Stefan Gruber’s "Dodo" Nap Space Project Awarded CMU UPLift Challenge Grant

School of Architecture Assistant Professor Stefan Gruber and Master of Urban Design students Yidan Gong and Chun Zheng have been awarded a CMU UPLift Challenge Grant to implement a dedicated space for outdoor naps on the CMU campus. A faculty-staff-student committee selected the project as one of five winning ideas from among 59 proposals to be funded and implemented by the university during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Last spring, the Task Force on the CMU Experience invited students, faculty and staff to submit creative ideas to make common spaces on the Pittsburgh campus more engaging, collaborative and fun. The term UPLift refers to University Place-making, or the idea that the right kind of physical spaces can meaningfully influence community and culture. Proposals were encouraged to align with three overarching themes: Health and Wellness; Crossroads of the Mind; and Recognizably CMU.

Inspired by the French children’s word for napping, “Dodo” will consist of a cluster of hammocks installed in a common outdoor space for napping on CMU's campus during the fall, summer and spring seasons, while promoting awareness for the benefits of sleeping on the campus. This project will develop a corresponding Nap Map to highlight the best spaces on campus to catch some shut-eye. If you have a favorite nap space you wish to share, feel free to send your ideas to us via email

"We've made a lot of big infrastructure investments on our campus, but I think UPLift is a wonderful example of how we can do a lot with a little and really impact the day-to-day experience on our campus," said Daragh Byrne, assistant teaching professor in the SoA who spearheaded the UPLift project as a member of the Campus Infrastructure working group.

The UPLift Challenge is dedicated to the work of the late University Professor Larry Cartwright, who worked with civil and environmental engineering students to enhance the student experience and Pittsburgh campus through various building projects.

Read more on the CMU News page.


Image credits: STUDIOGRUBER