The Collaboratorium is our group-oriented solution design center. We created an interactive problem-solving environment where teams, guided by our expert facilitators, can work together to generate innovative solutions to their critical challenges. Breakthrough ideas and insights require new ways of thinking and working together. In the Collaboratorium, our trained facilitators guide teams through a systematic process to harness the power of diverse perspectives, foster active collaboration, and produce creative ideas. The outcome: actionable, innovative solutions to the most complex problems. This purposefully designed space offers an array of settings to support collaboration and innovative thinking. The flexible elements include large spaces where an entire group can converge and work together, smaller more intimate spaces where subgroups can break out and focus independently, and an informal innovation lounge. The entire space utilizes state-of-the-art technology to enhance the collaborative process, capped off by a 20-foot interactive touch-wall hosting a cloud-based visual collaboration system. Teams’ work can be captured and stored digitally, available for access anywhere.
The MakerSpace is a technology-equipped, collaborative space designed specifically to facilitate creativity, providing the necessary tools for actualizing breakthrough ideas. Utilizing the guidance and best practices from leaders such as Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK), MIT’s FabLab and Houston-based TXRX, this center was crafted to inspire exploration, skill development, and entrepreneurial thinking.
The main elements include:
- 3D Printing
- Laser Cutting
- CNC Machining
Within our facility, new ideas can seamlessly undergo the entire development process—from ideation, to prototyping, to business conceptualization—like never before possible. Here, students, faculty, and community members can take their ideas to the next level and launch new products more quickly and more effectively than ever before.
What it offers
- Short courses, credit courses, leisure learning, certifications, and K-12 project-based learning activities
- Support for our academic and workforce programs by integrating “making” into the curriculum
- Opportunities for artisans and crafters to experiment with new techniques and share their expertise
This space is designed to create the leaders of the future:
- For students, it provides hands-on and collaborative experiences to maximize learning potential and to inspire a new generation of innovators.
- For educators, it provides opportunities to innovate their teaching and learning practices in an experimental and supportive environment.
- For entrepreneurs and leadership teams, it provides opportunities to explore potential—your own and your company’s—by facilitating ideation and creative thinking through a unique hands-on experience.
The Conference Center
The Conference Center furthers the collaborative mission of the Institute. This flexible space can accommodate up to 600 participants and provides opportunities for hosting seminars, conferences, and competitions. With state-of the-art audio-visual capabilities, events can be broadcasted around the world.
The Teaching Innovation Academy
The Teaching Innovation Academy is a structured program where faculty and staff are able to explore innovative teaching methods and learning practices. Working collaboratively, Innovation Fellows throughout the entire College can convene here to experiment with the newest approaches to teaching and learning, including:
- Instructional strategies
- Interactive learning
- Leveraging advanced technology
- Captivating student interest
- Project-based learning
- Flexible learning spaces
The Learning Commons
The Learning Commons is an evolving system of spaces that provide shared and flexible learning areas throughout the building. These areas foster creativity and innovation by offering ubiquitous access to technology and information services that respond and adapt to user needs.
Technology is infused throughout the Learning Commons to support and enhance creative activities and problem-based learning. Library and information services throughout the Learning Commons provide access to resources and tools that align with the learning experiences of Houston Community College and West Houston Institute. These services respond to users at their point of need and foster the development of digital and information literacy skills.
IDEAS Academy at West Houston Institute will offer programs that integrate Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship with the Arts and Sciences. This curriculum is about teaching the interdisciplinary mindsets and skillsets that will lead to success in the 21st century. It offers opportunities for students to engage in real-world, experiential learning that promotes creativity and innovation in all fields of study across the institution.
Center for Entrepreneurship
HCC’s entrepreneurial and leadership training efforts through its Center for Entrepreneurship expands into West Houston Institute’s facility, where an increased emphasis is placed upon breakthrough thinking. With workshops designed for experimentation and creative synergy, West Houston Institute gives aspiring entrepreneurs the capacity to bring their ideas to life through rapid prototyping and conceptualization