Everything You Need to Know about the QUEST Lab

Written by Grace Cha

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The new QUEST Lab and offices opened officially in August for both QUEST students and faculty members. The QUEST Lab, along with its conference room and offices, is located on the first floor in 1407 Van Munching Hall. The aim of the new QUEST Lab is to have an open space where students can meet to collaborate and create ideas. Students are now able to easily communicate with faculty members about any questions or concerns they may have.

Kenny Lopez, Cohort 20, was part of the team of 190H mentors who worked on redesigning the space. Ultimately, the team wanted the lab to have a more open design that still conformed to the required standards of the Smith School.“The idea is to be able to easily break up into teams and groups and do your own thing,” Lopez added.

One noticeable feature is that the walls are designed specifically so that students can write and draw on them, allowing for easy brainstorming and the organization of thoughts. New furniture, such as comfy, bright lounge chairs as well as tables with glass tops, which similarly can be written and doodled on, are also part of the new additions in the QUEST Lab. Chairs purposefully have wheels to allow for easy movement, creating the desired “open” atmosphere.

A SMART Board, an interactive whiteboard that provides touch control of computer applications has just been delivered to the conference room. Students are really excited to start using it. Finally, the 3-D printer from last semester can be accessed by students to create visual models of their project ideas.

When asked what her favorite aspect of the new lab, Jessica Macklin, QUEST’s Program Coordinator, replied, “I have my own office in the QUEST Lab which is great. I get to be around students all day, which is fun and entertaining.”

From just a little over a month since its opening, the QUEST Lab appears to be doing what it set out do – create a space where students can thrive individually and collaboratively. Take out the physical constraints of a traditional office and who knows what QUEST will do next?

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