The College of Global Futures’ new home is taking shape, and it’s stunning!

In January, the College of Global Futures is moving into the newest and perhaps the most impressive building on the ASU campus — the building currently known as Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7, or ISTB7.

ISTB7 is still under construction — we’re hoping to join other occupants and start moving in at the end of the year — but I was lucky enough to tour the site the other day. And I was impressed by what’s emerging.

Naturally, like many others, I’m apprehensive about what the move to the new building will bring. Will the space encourage creative ideas and new collaborations? Will it foster a culture of curiosity? Will it promote diversity and inclusivity? Will it be inviting and accessible for students and other members of the the community? And most importantly of all, will I have the office of my academic dreams?

I’m kidding on the last one of course. But as with all new builds, it’ll be hard to get a sense of how the space and architecture will work out until we’re actually working in it and making it our own.

Yet despite this, I’m excited by the space that’s emerging here on campus. Having walked through the building, I’m pretty confident that ISTB7 will become a place that encourages people to work imaginatively on pressing challenges in ways that transcend conventional disciplines, and that provides a safe and inspiring environment for creative and innovative thinking.

Of course, it’s near-impossible to capture much of this through photos at this stage of the build — a concrete shell that will shortly be transformed into an office, a classroom, or a futuristic auditorium, isn’t that photogenic, truth be told..

So instead, I’ve tried to capture the feel and spirit of ISTB7 through these images as it comes together, and to convey something of the promise that it holds as a space for taking on the challenge of transforming the future.

Hope you enjoy them!

The exterior of ISTB is certainly different (seen here from the adjacent light rail station). I was concerned that the high tech sun shades across the windows would block a lot of natural light inside the building — but I was surprised at how much light gets in.
At the heart of ISTB7 is an impressive atrium which opens out onto the adjacent light rail station, making for an inviting space where the academic meets and merges with the community.

You may pick up from these images that I have a thing about reflections, and ISTB7 did not disappoint!
This staircase will eventually have guard barriers, but in it’s naked state it stands out as an eye-catching feature in the internal architecture.
The internal atrium of ISTB7 has two staircases that serve the building’s five floors, each punctuated by platforms that are begging to be used as part of future creative events/performances that fully utilize the space!
Much of the vast interior of the building is still being fitted out – and it is vast!
The lack of artificial lighting inside the building during construction makes for great mood-shots — but with plenty of glass partitions, the space is shaping up to be bright and inviting once completed.
I love the texture that construction sites bring to photographs — especially here, where you get a hint of the ways in which the inside and outside spaces within ISTB7 will integrate and merge together. When all the building paraphernalia is removed, I suspect we’re going to see plenty of sharp, clean and inviting lines emerge around this building.
There’s something special about seeing the bones of a new build as it goes up — there’s a promise of a future that’s different, inspiring, but not quite knowable yet. There’s definitely a metaphor somewhere in here for what we strive for in the College of Global Futures and the Global Futures Laboratory.
And finally, a striking juxtaposition of building and reflections that captures the transience and beauty of this stage in the building’s life.

Andrew Maynard
Director, ASU Future of Being Human initiative
Substack: The Future of Being Human