Global Innovation Exchange (GIX)
University of Washington, Tsinghua University and Microsoft
with Bora Architects
Bellevue, Washington

The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) project is the home for a new graduate degree program, representing an international partnership between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University.  The program established a new model for higher education dedicated to developing leaders in technology, innovation, and business.  While working at Bora Architects Conner Dowling was a design team member that crafted the building program, the interior architectural environment, and managed the construction for the new international masters degree program.

Each floor was designed for a specific teaching approach based on the unique GIX curriculum and how the students work as they move through the 15 month program.  The studio learning environment and cross-disciplinary approach of GIX lead to a desire to eliminate typical physical boundaries found in buildings.  More typical separations (walls and doors) are only used in certain spaces where acoustic separation is needed.

The ‘heart’ of the building is the large Maker Space which includes a full wood shop, electronics shop, chemical lab and a variety of advanced 3d and laser printers.  The Maker Space  connects with the studio and formal classroom spaces by an open atrium stair, allowing for visual connection and collaboration between students and faculty.

85,000 sf 


The Shallack Collaborative
Skanska USA