This morning, the city celebrated the highly anticipated grand opening of the new UI Labs Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) on Goose Island. Partially funded thanks to a $70 million federal grant, the new facility will focus on researching new technologies and high-tech manufacturing. And similar to the recently opened Method factory in Pullman, the new UI Labs DMDII is exciting on many levels for Chicago as the city attempts to reinvent its manufacturing legacy in a contemporary, high-tech world. The new UI Labs facility is being lauded by public officials from all levels of government as being one that may help bring manufacturing—specifically high-tech manufacturing—back to the United States.
Seeking to unite the brightest minds from industry and academia, the 64,000 square foot facility occupies just a portion of the old 285,000 square foot Republic Windows & Doors plant at 930 W. Evergreen Avenue. Chicago's own Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was tapped to design the institute, which features a 22,000 square foot manufacturing floor, classrooms, offices, a cafe and an open atrium, or "town hall." Last year's groundbreaking on the project was an exciting one for Goose Island, which is quickly becoming known as an important tech hub within Chicago. The project has been in the works for at least the last several years, and today the next chapter begins as the facility seeks to research and develop new technologies, but also create high-tech goods and jobs right here in Chicago.
·UI Labs' Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, Designed by SOM, Opens in Chicago [SOM]
·UI Labs opens headquarters on Goose Island [Sun-Times]
·Goose Island Is One Step Closer To Becoming Silicon Island [Curbed Chicago]
·Goose Island Becomes Chicago's Emerging High Tech Hub [Curbed Chicago]