News - December 16, 2010

New lounge area on campus

Prof. Scheffer's suggestion of a symposium in the classical sense - a meeting area to exchange ideas - is being implemented. It will be a 'showpiece for the campus', a place for unexpected ideas.

The Wageningen campus is set to get a new academic meeting area, in the same building (the west wing) as the Restaurant of the Future. The project has its origins in an idea proffered by the ecologist Marten Scheffer during the Dies Natalis celebrations earlier this year. He said the University needs an informal space where scientists can come up with unexpected ideas, a 'symposium' as he called it. That space is now going to be created, even if it will also have a few 'useful' areas, such as a meeting room and a debating room where the General Studies lectures will be held. But Scheffer's lounge area, with sofas and little cabins, is also included in the drawings.
'It will be a meeting point for scientists, the private sector and the government',  says Ab Groen, who is involved in the implementation. 'A showpiece for the campus and Food Valley that will enable us to show the market what we have to offer. And it should bring soul to the campus.'
Marten Scheffer is enthusiastic. 'It sounds great. It is an advantage if the private sector and the government want to get involved as well. Only this must not mean we end up with chic interior decoration, loads of glass and designer furniture. If the business people and civil servants are prepared to sit in a hammock next to a wood fire or on second-hand furniture, that'll be fine.'
Lounge fans will have to wait a year though: delivery is planned for 1 January 2011.