[Humanist] 26.402 a lab space?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Oct 20 09:49:55 CEST 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 402.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2012 08:57:42 -0700
        From: Ruth Mostern <rmostern at ucmerced.edu>
        Subject: DH lab space planning?

Greetings Humanist Colleagues,

As a DHer (one of only a few at my university), I've been asked to provide
feedback to a committee designing a new academic building that will include
a DH lab.  This is at the University of California, Merced, the newest
research university in the US.  We opened to students in 2005 and weare on a
growth trajectory to reach about 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students
by 2020, along with proportional numbers of faculty, librarians,
professional staff, etc. We'll ultimately have several dozen humanities
faculty and several dozen humanities grad students, of whom a percentage
will be engaged in DH activities to some extent.  My task is to spec the DH
space -- just the space for now, not furniture or equipment -- for that
community; keeping in mind that I need to think about the potential needs of
individuals who have not yet been hired, and will therefore need to be
rather generic. 

I'm guessing that we want a fairly sizable shared space -- 1000 sf or so --
and space for a staff person in or adjacent to it.  We'll want a separate
smaller space for printers, and another separate smaller space that could be
purposed in some fashion down the line for immersive visualization, or for a
large piece of equipment like an overhead scanner. As a separate matter,
there will be space in the building for individual faculty labs, for people
who need -- and can fund -- space fully under their own control. 

Although I've spent some time in shared DH facilities on other campuses, I've
never lived with one for the long term, or helped to manage one. So, I am
hoping to get feedback from Humanist members who have used or managed DH
labs that work well (or ones that don't but which have taught useful
lessons).  If you could design core campus DH infrastructure from the ground
up, what would it look like? Please respond to the list or offline with any
advice or suggestions, including photos or blueprints.

Many thanks in advance!

Ruth Mostern

Ruth Mostern
Associate Professor of History and Founding Faculty
World Cultures Graduate Group Chair
School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
University of California, Merced

rmostern at ucmerced.edu
5200 North Lake Road, Merced, CA 95343
Office: COB 379

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