Preparing for a new future through “Destruction and Creation”
KU opens the KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1)
“Imagination is more important than Knowledge,” A Follow-up to the π-Ville
A space for cultivating future-oriented innovative intellectuals with new perspectives and creative ideas
The KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1), which is dedicated to preparing for a new future of education has opened its doors.
Being the first university in Korea to open a space exclusively for students to engage in various knowledge creation activities, including startups, KU established the KU Pioneer Village (π-Ville) in 2016. The KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1) is a follow-up facility for creative education, which opened its doors on July 18. It is based on the founding spirits of the π-Ville, namely that “imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Due to the characteristics of the life in the U.S., garage startups are quite common. In fact, many of the startups located in Silicon Valley began in garages. Garage startups in that sense have played major roles in nurturing successful companies. “X” is an unknown value often used in mathematics. It contains KU’s educational philosophy in terms of cultivating students’ abilities to create fresh ideas and to solve problems amid the uncertainties of the unknown and the unknown future ahead.
This new site is expected to be utilized as an innovative educational space for designing and producing products based on students’ ideas. The site allows students to apply their ideas and skills through the “Design Thinking” process, which directs them to seek answers to problems. It then leads students to produce and demonstrate prototypes as their concrete results through the testing process. In this regard, the site provides students with opportunities to gather various ideas to solve real-life problems and to apply their hands-on skills directly, while testing them in order to seek solutions based on scientific methods.
To support this, a curriculum that includes “Design Thinking” has been established. Experts from both within Korea University and from the general public have been invited to offer their expertise in setting up the necessary education for hands-on practice via supporting various training and networking together with industry-university collaborative programs and entrepreneurship courses.
The KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1) located in the KU Innovation Building kicked off its preparation last August. The roughly 600 square-meter (about 180 pyeong) space boasts an electronic control room, digital design room, design maintenance room, Making HUB, and post-processing room. The site is also equipped with facilities necessary for product design and production. By conducting a demand survey targeted to students and faculty members, equipment for design production, electronic design, measurement, and industrial software were also installed. The site also allows students to experience prototyping future products. Additional essential equipment such as the latest 3D printers and industrial laser cutters was also installed.
The KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1) allows students to experience various things, nurture their creative and challenging spirits, and design their future without fear of failure. It will focus on cultivating intellectual innovators who are not afraid of failure. In an effort to concentrate on nurturing startup intellectuals, it aims to become a space where students can develop their potential in the same vein as the Jacobs Institute at UC Berkeley or the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, commonly known as the d.school, which are the driving force behind Silicon Valley. Moreover, it plans to open to local residents, thereby acting as a hub for open networking to share knowledge and information in order to fulfill KU’s social responsibilities.
▲From left: Jung Sik Kong (Vice President for Campus Planning); Jesang Ko (President for Research and Business Foundation); Kwan Young Lee (Executive Vice President for Research); Jaeho Yeom (KU President); Joong Hoon Kim (Dean of the College of Engineering); Joon Hyung Shim (Director of the KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1)); and Jin Taek Chung (Former Dean of the College of Engineering)
On Wednesday, July 18, the opening ceremony of the KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1) took place at the Innovation Building. During his opening speech, KU President Jaeho Yeom said, “Henri Bergson, a French philosopher, called humans who can create and use tools Homo Faber. I expect to see students develop their own originality through the process of creating, destructing, and re-building with various tools from woodworking implements to the latest 3D printers. The KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1) is expected to play a pivotal role not only as a physical space for education and experimentation, but also as a space for sharing knowledge and information as well as a platform for incubating entrepreneurship. I strongly believe that it will become a symbol of open innovation that can lead to establishing second and third X-Garages in the future.”
The KU Maker’s Space (X-Garage #1) is expected to become a place for educational innovation with regard to preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It will play a major role in cultivating creative intellectuals who, rather than coming to simple conclusions, have the ability to think from various perspectives.