NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces the opening of Design Lab at 49 Main St., next to MCLA Gallery 51. Design Lab serves as a curricular and co-curricular space for innovation, as well as a multi-purpose venue for the College and the community.

Outfitted with five separate workstations, each equipped with interactive short-throw projectors and ample whiteboard space, Design Lab is uniquely suited for collaborative problem-solving, while its open, flexible floor plan lends itself to such events as receptions, concerts, lectures and community forums, according to Diane Scott, assistant professor of arts management at MCLA.

The goal of Design Lab is to provide an ecosystem in which students and community members are free to explore ideas and master skills together through action – by immersing, designing and doing.

Those activities already are happening at Design Lab – three MCLA classes are meeting in the space this spring semester.

In addition, student teams who will compete in MCLA’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge meet there regularly with their mentors. A recent meeting between city officials, MCLA students and MCLA President James F. Birge also was held at Design Lab, where they explored how to bolster student connections to the city of North Adams.

“The new Design Lab is a game-changer for the courses I teach there,” Scott said. “I’ve been flipping my classrooms to active in-class exploration and problem-solving for a long time. This new space brings that full circle, giving students the perfect workshop to experiment and explore in.”

According to Lisa Donovan, associate professor of fine and performing arts at MCLA, “I think one of the goals I have as a professor here is to blur the boundaries between what’s happening in the classroom and what’s happening in the community. So, what better thing than to be downtown? I think we’re becoming embedded more in the community.”

Those interested in MCLA Design Lab activities and programming may check the College’s Calendar of Events at . For more information, contact MCLA LEADS Project Coordinator Zachary Feury, or (413) 662-5116.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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