Our Work

At the Shapiro Design Lab, we encourage research, collaboration, and experimentation using a variety of tools — including sewing, soldering, and letterpress equipment; 3D printing technology; web development tools; audio and video production hardware and software; and more — in an effort to create learning across disciplines. 

Have questions about our projects? Looking to partner? Contact us at shapirodesignlab@umich.edu.

Explore our projects

As our blog, Lab Notes, shows, we're always working on something with partners from across the university and beyond. Here's a look at a few of our initiatives.

Open accessibility

We explore open hardware and open software projects as they relate to accessibility with campus partners such as the Council for Disability Concerns, Services for Students with Disabilities, and the Knox Center. 

For example, we’ve:

  • Provided space and tools for Michigan Neuroprosthetics to create affordable prosthetics for children using 3-D printing technology
  • Worked on 3D-printed tactile maps and other interactive projects, such as the Tactile Universe, for people who are blind or have visual impairments 

Audio and storytelling

We support a wide range of audio projects through workshops, individual consultations, and the use of our media production rooms

Our Podcast and Audio Storytelling guide aims to help folks get started.

Community and citizen science

  • Participants in our fellowship program with the U-M Museum of Natural History help university scientists conduct extensive, quality research, while exploring questions related to project design, ethics, learning goals, and data management. These fellows also create project prototypes for their own research and community engagement, and develop the necessary skills to complete a successful project.
  • Our joint project with the University of Michigan Biological Station aimed to unearth valuable state ecological data from over a century of student papers, which had been largely obscured due to missing or incomplete metadata.
What is community science? Find out in our citizen and community science guide.

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