Inspiring Imaginations

RIT’s Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED) purposely brings together technology, art, and design under one roof. With flexible spaces that foster and stimulate creativity, collaboration, and discovery, the SHED is a different kind of building, designed for a unique campus, serving a new type of student.

Today’s students aren’t interested in just one thing. They explore multiple interests and consider what’s possible when bringing those interests together. The same goes for the SHED; it houses makerspaces, project team spaces, dance studios, rehearsal rooms, and performing arts theaters. It transforms the center of campus and puts a spotlight on students, faculty, and their creative collaborations.

The SHED is a place where prospective students and their parents will stop by and, in just five or 10 minutes, say, “Oh, this is RIT,” and see that we are different from almost every other institution.

Dr. David C. Munson Jr.

“They will see students working together on projects and studying together in other parts of the facilities. They will see a lot of people carrying musical instruments around. There will be performances and making of all different types. There is no other university that has this type of integrated facility that is not just a set of machine tools and shop equipment. It’s way more than that. I am confident that incredible things will be produced and invented in the SHED and that it forms the basis for student start-up companies and ideas that will change the world.”

Special Features

RIT believes that inspiration isn’t something one waits around for in the hopes that it strikes. Instead, we believe that in the right setting, we can generate inspiration.

Bottom-up view of the SHED's circular exterior courtyard.


square feet

The SHED covers more than 120,000 square feet of new construction as well as more than 83,000 square feet of renovations in Wallace Library and Monroe Hall. The total project exceeds 200,000 gross square feet of combined renovated and new construction.

Dancers performing in the Glass-Box Theater.


seat glass-box theater

The SHED houses individual rehearsal spaces, a large dance instruction studio, and a music rehearsal studio. A black-box/glass-box theater seating 180 is reconfigurable to control the light entering the facility.

A class of R I T students sitting at desks in one of the new classrooms available in the SHED.


classroom spaces

RIT created 27 new classroom spaces within the SHED and Wallace Library. This includes 22 standard-size classrooms and five extra-large classrooms, providing more than 1,500 additional seats. All of the new classrooms will feature cutting edge video technology and flexible furniture for group work, lectures, symposiums, and special events.

Students walking in the natural spaces around the SHED, during the day.

Natural Spaces

The design includes natural spaces, a courtyard, and landscaped passages weaving through the building and under a glass bridge.

Explore Inside the SHED

Be Part of the SHED

The Inspiration and Gifts

David Munson (left) and William Destler (right) clapping for Austin McChord (center).

RIT Trustee and 2009 alumnus Austin McChord, founder of Datto, a Connecticut-based data protection company, envisioned a new makerspace and learning complex on campus that would foster creativity and entrepreneurship at RIT.

McChord’s 2017 record gift of $50 million to RIT included $17.5 million to build the collaborative learning complex. Financing through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York will offset the construction costs, which will exceed $100 million.

McChord requested that students be involved in naming the new facility to make it their own. Jonathan Dharmadi, a fourth-year new media design student from Elmhurst, N.Y., won a student competition naming the new complex the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED).

A gallery dedicated to RIT’s partnership with the Genesee Country Village & Museum on the first floor of the SHED will showcase university-wide research and scholarship from the partnership. RIT alumnus Philip Wehrheim (’66, business) and his wife, Anne, endowed the RIT-GCV&M partnership in 2019 with a $1.3 million gift, a portion of which is supporting the exhibition space.

RIT alumnus and trustee Frank Sklarsky ’78 and his wife, Ruth, made a significant gift of $2.5 million to establish the Sklarsky Glass Box Theater.

More Naming Opportunities in the SHED


  • April 12, 2024

    a woman looks on as another pulls a print on the Kelmscott/Goudy printing press in the Cary Library.

    Cary Collection opening Thursday was grand

    What do Nicolas Copernicus, William Morris, and Joe Kubert have in common? Works by the astronomer, designer, and comics artist—legends in their respective fields—are represented in the Cary Graphic Arts Collection and are now accessible to everyone in the remodeled Wallace Library.

  • January 26, 2024

    college students singing in an a cappella group.

    Performing arts options tip scales in RIT’s favor

    More than 500 incoming students this academic year received a performing arts scholarship, which were created to enable musicians, dancers, actors, and even students with experience in technical theater to continue to pursue their passion for performance while at RIT. To date, some 1,800 students have received scholarships in the five years they have been available.