Outlook Magazine - Fall 2021
S chool of Art and Design students have a new hub on campus — the expanded, upgraded Digital Process Lab in the Applied Arts Building. Ten times the size of the old print lab, it houses new state-of-the-art printing equipment, thanks in large part to an in-kind gift valued at $100,000 from alum Bill Flesch, a 1981 business administration graduate. Flesch’s gift came through the Pathways Forward comprehensive campaign, which wrapped up in 2020; he was on the steering committee. The gift includes three state-of-the-art Canon printers: a wide-format inkjet, a color copier and a high-volume Canon imagePRESS, the latter essentially a digital printing press. “The lab will be like a town square. Everybody taking art and design classes can access it for their projects,” said Dave Beck, associate vice chancellor for Partner and Student Engagement. Flesch is chief development officer and treasurer for the Gordon Flesch Company, one of the nation’s largest independent providers of office technology solutions. “The lab has the latest and greatest equipment from the digital processing and digital imaging world. Students will be learning about digital processing at the highest level, so they’ll have experience that others typically won’t get. We had the opportunity to help, so we were in,” Flesch said. Students will be trained to operate the lab’s machines but also can upload files remotely and simply stop by and pick up their project from a lab manager, be it a full-color comic book, graphic design project or interior design poster for a class, industry presentation or portfolio. The previous print lab, in another location, was visited about 15,000 times a year by students. “I foresee even more visits because now students will have room to lay out their prints, make cuts, discuss their work and more,” said Beck, noting that there are 50-plus art and design labs on campus. In addition to being an open lab, the new space will be used by more than 1,000 students from all School of Art and Design majors and four related programs that have classes within the school. Other new equipment in the lab includes four 3D printers, thanks to a grant from 3M Foundation; and two new laser cutters, thanks to a grant from Kohler Corp. “It’s a space where students will enter with ideas digitally on their computer and leave with their ideas in their hands,” Beck said.
A ‘TOWN SQUARE’ FOR CREATIVITY
Gift from alum Flesch spearheads state-of-the-art Digital Process Lab for School of Art and Design
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Photo: Kerstin Nye, a Master of Fine Arts in design student, tests one of the new printers in the new Digital Process Lab.
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