As I was looking through my schedule to get ready for the beginning of a new semester, I noticed that I had classes in a building that I’ve never had classes in before. “MEMORIAL STD? What’s that?” I thought to myself, and it took me a little bit of time before I realized that it stood for Memorial Stadium. This did not help very much and only added to the confusion. On the day before instruction, I decided to take a walk around campus, headed towards Memorial Stadium in search of my new classroom. Emblazoned across the side of the stadium right when I walked through the gates was “Berkeley-Haas Innovation Lab” and I had a feeling I was in the right place.
My name is Brian C Ly, and I am currently a junior triple majoring in Business Administration, Computer Science, and Japanese. I’m looking forward to blogging for the Haas Undergraduate Blog during the few moments I’m available in between my classes. This semester, I am taking Dan Mulhern’s “Leadership” and Solomon Darwin’s “Open Innovation and Business Models in India” at the I-Lab.
With the completion of the construction of the new California Memorial Stadium, many new amenities were now available to students, including a new Rec Sports Fitness Center and the Berkeley-Haas Innovation Lab. As a 2,700-square-foot classroom, the Berkeley-Haas Innovation Lab, or “I-Lab” for short, is a new classroom for the Haas School of Business located in Memorial Stadium.
When you look at the more traditional classrooms found in the Haas School of Business, you can find that it isn’t necessarily suited for collaborative work. The I-Lab is the answer to that, featuring a classroom where the tables and chairs are not bolted to the floor, allowing for endless possibilities for seating configurations. Also located all throughout the room are whiteboards of different sizes, allowing for collaborative work that can be done and shared for presentations. In addition to the main classroom, located in the back of the classroom are “garage-like” pods, where students can break off into smaller groups to work on projects. With features such as TV screens, whiteboards on the walls, outlets hanging from the ceilings, and a wall full of art supplies, the I-Lab is the perfect place to get the creative juices pumping for business innovation.
Though this was a classroom previously used in the MBA program, for the first time, classes are being offered in the I-Lab for undergraduates. Classes such as Dan Mulhern’s “Leadership”, Clark Kellogg’s “Innovation and Design Thinking in Business”, Alice Agogino’s “Introduction to Product Development”, Colin Lacon and Kim Wright-Violich’s “Cal Strategic Philanthropy”, and Solomon Darwin’s “Open Innovation and Business Models in India” are some of the offerings available to undergrads to experience the I-Lab.
Though business may be traditionally grounded in the ABC’s, Business Innovation has been up-and-coming in today’s business world, with Haas’s own formation of the Institute for Business Innovation. Even today, many companies have their own Innovation Labs where they are developing the newest technologies that will impact our everyday lives. If you’re interested in fields such as product management or corporate innovation, when you’re planning your schedule for next semester, take a look at some of the offerings found in the I-Lab and discover new opportunities to innovate your Haas experience.
With the classroom layout and setting being the perfect place to think creatively, the I-Lab has really opened up my eyes to innovative ways of learning beyond the traditional lecture style. Collaborative work has allowed me to learn not only from the lecturer, but also from my peers.
Brian C Ly
Class of 2015