RIT Dubai Innovation Center recognized among world’s most creative campus designs

Newsweek lists building among ten Quirkiest College Campuses

5 October 2022, Dubai, UAE: The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai Innovation Center has been named among the ten Quirkiest College Campus designs in a recent listing by the American magazine, Newsweek. The building, which is the centrepiece of the University’s new campus in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), has been recognized alongside structures across the globe for its creative, avant-garde design.

Built with an overarching theme of interactive learning, the DSO campus was conceptualized as a bitboard, with the Innovation Center representing the glass piece that makes the whole grid operational. It is intended to act as a magnet to attract and connect the different functions of the University in a central space.

Explaining the concept, RIT Dubai President, Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, said, “The campus is built on four pillars – innovation, smartness, sustainability and connectivity – and we needed a signature building with a unique design to help connect these principles. The Innovation Center has been positioned at the heart of the campus such that all our activities rotate around innovation and this is demonstrated to visitors through the unique building design.”

He added, “No matter where they are on campus, all students, faculty, and industry partners are constantly rotating around the Innovation Center, making it the focal point for all of our operations, underpinned by sustainability, which is embedded in our fabric as RIT.”

Quoting architect and designer, Frank Gehry, who developed the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Newsweek article credits the Innovation Center among those developments that reflect how “Architecture should speak of its time and place but yearn for timelessness.” It discusses how unconventional camp designs can offer students different perspectives in their educational experience.

DJ Armin, Managing Partner of Zas Group of companies who developed the design revealed, “We set out to create a showcase design that was both multi-functional on the inside and striking from the outside. Our team of designers, master-planners, and technician explored several options centered on the core theme of innovation in order to establish the final design, which was evolved and refined as the building took shape. We are very happy with the final results and proud to see this international recognition for the design.”

Featuring project development, analysis, and testing space, the Innovation Center can accommodate around 200 people. It is the base for the University’s on-going research initiatives involving robotics and autonomous vehicles, and also hosts local technology companies, including global leaders in sustainable buildings, Johnson Controls.

The Innovation Center was inaugurated in November last year by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, as part of the official opening of the new 129,000 meters square campus development.


About RIT Dubai

Established in 2008, RIT Dubai is a not-for-profit global campus of the esteemed Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, one of the world’s leading technological-focused universities with a storied 185 year history. Entering its next stage of growth in the region, RIT Dubai is now operating from phase one of its new $136 million state-of-the-art campus development, which will provide interactive learning space set over 129,000 square meters.

RIT Dubai offers highly valued Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business and leadership, engineering, and computing. The curriculum provides students with relevant work experience through an innovative cooperative education program that helps students stand out in today’s highly competitive job market. RIT Dubai offers American degrees, and all of RIT’s programs are UAE Ministry accredited. Students of RIT Dubai also have the unique opportunity to choose to study abroad at the main campus in New York or at one of its other global campuses.

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