Projects

More than 50 projects were submitted to the Campus of the Future competition by U-M students from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds. Just how is Michigan being reimagined for the 21st century? Each and every entry is different and brings a unique perspective to the discussion.

Explore the full list of project descriptions below by category and come engage with featured entries at the project showcase on October 26, 2017.

  • Beyster Bluepath

    About 285 million people are estimated to be visually challenged worldwide. Yet buildings, cities and maps are designed with sighted users in mind, making navigation challenging at best and dangerous at worst. This project is building a mobile application that can provide audio navigation instructions. The application—currently being tested in the Beyster Building on North Campus—would elicit user input via voice commands in natural language, locate the user within a building and then provide turn-by-turn instructions to the destination. This solution currently fits into the room and building scales, but the prototype could be scaled further to cover every U-M building, ensuring campus-wide impact in the near future.

  • Initiative for an Inclusive Campus

    A student group in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is prepared to take on the challenge of studying the relationship between physical space and education through the lens of disability. Preliminary research suggests that the current use of space at U-M–at the room, building and campus levels–contributes to unequal learning opportunities for those who are differently abled. Obvious trouble spots include staircases, narrow doorways and the absence of accessible entryways. But this study will also consider land use, transportation, housing, dining, athletics, Ann Arbor’s infrastructure and how all of these aspects can contribute to creating an equitable education for all. Deliverables will highlight the successful remedies that the university currently employs and also offer suggestions for improvement.

  • Pedestrian Priority on Central Campus

    Almost every day at U-M, there are close calls between cars, bicycles and pedestrians. To help prevent a tragedy from happening, this project would like to examine the conversion of certain portions of Central Campus roadway into pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly routes. The primary deliverable will come in a report which will analyze several scenarios, including full pedestrian-priority malls, bus and service vehicle-only lanes and bike lanes. The report will also detail proposed costs, parking revenue replacement, traffic flow impacts, bus rerouting, local business impacts, service access and how to sell the project to the city. Additionally, it will consider impacts in relation to existing campus planning documents and the proposed Ann Arbor Connector.

    Categories: Mobility Physical Space

  • A Trike for Shared Mobility

    Most students rely on buses or bikes (in good weather) for commuting. But are they the only answers? This project proposes the development of Human Powered Vehicles (trikes) for campus-wide use. The HPV would be a hybrid, with a 500W solar-chargeable motor to negotiate hills as well as straightaways. The body would be an enclosed polycarbonate shell to protect drivers from the weather as well as collisions. A mobile app would locate the nearest trike and enable reservations. After riding, a student could drop it off at the nearest charging station. The advantage of using a trike over a bike is that a trike would be more stable and safer and impervious to the seasons. The final deliverable would be a working prototype.

    Categories: Mobile Apps Mobility

  • Underground Campus

    In near the future, U-M will face a problem centered around creating more space for further development. This project’s radical idea for the university of the future is to construct new buildings and environments beneath Central Campus. The relationship between existing public spaces (e.g., the Diag) and educational spaces (e.g., Hill Auditorium, Michigan League, Rackham Graduate School) could be mirrored on the lower level, facilitating wayfinding. Additional structures–like a particle collider, which would take up a great deal of room on the surface–could also find a home underground. To facilitate access, an underground autonomous vehicle system could be developed.

    Categories: Mobility Physical Space