Photo of students using the Design Labs.

Design Labs

Rooms 1321 & 3360, Duderstadt Center
2281 Bonisteel Boulevard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2094

The DMC’s Design Labs are creative learning environments that support initiatives to bridge disciplines, build networks and discover new contexts for scholarship. The most important resource you’ll find here are the student content experts: the consultants who lead learning and research activities.  Looking for hard-to-find expertise, or a collaborator? Drop in. 

Design Lab 1

Design Lab 1 hosts an academic community centered in making, with an emphasis on aesthetics. Animators, videographers, musicians and sound engineers, motion scientists, robotics engineers, programmers, gamers and designers collaborate to explore the practical and expressive potential of new tools, technologies and aesthetic directions at the convergence of digital and physical space.  

Design Lab 3

Design Lab 3 is a new learning space, with an emerging base community. Its modular furniture, whiteboards, sketchpads and high-end workstations loaded with data visualization and modeling software attract entrepreneurs, architects and product designers — who are using the lab for ideation in connection with the library’s data resources, as well as the UM3D Lab’s prototyping tools.

Electronics Workbench

The Electronics Workbench is a small room near Design Lab 1 that houses components and hand tools for prototyping electronics projects. Access is granted to anyone following an orientation (two 2-hour sessions), until we have reached capacity per semester. Begin by emailing

Get Involved

There's always something going on in the Design Labs.   Check out Events for details

Electronic Lunch is our long-standing collaborative project group, attracting participants from the Ann Arbor and Detroit maker communities as well as various campus disciplines. It meets at noon on Fridays in Design Lab 1 during the academic term. New participants are always welcome. Join our email group to stay up-to-date.

During Fall 2014, The Michigan Animation Club meets at 6 p.m. Friday evenings in DL1, and a new interest group is meeting regularly to learn Touch Designer techniques on Fridays at 1 p.m. (following Electronic Lunch).

Schedule an Event

We welcome short and long-term events and projects that put our resources to good use and bring new ideas and resources into the mix. If you would like to bring an event to a Design Lab, we encourage you to call or drop in to speak with a consultant first, to be sure we can meet your needs.

Special Access Requests

Find out more about requesting special access.

See the Research

Design Lab 1 has been a “sandbox,” an “experimental classroom”, a “makerspace,” and a “connected learning environment,” but mostly, it has been evolving — for over a decade. In recent years, we have maintained an ongoing mixed-method study of the people who use the lab and the activities taking place. Beginning Fall 2014, we are also observing Design Lab 3.

Page maintained by Melissa Gomis
Last modified: 08/02/2016