Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design to be built at Kwantlen Polytechnic University

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Kwantlen Polytechnic University will be home to a new design school in 2015. Premier Christy Clark announced the construction of the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design—a 4,900 square-meter facility at the post-secondary institution’s Richmond campus—today (December 7).

The $36-million project is a partnership between the B.C. government, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, lululemon athletica owners Chip and Shannon Wilson, and the lululemon company. The provincial government and university will each contribute $12 million, while the remaining donation is comprised of $8 million from the Wilsons and $4 million from lululemon.

"B.C. is known as a global hub for technical apparel design. The new Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design will ensure British Columbians are first in line to take advantage of new opportunities in this growing industry," Premier Clark stated in a news release. "Our government is proud to partner with the Wilsons and Kwantlen Polytechnic University to build this new school."

The new school will include teaching studios, testing and prototype labs, student study spaces, a materials research centre, and gallery space. The building will accommodate 651 students—a 57 percent increase in the number of design students attending Kwantlen—and is expected to help meet predicted labour-market demands for apparel designers in B.C.

"Our province is the perfect testing ground for technical apparel —you don't have to go far to find inspiration," Shannon Wilson stated. "Our vision is for B.C. to become the global hub for athletic performance apparel and recreational products, and the first step is to provide a place to cultivate design talent. I am thrilled that KPU and the Province have partnered with Chip and I as well as lululemon to achieve this."

Construction of the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design will begin in fall 2013 and be ready for student intake in September 2015.

You can follow Michelle da Silva on Twitter at twitter.com/michdas.

Comments (6) Add New Comment
of_no_consequence
so who is John Galt, Chip?
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Old-School Common Sense
Sounds like the province is paying for 'textile research' for private business; and having students pay to be trained to work in the local apparel industry.

We already had a design school with a good reputation there. Maybe it was too small? Why not just name a wing in it for the donation and perhaps a 'Stretch & Sew only" focus in that section / semester?

Is this just Brand advertising in exchange for the money, or will private industry own the building?

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nan
It's called the school of design, but the founders are only quoted talking about technical apparel design. What other disciplines will be taught?
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Charlie Smith
Hi Nan,

There's a more comprehensive story here:

http://www.straight.com/article-853226/vancouver/new-kwantlen-polytechni...

Charlie Smith
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KitsKw
It is great to see successful people share that success with others. We can make a difference in our communities more so than a remote politiican ever will, glad to see some locals stepping up.
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iSheep
The BC Government chipped in $12, Kwantlen College $12 Million than Lulu Lemons Guy (Chip) $12 Million for a total of $36 Million.

This is a self serving Corporate Welfare Project mostly benefiting you guessed it Lulu Lemon as they need skilled Textile Workers :)

If your only aspiration in life is to be a 'Textile' worker bee great, if your Lulu Lemons great.

Meanwhile according to the Government there's no money for the Homeless or Poor or Coast Guard.

Just $12 Million so that some Billionaire can put his name on the School while only paying one third of the Price. :)

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