AUS Enterprises is an organisation that connects companies with academic research from the American University of Sharjah. The brief for this large commercial space on the AUS campus in Sharjah was to create a physical hub, in the hope of sparking successful collaborations such as Google/Stanford in the US. As well as space for AUS Enterprise staff, part of the floorplate will be rented to international and regional companies looking to set up innovation centres. The brief called for the majority of space to be dedicated to co-working spaces for AUS students and faculty working on entrepreneurial ideas, including makerspaces, exhibition spaces and an auditorium.
Given that the building has a very specific goal - encourage collaboration between academia and industry to produce thriving new companies - we conducted a thorough precedent analysis. Indeed, this research continues throughout the design phase, so we can tweak to accommodate new insights. As well as visiting campuses on the East and West coasts of the US (an obvious but important starting point), we took a design tour of Europe with the CEO of AUS Enterprises. For example, we visited co-working spaces in Marseille and Munich, talking to academics, entrepreneurs and investors. Finally, of course, we have researched local precedents - including the success of SheeraEntprenership Centre, also on the AUS campus.
Here are just three examples of the material palettefor AUS Enterprises: 1: Recycled rubber. We are working with Sharjah-based waste management specialist Bee’ah to create a range of furniture and other items. 2: Plants and crops. Developing the ‘falaj’ narrative, we are working with the Ministry of Agriculture on innovative and experimental ways of growing plants and crops such as lettuces indoors, using 21st century irrigation descendents of the falaj system. 3: Local stone and marble. We are working wherever possible to minimise delivery miles on hard surfaces by sourcing within the UAE and neighbouring countries.
Material Used :
3. Andreu World