$17,000 think[box] windows covered up


Courtesy Imgur

The windows which once allowed visitors to see inside think[box] labs are now usually covered to protect confidential research.

Case Western Reserve University’s premiere creation space think[box] recently moved to the Richey Mixon building, leaving a set of covered-up windows behind in a hallway in Glennan.

In February 2014, think[box] operations and the Case School of Engineering (CSE) spent $17,000 on fireproof glass to install windows in think[box] 1.0. These windows allowed tour groups to safely watch the think[box] creators without disturbing their work flow, but they have been covered up for much of the time since the institution moved.

The window covers allow confidentiality for proprietary research but are removed if the labs want to show off something.

One electrical engineering student who preferred to remain unnamed feels that the $17,000 used for less than two years was a wasted investment.

“The entire thing is pretty much facepalm worthy at the level of misspending,” he said.

This student feels that many other labs have interesting and state of the art research happening that they would love to showcase to other students. These labs could have immensely benefited from this space in Glennan and allowed tours to see what they are doing. Instead, in that place, two labs were restored for mechanical and aerospace engineering.

“The real issue is who handed it to them and the fact that they [the labs in thinkbox 1.0] didn’t ask for the windows to be used or encourage the lab to use them,” he said. “The target for scrutiny should be CSE, not the labs.”

The university feels that the windows served an important purpose, validating their installation.

“It was important to raise awareness for think[box]1.0,” said a statement from David Conger, senior facilities officer with CSE. “Requiring users to turn off their equipment for tours would have been intrusive.”