TCU IdeaFactory celebrates 10 years helping students bring their ideas to life

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IdeaFactory staff, members of theCrew, and students celebrated the IdeaFactory’s 10-year anniversary in the Commons. (Bailee Utter/Staff Reporter).

By Bailee Utter

From helping students pitch their passions to hosting innovation workshops for faculty, there is a place on campus for all. 

TCU IdeaFactory celebrated its 10-year anniversary last Tuesday. when students gathered in the Commons to have tea, enjoy desserts and brainstorm. 

Reese Brown, the human center design academy coordinator, said the purpose behind the birthday party was to celebrate and explain IdeaFactory’s growth over the last 10 years to people on campus.  

“I always say that IdeaFactory is TCU’s best kept secret,” said Brown. “The work we are doing is really important, so our mission this semester is to scream IdeaFactory’s name.”

IdeaFactory’s growth

The IdeaFactory is located in Rees-Jones Hall, Idea Lab #101. (Bailee Utter/Staff Reporter)

Dr. Eric Simanek, the chemistry department chair, launched the IdeaFactory in the basement of Tucker Technology Center to focus on science-based ideas.

Over the last 10 years, IdeaFactory moved into Rees-Jones Hall #101 when it was completed.

Cedric James, associate director for IdeaFactory, helped Simanek expand the idea across campus.

“We shared the desire to do something great for the community,” said James. “Dr. Simanek is a visionary, opportunist and a man of character. I knew it was a great fit for me.”

James said Dr. Stacy Grau, director for IdeaFactory, helped introduce IdeaFactory to different parts of campus as well. 

“Today, we use design thinking methods to vet ideas, offer courses, workshops, and co-curricular experiences for everyone on campus,” said James. 

What IdeaFactory offers you

The IdeaFactory is a multidisciplinary space open to anyone who is curious about solving problems in a creative way. 

The fall 2021 workshop series is offered to undergraduate and graduate students. Students will learn about human-centered design and how to apply it to their college experience. Sign up dates and times are listed here.

The fall 2021 workshop series is offered to undergraduate and graduate students. (Photo Courtesy of the IdeaFactory’s Instagram)

The IdeaFactory offers courses to students who are interested in learning about human-centered design. Courses offered to undergraduate students include IDEA 30001 and IDEA 30153. Graduate students can enroll in IDEA 60153.  

Pitch Your Passion is an outlet offered to students to share ideas and get initial feedback. Students can sign up on IdeaFactory’s website to pitch their ideas every Friday at 2:30 p.m. 

Social Impact Design Challenge is a competition-style event open to anyone who has an idea and wants feedback from professional judges and an opportunity to earn funding to support their idea. The competition will be hosted on Nov. 12 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and details can be found here.

Faculty and staff can engage in the Building Inclusive Teams workshop on Nov. 12. More workshops will be offered in the spring.