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Iovine and Young Hall Builds to the Future

If you witnessed people scrawling all kinds of friendly phrases and pictures across the pristine white walls of Iovine and Young Hall during the building's grand dedication on October 2nd, you’d probably think some sort of whimsical vandalism was taking place. Quite the opposite was happening in fact, as the Iovine and Young Academy encouraged students and guests to celebrate the occasion by expressing themselves on one of many writable “idea paint” walls in the building.

Across IY Hall, "idea paint" walls enable students to literally make their mark, visualize projects, and draw inspiration from fellow classmates.

The idea paint walls are part of a conscious effort by the Academy and its founding dean, Erica Muhl, to spark students' creativity and nurture ideas anywhere in the building. The creative freedom offered by IY Hall is a recognition that the Academy’s greatest assets are the students themselves.

"These young visionaries make magic happen every day," said Dean Muhl, in her speech during the official ceremony outside the building."It has been an honor to have them as part of the journey."

Students posed for a picture with Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, and President Carol Folt.

Students joined in the festivities of the day by gathering alongside founders Jimmy Iovine and Andre (Dr. Dre) Young, taking a large group photo with the iconic duo. It was their gift to the university in 2013 that led to the creation of the Academy, with the vision that it would give students the collaborative, integrated education needed in a rapidly evolving 21st century.

"It's not easy to put these disciplines, in all these areas, and have them play in one orchestra together," said Iovine when he took the stage. That idea threads its way into Iovine and Young Hall's flexible and creative spaces. The building houses a makerspace packed with cutting-edge tools for creating prototypes from scratch, a sound-proof editing booth, a podcast studio, and a mixed reality lab. These distinct spaces may initially seem like they shouldn't live under one roof, but what they jointly provide is an unconstrained learning experience. Iovine and Young Hall isn't just for designers, engineers, audio technicians, or filmmakers, it's for all of them. In perfect alignment with its student body, the building proudly rejects labels.

Built from the ground up to be future-focused, enable product design and cultivate the formation of bold new ideas, Iovine and Young Hall emphasizes flexibility for students with diverse dreams.

Iovine and Young Hall's futuristic alumni incubator also stands apart from any other space on USC's campus. Designed to offer graduates a space to flesh out promising ideas post-graduation, this lab resembles a startup's dream workplace. Alumni who have a product or idea in the works, but lack a creative space to think and collaborate without constraints find a home in the incubator. It also gives users close proximity to Academy faculty and events while sporting the latest computer technology.

Directly across from the alumni incubator lies the makerspace. Packed with 3D printers, wood and metal shops, electronics and textile shops, this creative playground enables students to manipulate materials into a wide variety of objects. The Academy has invested in a wide variety of tools to allow students to explore, create, and express themselves however they see fit because every student has different skills they bring to the table.

From engineer to designer to coder to filmmaker, Academy students work and collaborate for four years unimpeded by space or scope.

"This is the decade of innovation and collaboration on warp speed,” said President Carol Folt in her dedication remarks. This building and these students embody that."

The Academy's grand dedication marks rapid growth for the visionary program and follows wide-ranging achievements by alumni and current students. From Y Combinator-backed startups to Coachella-commissioned artists to Sundance-recognized filmmakers, the Academy model is delivering creators with big dreams and the know-how to execute on them. October 2nd celebrates the bright history of the Academy and only builds more excitement for what its students might dream up next.