The Gerald J. Ford Hall for Research and Innovation ignites the future of research and education at SMU
Dallas (SMU) – SMU dedicated SMU Guildhall's new home—the Gerald J. Ford Hall for Research and Innovation—on December 4, 2020. Ford Hall is a new 50,000-square-foot interdisciplinary research hub that will equip faculty, students and industry partners with tools and resources to collaborate, solve complex problems and power new enterprises in the digital world of today and tomorrow. The new facility is located on SMU’s main campus at the corner of McFarlin Boulevard and Airline Road.
The University is creating an exciting space for bold doers and collaborators. It’s the next step in SMU’s ascendancy as a premier research and teaching university, and my family and I are honored to play a role in this process.” - Gerald J. Ford
Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69; his wife, Kelli O. Ford; and The Gerald J. Ford Family Foundation provided the lead gift for Ford Hall in 2013. The new facility expands the University’s use of high-performance computing for interdisciplinary collaborations and will help SMU attract greater levels of external research funding. As digital explorers, both undergraduate and graduate students will work alongside faculty and industry professionals in this new data-driven nerve center.
In addition to SMU Guildhall, Ford Hall is the home to the AT&T Center for Virtualization, the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, high-performance computing and data science, and the innovative Visualization Lab.
Learn more about our new building in our campus section.
Ford Hall’s signature spaces include:
The multipurpose, flexible gathering space on the first floor offers high-performance visualization capabilities to facilitate real-time interaction between researchers, students and collaborators. It will accommodate classes, presentations and competitions, and also will work as an auditorium for performances, hackathons and other events.
Shared Collaboration Studios
Adaptable learning spaces on the second floor feature high-end audio and video systems, raised floors and modular design to support cross-disciplinary research.
Guildhall Collaboration Suites
The versatile and changeable huddle spaces accommodate Guildhall projects and student and faculty research groups of all sizes.
This high-traffic, high-use area serves as an entry point for visitors and a meetup space for building users. This flex area also can be used to extend the Visualization Lab footprint when needed.
Hillcrest Foundation Café
This space provides a welcoming place for students, faculty and staff to get refreshments and to informally collaborate with each other.