree of coordination between consultant and in-house groups with multiple skills and diverse capabilities. Careful attention to detail, understanding end user behaviors and desired outcomes, skillful management and precise technical specifications are required to successfully meet organizational goals and deliver high and long lasting value.