Core to the IDC Foundation’s grantmaking has been the creation and support of innovation spaces – physical spaces where innovation between students, faculty members, and other innovators is fostered at the intersection of housing, engineering, and building construction. Those innovation spaces are housed at the following institutions and described below:
The AACE Lab at The Cooper Union
A grant from the IDC Foundation made possible a state-of-the-art maker space at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The Art, Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (AACE) Lab supports projects across three disciplines of architecture, art, and engineering. It provides a collaborative fabrication environment for Cooper’s entire student body, enabling work to be done by architects, artists, and engineers all working in the same environment.
Housed in Cooper’s iconic 161-year-old Foundation Building, the AACE Lab enables Cooper students both in-person and remotely to have access to advanced equipment that includes 3D printers, robotic arms, and virtual-reality technology. It allows students to fabricate intricate components, artwork, prototypes, and models from a broad range of materials. It adjoins Cooper’s Art and Architecture Sculpture Shop, giving students the flexibility to work with both new digital fabrication tools and traditional woodworking and metalworking machinery.
The IDC Foundation Digital Fabrication and Robotic Matter Design Labs – New York Institute of Technology
The IDC Foundation has provided funding to create the Digital Fabrication and Robotic Matter Design Labs (Fab Lab) at New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Design. The Fab Lab, located on the Long Island campus, is equipped with vacuum-forming tools, laser cutters, CNC (computer numerical control) machines, and 3D printing equipment at multiple scales and with a variety of materials, as well as simulation programs, augmented and virtual reality, building information modeling, and robotic systems.
The state-of-the-art technology promotes interdisciplinary innovation and facilitates entrepreneurial initiatives for students and faculty on the university's Long Island and New York City campuses. Students at the New York City campus can digitally share their work for reproduction with the Fab Lab team in Long Island, who then produce final components of a physical model or an assembled piece that can be delivered to them. Ancillary benefits of the Fab Lab include the ability to strengthen connections with the industry, practitioners, and artists by providing prototyping services, while also being able to welcome new research and grant opportunities.
The Housing Lab at Columbia GSAPP
The IDC Foundation has provided seed funding to support creation of the Columbia GSAPP Housing Lab, endowed research positions at the Housing Lab, and funded additional research activities.
The IDC Foundation Financial Aid Support Fund enables the hiring of two research assistants annually to assist the Housing Lab. This resource provides research capacity to facilitate the work of the Housing Lab and ensures that the Lab has endowed support on which it can rely.
The IDC Foundation Housing Research Fund supports specific research initiatives at the Housing Lab.
The IDC Research Accelerator Hub at the Research Yard of Pratt Institute, City Tech, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard
The IDC Foundation has funded the IDC Research Accelerator Hub at the Research Yard of Pratt Institute, City Tech, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Located in Building 3 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Research Yard unites Pratt’s cutting-edge research centers with City Tech researchers in the School of Science and Technology as well as companies based in the Navy Yard in researching and developing solutions for real-world problems. The Research Yard expands upon Pratt Institute’s ongoing relationship with the historic shipyard that is now a dynamic hub for technology, design, manufacturing, and interdisciplinary innovation.
The IDC Research Accelerator Hub offers enhanced technology, materials, equipment, and security systems to spur innovation, collaboration, and design thinking. It provides dedicated space for expanded partnerships and synergies that work as a platform to advance new ideas into positive solutions.
The IDC Foundation has funded two additional programmatic initiatives to support the IDC Research Accelerator Hub: the IDC Research Accelerator Mentoring Program, and the IDC Accelerator Research Faculty. The official opening of the IDC Research Accelerator Hub took place on March 9, 2023.