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Center for Design Innovation

  • Description: The Center for Design Innovation, or CDI, said it has received official notice that it can start phase two construction on its headquarters, $8 million 27,000-square-foot building. <br />The center was established in 2005 as a multi-campus research center of the UNC system, the result of a partnership between Winston-Salem State, UNC School of the Arts and Forsyth Technical Community College. The center has been operating since 2007 at a temporary site in Winston Tower.<br /><br />The building will sit on a 4-acre site off Rams Drive and will be the first building in the South district. It was scheduled to debut this fall, but has followed a slow design and construction rollout to date.<br /><br />Laura Huff, the center’s marketing and communications director, said last week that the first construction phase was completed in February and focused on infrastructure. It include site grading, base course parking and driveway paving, curbs and gutters, storm water and drainage basin installation and an empty conduit for future utilities.<br /><br />WSSU and CJMW Architecture are handling the design and building of the center, and UNCSA will oversee its maintenance and operations.<br /><br />Huff said officials with Samet Corp, the construction manager, the center and Winston-Salem State University are reviewing the construction bids. Mayor Allen Joines said during the February 2012 ground-breaking ceremony that the center “will be a magnet and a generator of new ideas and new concepts that hopefully will translate into new companies and new jobs."<br /><br />"It will be attractive to the young people we are trying to attract and retain."<br /><br />The center specializes in two areas: motion-capture techniques and rapid prototyping.<br /><br />Motion-capture techniques support animation for films, video games and mobile applications, as well as improvements in health care related to physical and occupational therapy. The techniques can provide analyses of moving or flexible machinery and movements of people engaging in activities such as dance and sports.<br /><br />Rapid-prototyping techniques support the design and development of furnishings, textiles, medical devices and other industrial products through a quick-design cycle that includes 3-D modeling.<br /><br />The goal is having 200 to 300 people using the facility on a daily basis once it's fully operational. Dave Moore, design principal for CJMW Architecture, has said his firm faces a challenge of designing a building that represents the design circulating within it.<br /><br />"CDI has a specific program right now, but that will change over time and the building needs to be adaptable to that change," Moore said. “The challenge is to make a physical building as flexible as possible to allow for future programs to happen."<br /><br />Donald Reaves, chancellor of WSSU, said he is confident the center will serve as a bridge “between what we know as downtown and the two university campuses and their neighborhoods. In time, as the South district of the park fills in, that divide will disappear."<br />

    Type: Other

    Floors: 2

    Construction Start: November 2013

    Construction End: Fall 2014

    Architect: CJMW Architecture - Winston-Salem

    General Contractor: Samet Corp - Greensboro

    Developer: UNCSA, WSSU, Forsyth Tech

    Location: 450 Designs Avenue at Rams Drive in the Innovation Quarter South District

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