Taylor 22 was remodeled into a classroom space to support the trajectory of the Department of Art & Design curricula and support interdisciplinary learning. The space was designed to be flexible and raw so that it can continue to change in support of curricular development.
Students who have taken a course in the space have access to it during open hours. Preference is given to students currently enrolled in a course taught in the space. Access is provided through our Equipment Cage, monitored by a graduate student for at least 6 hours a day, budgets permitting.
MakerBot 3D printer; about 6 fast Macs with 2D and 3D graphics software; powered hand tools, (drills & saws); other hand tools, (screw drivers, etc.); Electronic Prototyping equipment, (Sparkfun Inventor’s Kits, Multi-meters, Soldering irons & fume hoods); Large screen TVs; Digital Projector, Wall-Sized Projection Screen, High-Fi Stereo and Speakers; Animation Lighting Stand; Large Format Ink Jet Printers; Storage Cabinets.
Enrollments in courses taught in the space are limited to 20.
Free for students, materials are paid for through department operating budget, and University grants.
The space is the domain of one of the department’s full-time Technicians, (1 of 2 total), who also manages the department Computer Lab. The space is designed to support teaching, so faculty have a lot of say in what gets purchased and what goes on in the space.
Through courses in Physical Computing, Animation and Prototyping, which support students within the department and across the disciplines of Engineering, Business and Art History.
The course is used for teaching classes, and as an open space for students to work on projects. Frankly, it is not utilized enough and we are trying to change this.
Not to the level I had hoped, but we are working on building stronger bridges with other departments, through curriculum development.
University budgeting structure is the biggest hurdle. Getting courses outside the department using the space is difficult, as is making the space accessible, open and attractive to students not enrolled in a course. It comes down to faculty making things happen, and going above and beyond their teaching load and job responsibilities to bring change.
Make it with what you have, and let it grow and change. I do not recommend starting with a large budget and big plans. You have to let it evolve over time based on need, and what you are able to make happen within the political and budgetary situation you have.
Also, you need one or two people deeply invested in the space, as the needs are not prescribed and there are very little models for this yet.
Lastly, keep your ideas and the space flexible, and open. Use it for experimental, hands-on teaching and learning. Students need the challenge and opportunity to make things happen, rather than sitting and waiting for things to be done for them.