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Northern Illinois University

Smart Technology

The new lobby is serene and sunlit. With marble benching and a sweeping view of central campus, it provides a new, welcoming face to what had been more austere architectural massing. It also serves as a gateway to three major and distinctive educational spaces: The Cole Hall Collaboratory Classroom, which boasts 48 computer stations divided among six separate learning pods. Each pod is equipped with a 65-inch, high-definition digital touch screen, enabling students to interact with educational material in the same way users interact with touch-screen iPads. NIU officials say it is not only one of the most unique and cutting-edge educational settings on campus but anywhere. The Anthropology Museum, which offers premium museum exhibition space and a training ground for students. Features include movable walls for the creation of customized exhibit spaces, low-iron glass displays for clearer viewing, and an eye-catching 10½ -foot-long glass display case cut into the museum’s exterior wall. The 351-seat Jameson Auditorium, a 43-year-old lecture hall, was completely overhauled with the addition of improved sightlines and access. Technology supports up to 750 wireless devices, while comfortable seats swivel 360 degrees to allow for small-group interactions. The highest-quality HD projection system on campus, back-of-the-room HDTV monitors, and a full complement of smart technology meets the needs of students and educators.

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ITTNER ARCHITECTS 2020