What is the SKIL?

©Murielle Gerber/EPFL

What is the SKIL?

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Here is a small FAQ about the SKIL

The SKIL (Student Kreativity and Innovation Laboratory) is a custom-made experimental infrastructure initiated by the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) for students (primarily) at the Bachelor and Master level. In the SKIL, which is essentially a big, well-equipped workshop, students have complete freedom to use their fantasy and imagination, with access to a vast array of materials, technical capabilities, and hands-on coaching that make it possible to transform their ideas into reality, be it physical or digital.

The core missions of the SKIL are:

  • Bottom up projects: The main one is to support student projects initiated by them. (see SKIL for credit and SKIL for your project)
  • Hands-on learning: To provide a practical and accessible (24/7) bottom-up learning space for students within the school (see SKIL as workshop)
  • Interdisciplinary bridges: To promote collaborative and/or interdisciplinary approaches

There is little in the current mainstream model for university undergraduate teaching that permits the students to systematically and continuously train their talent for being creative, structuring ideas into new constellations and concepts, taking initiative, innovating, working together, and inspire each other.

Yet, these harder-to-measure skills and qualities, when combined with a thorough theoretical and technical background, is precisely what make the students valuable to the companies and the public institutions into which they are hired. These harder-to-measure skills and qualities are what make them leaders. There is therefore a real need to break with (at least for a fraction of the students time) the traditional top-down, discipline-segregated teaching of easily testable knowledge, and nurture these essential personal qualities.

To receive SKIL accreditations, prior training is required before that the workshop and its facilities can be used.

To request access, simply:

  1. Write an email to [email protected] with your first name, family name and your SCIPER number.
  2. Register and follow one of the security visits (1 hour) given by the SKIL Labmanager.

    This safety training (1 hour) will allow you to receive basic information about safety rules, operation and information useful for using the SKIL space. More information can be found on the Training page.

  3. After this safety visit, you will receive your Campiro Access.

NOTE: The building will officially open in mid October. If the security visits will start at the same date, don’t hesitate to send an email to [email protected]!

SKIL is primarily intended for Bachelor and Master students at EPFL. After having followed a theoretical security training course, valid for their entire curriculum at EPFL, they receive accreditation to gain free access to the SKIL building.

If you are not a Bachelor or Master student at EPFL and would like to know if you can use the SKIL infrastructure, do not hesitate to write an email to [email protected]. You can also come and visit us during opening hours; there is a doorbell on the main entrance door.

Almost anything within our physical and financial means…

The SKIL is a space that:

  • Provide the students with access to–and training in–the use of a variety of machines and tools (such as laser cutters, 3D printers or CNC milling machines, to mention a few),
  • Allow to rapidly initiate and implement new practical projects,
  • Permit to effectively share knowledge acquired during academic training and the know-how acquired during the realization of projects,
  • Facilitates the process of finding project partners and exchange with students or professionals from other fields,
  • Give the students access to expert coaches.

The SKIL is therefore an evolving space that constantly adapts to the needs and desires of the students.

To ensure good working conditions in the SKIL, the students are committed to:

  • Safety – Work safely without endangering themselves, others, and the equipment at their disposal.
  • Cleanliness – Leaving clean space and equipment behind.
  • Continuity – Reporting defect tools and equipment, reporting incidents, and assisting with inventory management.
  • Knowledge sharing – Contribute to the documentation and transfer of acquired knowledge – in the spirit of Open Science.