UC | Expedition Campus
TU/e students and employees regularly travel to campus, some of us even do so on a daily basis again. This is where people – young and old – meet and come together to share knowledge. Our campus is Eindhoven’s academic equivalent of the Forum Romanum. Still, there’s a lot of criticism to be heard, about the shortage of parking places for example – for every type of vehicle – and about the fact that there aren’t enough locations for new buildings. Since to measure is to know, I decided to share my thoughts on what our campus has to offer.
If you dutifully travel to campus on your bicycle in the morning, you first need to wade your way through a row of wrongly parked bicycles and scooters, only to realize that you can’t park anywhere. The first thing that goes through your mind is: why is it that there aren’t enough bicycle racks, why don’t ‘they’ add some more? You forget to ask yourself why you had to park your bicycle in front of Atlas. After all, there are more than enough racks near the Auditorium, in the basement of Atlas and at MetaForum. Average visitors to those parking facilities must think that practically everyone is working from home again. Don’t people know that there are other places to stall their bikes besides directly in front of Atlas? You would think that the signposts are clear enough, but it seems that people at TU/e have mind of their own. Should we look for other solutions?
If you take a tour of TU/e’s campus grounds, you’ll see artworks at several locations. TU/e’s Art Commission is responsible for maintenance and acquisition of these objects. The commission also has the task of bringing people into contact with art. The TU/e website has a walking route that guides you along the sculptures on display, and it even comes with a description.
But apart from all those objects that adorn our campus, I also see many concrete walls on the terrain. Some of these walls cover large surfaces, and they just happen to be located next to large, empty bicycle parking facilities. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to brighten up those grey concrete surfaces with functional frescos that tell people that they can park their bicycle here, or that they can’t park their scooter? Art doesn’t just have to be pretty; it can be functional as well. You could use it as a signpost, for example.
I know from discussions I’ve had with students that they often don’t know what our campus has to offer. They usually think of campus as a place where you can follow lectures and attend project meetings, after which you return home as quickly as you can. But those who are willing to find out, have a range of options to choose from. Our campus is also a place for sports activities, culture and social gatherings. That’s a good thing, and it should stay that way.
Much has changed on campus over the past years. The Green Strip, for example, used to be a parking place, and Atlas opened its doors again only some years ago after undergoing an extensive renovation. That metamorphosis of our campus continuous steadily, but not much seems to change as far as most students are concerned. That’s understandable, because renovating or constructing new buildings takes a very, very long time. Many of the problems we are currently faced with will be solved once existing buildings have been renovated and new ones have been built. But those of us who still need to wade their way through those rows of wrongly parked vehicles every morning, won’t benefit for the time being.
If you’re wondering what our campus has to offer, my first advice would be to take a tour. Open your eyes and be surprised by what you see around you. Go to the east side and visit the Expedition, where the mail comes in, and where the wind tunnel is located, and where the student teams have their accommodations in Momentum. Walk along the Dommel and see what nature has to offer. And after you’ve completed your tour, cross the ring road and visit the Karpendonkse Plas. It will do you good.
Main photo | Bart van Overbeeke