University News

New Digital Studio to find home in Rock

Studio to replace Periodicals Reading Room and feature production space, 3D printer

Contributing Writer
Monday, September 28, 2015

In the process of renovating for a new Digital Studio, the periodicals and newspapers in the Rockefeller Library have been moved to the second floor.

The former Periodicals Reading Room in the Rockefeller Library is being renovated to become a new facility that will feature space for collaboration and an audio and video production space, wrote University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi in an email to The Herald.

The renovation is part of a larger plan to modernize the Rock to meet current student needs, said Barbara Schulz, head of library facilities and building safety.

Planning for the space, which will be called the Sidney Frank Digital Studio, began last spring after Hemassi came up with the original idea for the studio, she wrote. Construction commenced in early August and is expected to finish in January or early February 2016.

“The Digital Studio is intended to be a production space for individual and collaborative scholarship,” in which students and faculty members can “undertake project development and design,” Hemmasi wrote. In addition to the audio and video production space, the studio will have a 3D printer, workbenches, a seminar room and a moveable wall.

The Digital Studio will be highly integrated with the already existing Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab and Hecker Training Center, Schulz said. All three adjoining rooms will work together to increase digital and multimedia opportunities for students and faculty members. Both individual students and organized classes will have access to the studio.

A main goal of the studio is to enhance the ability of students and faculty to collaborate on a variety of hands-on, interactive projects. The library is seeking to fulfill a desire for modern technological resources, Schulz said.

Students have expressed excitement about the renovation.

“It is cool that Brown is adapting the library to meet the changing needs of students in the digital era,” said Logan Brunet ’19.

The space was formerly home to the Periodicals Reading Room, a space designed to provide access to the University’s assortment of magazines, journals and print newspapers, Schulz said. The periodicals and print newspapers have been relocated to stacks 50-51 on the second floor of the library, where they will remain permanently.

“It is a comfortable area to take a break and read a magazine because it is a place where you won’t get distracted,” said Nikki Kaufmann ’18.

Once this renovation is complete, all public spaces on the first floor of the Rock will have been recently updated, Hemmasi wrote.

The renovation is fully funded by a grant from a private foundation, Hemmasi wrote. Schulz declined to disclose the size of the grant.

  • Alum 2013

    Fabrication labs only work if the hosting space is equipped with the facilities and mindset to handle the eventual mess–think sawdust, scraps, burrs, fumes etc. The tools and space, if they are to actually have any value, need to be used and accessible to those that would like to use them.

    The Granoff started out great and then got the support pulled from it because priorities shifted and it became used as the crown jewel in a dog-and-pony show for donations rather than a production space. Allowing the messiness associated with building things, it was reasoned, would deter donations. The laser cutter, milling machines, etc were all moved to Tockwotten, which is the other side of town.

    Potential Donors– if you see a fabrication space that is spotless, question whether it is actually in use.