Lassonde Studios

Is Lassonde Studios the Bauhaus of the Entrepreneurship Movement?

I’ve always been so fascinated by the Bauhaus School. There’s just something really exciting thinking about this singular place, where the most creative young people came together to define the next wave of an entire movement of design. I always wanted to have something like that in my life.

It wasn’t until this spring when I finally realized I do have that in my life. I’ve been living at Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah, and already I can tell this has the potential to define the next wave of entrepreneurship.

This is a really interesting place, where students don’t just live together for the sake of being on campus, but they live together out of an active interest to find cross-disciplinary students with high endurance for work ethic and grand visions for the future. This is a place where we are given access to nearly all the resources we need to bring our visions to light. And it’s a place where work and play overlap each other in the most ambiguous and exciting way.

The students here do what we do because we believe there is no better time for us to take a risk in something we believe in.

The concept of “experiential learning” has been on the rise in higher education — and that’s a good thing. You can learn as much theory as you want in the lecture hall, but as soon as s**t starts heading south in the real world, all that theory flies out the door. Experiential learning is the chance to learn by immersion, by problem-solving, by tension and high stakes and by first-hand experience. While experiential learning itself is on the rise, as far as I can tell, no other university environment is as immersive at this as Lassonde Studios is.

So, yes, it’s a very specific kind of place, inhabited by a very specific set of students, but how does that play into Bauhaus? The Bauhaus School and students that stemmed from it, essentially defined how design would look moving forward for the next few decades, and we still used their rules in UX and industrial design today, like “form follows function,” and “geometry is king.”

I like to think Lassonde Studios is priming the forthcoming generation of young entrepreneurs to create our own rules for what our industry will look like in the future. And I think a lot of this can be seen through our mission statement: “To provide students a transformative experience through entrepreneurship.” For those of us really living and breathing these new entrepreneurial ideals at Lassonde, we don’t see entrepreneurship as the “hustle.” Starting businesses isn’t primarily about reaching billion-dollar valuations or becoming famous.

For us, entrepreneurship is a way to make your passions sustainable, to push your voice out into the world in a tangible way, to be frugal, efficient and progressive, and to create a positive net-impact for everyone.

I’ve been imagining the future a lot lately, and imagining all my friends will skyrocket to be the leaders of their companies within their emerging industries. I like to imagine that we all have the chance to meet up every once and a while and talk about all the late nights we spent with each other at Lassonde Studios dreaming about how we could make a mark on the world, the breakfast meetings writing out business plans,,and weekends spent cycling between enjoying our free time and trying to stuff more work into that time.

Then I like to imagine that the rules we are setting here have a lasting impact to create more ethical, sustainable and positive businesses in the future.

Maybe over time we really will write out our own rules, but I think a good place to start is by the 10 life rules proposed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute founder, Pierre Lassonde:

  1. Say “thank you”
  2. Never miss an occasion to throw a party
  3. What is it you want most in life?
  4. Live your passion
  5. Feed your soul
  6. Explore your faith
  7. See for yourself that the Earth is round
  8. Give faith a fighting chance
  9. Leave a better world behind
  10. Keep your speeches under 10 minutes

Maybe I’m buying into the Kool-Aid a little bit here, but I think there’s big stuff happening at Lassonde right now and I think it’s just going to get bigger from here. Either way, I’m excited to be a part of it.


About the Author:

Parker Gibbons

Parker Gibbons is a student at the University of Utah studying multidisciplinary design. He has taken photos and made short films for almost 10 years. He is production director of student-run ad agency AdThing and a student director at the Lassonde Institute. He hopes to use skills in multimedia and product design to help entrepreneurs and emerging businesses bring ideas to life. More at parkergibbons.com.


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