The $36 million Wilson School of Design building is funded through a $12 million contribution from the British Columbia government, $12 million from KPU and $12 million in donations that include $8 million from project donors Chip and Shannon Wilson.
The design school will add 140 full-time seats for a total of 681 spaces for design students. New facilities will include innovative teaching studios and labs, a testing centre, gallery space and expanded study and design spaces for students. It will also house advanced technology, such as laser cutters, 3D printers and ultrasonic welders
"Design careers are vital for a 21st century diversified economy," said Melanie Mark, minister of advanced education, skills and training. "Cultivating design talent here in British Columbia will support the apparel sector, which is poised for strong growth. The programs in the new building will create exciting choices for students, as well as support for local design industries."
The building will provide a space for a range of existing design programs at KPU, such as the bachelor of design in fashion and technology, bachelor of interior design and continuing and professional education. It will also house KPU’s product design and technical apparel design programs, which educate students in the development of performance, technical, medical and protective apparel and gear.
"Chip and I share a passion for nurturing creative talent, and we are thrilled to partner with KPU to help develop the next generation of designers and innovators," said Shannon Wilson
"The KPU community is very appreciative of the support we have received from the Wilsons and the Province and their recognition of our history of excellence in design education," said Alan Davis, KPU president and vice-chancellor. "The new school of design building gives us the opportunity to expand our programming, research and innovation activities, so our students can continue to innovate."
"I am excited about the future because of this great opportunity to work in this new space," said Leah Katz, a first year product design student in the Wilson School of Design. "I am so glad I chose this school to pursue my design path, and am grateful to the many donors and supporters involved in making this new campus a reality." (RR)
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