Iowa State University Surprenant Ingenuity Lab

Ames, IA | Education


The Surprenant Ingenuity Lab provides Iowa State University (ISU) students access to innovative technologies, such as 3D scanning and virtual and augmented reality, to better envision their designs.


Equipping tomorrow’s industry leaders with new technologies leads students’ way to cutting-edge designs and career readiness. The College of Design at ISU had a computer and wired virtual reality (VR) goggles on a small cart for students to rent, but the College of Design knew a permanent lab space would transform how students interact and explore the VR and visualization tools, giving them an advantage going into the workforce.


The Surprenant Ingenuity Lab at the ISU College of Design was donated by ISG Chief Strategy Officer and Board Chair Chad Surprenant and his family in 2019. The lab, designed by ISG’s experienced team, supports ISU students and the next generation of architecture and engineering industry experts, providing access to VR and augmented reality (AR) technology. This technology allows students to build 3D models, renderings, and visualizations, preparing students for real world applications.

Designed to evolve with students’ interests, trends in the industry, and foster innovative thinking, the former spray room on the building’s third floor was transformed into a 600-sq. ft. collaborative environment to explore VR and AR applications, 3D scanning, and more. Everything in the lab, including a freestanding DIRTT wall system clad in whiteboards and an embedded 70-inch HD monitor, is interchangeable and customizable to adapt to student innovation, needs, and technology changes.

Today, students use the lab to understand immersive technology, visualize their work, and see design concepts in a new light. The modular, flexible space encourages collaboration and between students to bolster exploration of the lab’s tools. With the flexibility and intent of equipping the lab with the latest technologies, students can design innovative solutions and work toward a better tomorrow.

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