Art and design college becomes first to host Maker Lab

By Meris Stansbury
June 30th, 2015

Florida International University’s College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) will be the first and only arts/design college in nation to house a MakerBot Innovation Creative Lab.

3D-maker-labFlorida International University (FIU) will soon be home to a new, 3,000 square-foot MakerBot Innovation Lab, a collaborative makerspace for students and other innovators, to be housed at its Miami Beach Urban Studios. The lab is supported by $185,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Knight support will be used to create a MakerBot Innovation Lab of 3D printers and 3D scanners where public programs, private innovation explorations, and educational opportunities will be offered across all age groups. The lab will support a range of activities from dual enrollment programs for local high school students, to for-credit classes for FIU students and start-up programs for recent graduates. Community members can also use the space to develop new products, ideas and tools, conduct research or launch personal projects.

“This lab will foster integrated, interdisciplinary creative solutions establishing FIU as a national voice incorporating arts and design thinking into our curriculum,” said Brian Schriner, dean of FIU’s College of Architecture + the Arts. “Knight Foundation’s commitment to supporting local entrepreneurs and idea makers aligns with the college’s strategy to build community and widely benefit the city, while greatly enhancing its prominence in the world of innovation, design and arts.”

“Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has seen enormous growth over the last few years – adding  co-working spaces, mentor and funder networks, educational offerings and a host of events. But there are few established makerspaces where entrepreneurs can experiment and build,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation’s Miami program director. “The MakerBot Innovation Lab will help to fill this gap, providing the next generation of Miami talent with a space to realize their ideas and inviting the community to connect toward building a stronger startup culture in our city.”

FIU Urban Studios will also collaborate with Miami Beach-based Rokk3r Labs, a unique platform for anyone, anywhere in the world to launch ideas that change the world. Rokk3r Labs will work with FIU to initiate workshops, seminars and other programming within the MakerBot Innovation Lab.

Miami Beach Urban Studios offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to study in one of the most vibrant, artistic urban centers in the world for one semester, while gaining valuable professional experience at design firms, and by working with arts organizations throughout the city. Located in the Art Deco 420 Lincoln Rd. building, the Miami Beach Urban Studios gives students and faculty access to Miami Beach’s arts and design culture.

“College of Architecture + The Arts will be the only arts/design college in the nation to house a MakerBot Innovation Lab,” said John Stuart, AIA, associate dean for cultural and community engagement and the executive director of Miami Beach Urban Studios. “Our vision is that FIU will be recognized nationally at the forefront of innovative teaching, learning, engagement, research and creative activities and this lab will assist greatly in achieving this vision.”

Support to FIU’s MakerBot Innovation Lab is a part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past three years, Knight has made more than 100 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

For more information on FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios, visit

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Managing Editor of eCampus News, and was formerly the Associate Editor of eSchool News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated cum laude from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.

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