The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Siebel Center for Design will take place Tuesday, April 24 at 2 p.m. on a site located on Fourth Street between Gregory Drive and Peabody Drive. Chancellor Robert J. Jones, President Timothy L. Killeen, the Board of Trustees, Siebel Center for Director Designate Rachel D. Switzky and Thomas Siebel will all take part in the event. There will be a reception following the groundbreaking at the Business Instructional Facility.
The 59,000 square-foot building will be located between Huff Hall and the Art and Design Building. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2020.
The center will facilitate and support innovative approaches to product, process and user interface design, with an emphasis on societal relevance, advanced technology, creativity, purpose and multidisciplinary collaboration.
The new building will feature five team-based collaboration studios for up to 400 students, including one studio for large-scale construction and graded access for full-scale prototypes; a large workshop for 3-D printing, metal fabrication, laser cutting, water-jet cutting and computer-controlled machining; two digital media studios for video and audio recording; immersive technologies for virtual reality applications; and public gathering spaces, meeting rooms and galleries to encourage informal interaction.
The Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation in 2016 provided a $25 million lead gift to establish the Siebel Center for Design. Described as a campuswide hub for student-focused design thinking, the center will cost about $48 million, with the remainder of the money coming from institutional funds.
Thomas Siebel is the chairman of the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Foundation and the chairman and chief executive officer of C3 IoT, an enterprise PaaS and SaaS software company that enables companies to design, develop, deploy, provision and operate large-scale AI and “internet of things” applications. The cross-disciplinary range of his academic degrees from Illinois in history, business administration and computer science are reflected in the tenets of design thinking.
“Tom Siebel’s confidence in this university is matched only by the generosity he has demonstrated,” Cangellaris said. “His philanthropy spans colleges, fuels faculty excellence in scholarship and research, and opens up new academic possibilities to our students every single day here.
“The Siebel Center for Design is a historic new addition to the physical and the intellectual landscape of Illinois that will significantly change the world’s ideas about what a university education will be in the 21st century.”