Photo of a pile of letterpress-printed bookmarks

Photo by Rebecca Chung

Shapiro Design Lab

The Shapiro Design Lab is an ever-evolving experimental space in the Library focused on creating engaged learning opportunities and experiences across research, artistic, and teaching projects. We are comprised of three learning communities (Interns, Residents, and Developers) and three spaces (PIE Space, Media Production Rooms, and Workshop), which feature a variety of tools: 3D printers, audio/video hardware and software, letterpress, prototyping supplies, and more.

For 2018-19, the Shapiro Design Lab will organize much its work around two themes: Open Accessibility and Community + Citizen Science. 

In the Open Accessibility theme, the Lab will explore open hardware and open software projects as they relate to accessibility. In conjunction with campus partners such as the Council for Disability ConcernsServices for Students with Disabilities, and the Knox Center, the Lab will explore a variety of projects throughout the year: 

  • Using Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality for alternative wayfinding in the Library
  •  3D-printing prosthetics 
  •  Web accessibility checklists
  • Algorithmic audio transcription
  •  3D-printed tactile maps and other interactive projects (such as the Tactile Universe)

In the Community and Citizen Science theme, the Lab will undertake a variety of projects related to public participation in the scientific process. These include: 

  • Coordinating a Community of Practice and Project Incubator with the U-M Natural History Museum, bringing together interested students, staff, and faculty, as well as members of the wider Ann Arbor-Detroit community
  •  Developing and running projects on the Zooniverse crowdsourcing platform, both within the Library and assisting with Faculty and  Graduate student projects
  •  Exploring the use of machine learning to identify specific species within image-based crowdsourcing projects like Michigan ZoomIN Community science projects such as air quality monitoring and community mapping with groups in Dearborn and Detroit
  •  Working with the Museum of Natural History to develop a Community and Citizen Science kiosk in the new Biological Sciences  Building (opening in 2019)
  • Access and Preservation of Federal Climate Adaptation Information, in partnership with the Science to Action Community and the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI)

We encourage you to schedule a consultation or sign up for our mailing list. Also, if you are interested in using some of our spaces or equipment, enroll in our Canvas course and complete the relevant training module(s). If you have other questions about the Lab or what happens here, please email

Give feedback about this page
Last modified: 11/26/2018