It took two years to design and implement the coworking space. Its creators did a detailed design of its concept, format, and the services it offers so that the space would fit its purpose.
“On the one hand, this is a place where you can work as a team and develop new ideas; on the other, you can also come here to rest or work on your own. When I was a student, the schedule was organized in such a way that we never had long breaks between lectures. Today, we want to make it so that students would come to ITMO to not just attend lectures but to also work on their own and in teams, do their homework, brainstorm, and rest. And this coworking space is a step towards creating an environment for generating new concepts at ITMO. What’s more, horizontal communications are important and so is a dialog between the administration, lecturers, and students. The doors of the Rector’s office are always open. The doors of the coworking space will always be open, as well,” comments Daria Kozlova, ITMO’s First Vice Rector.
The coworking space is split into areas and boasts three conference rooms, individual tables, spaces for groups, a VR area, an amphitheater, and a conference hall with seating for 30 people and a projector for events and presentations. The entire space can host up to 200 people at once.
ITMO students often work on joint projects, so some of the areas offer them the opportunity to work in this format. Two of the conference rooms are intended for 5-6 people and one for 10 people, which makes them useful for meeting to discuss an assignment, have a brainstorming session or work on a startup.
You can do a presentation or hold a small conference in the amphitheater or the conference hall. Both spaces are equipped with screens and projectors. The amphitheatre, also includes a VR area with modern equipment that makes it possible to test various VR software with the help of three HTC VIVE Pro headsets.
In addition to equipment for visual presentation, the space also has over 10 modern iMacs and the same number of Lenovo computers with Windows OS. All these devices have licensed engineering and creative software installed, including Adobe software for design and video editing.
Laptop users will benefit from numerous power sockets available throughout the space Today, this is especially relevant, as many classes take place online. The opportunity to communicate via Zoom and attend online lectures right at the university will help save time on getting home and back to ITMO. You can also visit the coworking space during a break to just get some rest, prepare for the next class, or work on something.
To make the space more comfortable for everyone regardless of their habits, electric tables with adjustable height are available for those who prefer to work standing up.
The new coworking space will be working non-stop. ITMO students and faculty will be able to come there anytime they need.
The conference rooms will be freely available, but with priority given to those who reserve them in advance via ISU or with the coworking area’s administrator.
ITMO’s new library
The site of ITMO’s new coworking space was once home to the university library, which is also undergoing a transformation. Both its physical location and the underlying infrastructure and processes will be reimagined. The library is redesigned to serve a modern purpose: to be not just a place to get books, but also a comfortable workspace.
The new library will be located on the fifth floor of ITMO’s building at Lomonosova 9 and will host a service office and the depository of printed materials. ITMO students and staff will be able to get books in open access or use the library’s computers, as well as get assistance from its staff.
Another coworking space for group work and communication will open on the third floor. In order to make it more comfortable, the spaces will be connected by a common stairway and have direct access to the Student Services Office on the fourth floor.
Searching, getting, and returning books — all of this will take place at a single spot so that you won’t have to go to different buildings to get different materials; and if the library doesn’t have the book you need, the staff members will order its delivery to the common office. The library will also launch a new website that will combine all of its digital resources to provide quick remote access to its depository. In future, there are plans to open library self-service spots at other ITMO buildings.
The library’s creators sought inspiration in international and national experience: the world-famous Oodi Library in Helsinki, the library of Aalto University and university libraries across the world, as well as the experience of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and the Moscow School for the Social and Economic Sciences.
The library at Lomonosova St. 9 is expected to open next month. Same as the new coworking space, it will be accessible anytime.