Calit2’s innovative philosophy has created new design principles for the physical space in which we conduct our work. Using $100 million from the State of California, Calit2 designed and constructed two buildings, at UC San Diego and UC Irvine, to realize our technological and social goals. The buildings themselves are living laboratories. For example, materials that are radio-frequency-friendly were used on the outside of the UCSD building to enhance wireless experiments. The UCI building has been instrumented by the U.S. Geological Survey with more than 40 vibration sensors to monitor the building’s movements in response to earthquakes and other ground activity. The sensor network and software platform developed by UCI researchers allow real-time analysis for damage assessment and decision making.

These buildings also have the following characteristics:

Unique capabilities:

Clean rooms, MEMS labs, immersive virtual reality facilities, and a digital cinema theater are just a few of the specialized facilities in the buildings.

Shared resources:

Shared laboratory space comprises the vast majority of square footage in the buildings. New interdisciplinary collaborations are expected to emerge as faculty and students from diverse disciplines work side by side, becoming acquainted with each other’s work, vocabulary, and culture.

Extreme bandwidth:

The UCSD building, for example, boasts nearly two million feet of Ethernet cable and 150 optical fibers linking the building with UCSD campus networks. This wealth of bandwidth will enable experiments that couldn’t have been conducted before.

Flexible space:

Since space is not assigned by department, Calit2 can assign space to researchers working to advance the institute’s mission.

Reconfigurable space:

Large, open areas comprise the majority of the space, and they can be rearranged easily as new projects emerge