A Year of Exploration

awesomizer graphic

This year, I primarily worked on the Awesomebox/Awesomizer project. Through this project I learned about web design and got to do some work with a database and the Myrlin API. Additionally, I had the chance to work with other students on the volunteer-based LibriVox project to record public domain audiobooks. I got to work with the other Student Developers on the library’s instance of the Measure the Future project and got to attend a talk by the project’s creator -- Jason Griffey.

Always Aspiring: Peer-to-Peer Learning in the Design Lab

"Look out" printed in Lego blocks

The Design Lab is an aspirational entity, always in the process of becoming. While this creates a certain amount of ambiguity at times, it also provides a refreshing sense of possibility. My role as a resident at the Lab over this past academic year has allowed me to develop what were several casual interests of mine into keener ones, picking up useful know-how and experience along the way. In this post, I have given each of these interests and projects their own mini-blurb.

Chance Encounters

Crowdsourcing workflow for Zooniverse project

Up until now, learning has been all about finding the right books and online courses, finding some free time, and focusing. I did that kind of learning at the Design Lab, as well: going through a textbook on data analysis, going through tutorials on designing 3D models. But this new kind of learning--the one that occurred by chance--started taking an increasingly important role in my life. Learning how to analyze data from Zooniverse from people with more experience and having numerous...

Let’s build something together

Photo of Julian with a neuroprosthetics arm built by Aaron (standing to his right) and his teammates.

By far one of the most amazing experiences was working with my club in the Design Lab space over the course of the year. Being able to see one team sewing electrode sleeves, while another tests circuits and software, while yet another team works on a printed part and assembling an arm. The culmination of all of this work was also realized in the Design Lab with final testing, assembly, and photos of the device before we gave it to Julian, occurring in the Design Lab spaces. It is so unique to...

Chemistry with the Design Lab

A light-blue 3D-printed thruster shroud

As the year comes to an end, I thank the Design Lab for developing both my hard and soft skills. I experienced the wonders of multidisciplinary collaboration, and just how much people love to share their interests with others. I believe the best way to learn is through simply speaking with others. In doing so, I was quickly able to learn their interests, and hey, some of them also became mine before I knew it!

Full Circle

My first year at the Shapiro Design Lab is ending at this moment, as I sit in the Lab writing this blog post during my last Open Workshop shift. I have worked on many projects, consulted a few university course teams, and attended many campus-wide workshops. Through them all, I have gained a wonderfully positive view on the Lab and its ability to bring so much knowledge to one time and place.

Collaboration as Learning

Small green 3D-printed rooster

While working at the Design Lab, I gained a real appreciation for interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. I helped to create a variety of things that I normally wouldn’t have the skills or ability to create, and I learned a lot from others by working alongside them. Exploring 3D modelling was a really fascinating experience to me, and getting to see a physical manifestation of my explorations was incredible and really highlighted the real-world impact 3D designing could have.

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