First published: September 25, 2017
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I was the photographer for the feature photo which accompanies this piece, and the photo has its own story. With the building’s glass facade, this new facility visually striking. We wanted to capture a photo in which the building really appears “alive.” We decided a nighttime photo would be best. The building closes at 5:00p, which is about 35 minutes before the sun sets when this photo was shot in early November. Also, all the interior lights are on motion sensors … so, camera in hand, I stood on the corner across the street while a colleague occasionally jogged through the first and second floors of the building, triggering the lights to come on until I was able to capture the right picture. One small confession: Payton, our team’s graphic designer, replaced the cloudless but dark early-evening sky with a sunset photo taken at a beach somewhere. Given that the building’s facade faces south, it’s probably not actually physically possible for the sky to look as it does here, even on those rare days that we have a comparably colorful sky here in west central Indiana!

The Bechtel Innovation Design Center, a state-of-the-art facility which will provide workspace for student projects, was dedicated Saturday (September 23). Located at the corner of Third and Russell streets, the center will promote teamwork, problem-solving, and collaboration for students in Purdue Polytechnic and the College of Engineering as they design, plan, and build capstone and other projects.

Available 24/7 for Purdue innovators, the $18.5 million building is intended to become a “magnet” where students, staff, and faculty may advance conceptual designs, build prototypes, and conduct product testing in a hands-on environment.

“We have witnessed a tremendous increase in student engagement in design and creation of products and in startup creation over the past three years,” said Gary Bertoline, dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. “The Bechtel design center provides them with a place to explore new ideas and put those ideas into action.”

Read the full Purdue news release and watch Davin Huston, clinical assistant professor of engineering technology, provide a tour of the building, below.