New Trajectories for Digital Design
Makers find themselves with many options for carrying out creative tasks given new generations of approachable yet powerful tools for design and collaboration becoming available to more people in more places. Our lab is exploring the ways in which distant and co-located teams are working toward shared creative tasks using multiple tools to carry out projects, coordinate, and share work. We are sharing our findings and advancing the capabilities of tools that are supporting new digital design trajectories among disparate groups. Olin College and institutions connected to our students and faculty have been investigating the ways in which new tools such as Autodesk’s Fusion 360 have been impacting collaborating designers. Several sub-projects of this effort are below. The common goal of related projects is to help people become empowered to transcend their traditional roles, taking on design tasks with new mindsets and processes.
-Sponsors and partners: Autodesk
Duration: 2013 - ongoing
The EnGen Phone-charging Scooter Accessory
EASE Lab members are mentoring a group of entrepreneurial (pre-)teenaged makers in NYC through a collaboration with Makeosity. Three young Scooter-riding Bronx natives developed a prototype product capable of leveraging the rotation of a small tire to charge a cell phone. Our team is making the 2nd prototype with an eye toward better performance, portability, robustness, and manufacturability. In the process of advancing the EnGen design, EASE members are ensuring that the group of young inventors we are working with understand how the prototype is being made and how it works.
-Sponsors and partners: Autodesk, Makeosity.
Duration: 2015 - ongoing
Links: Process book
Made-by Cafe and Make-it Markets
Made-by Cafe is a venue for exploring ways to celebrate local makers and those who support them in as many ways as possible. Makers of all ages and experience levels contribute to the cafe's wall art, food, furniture, crafts for sale, and workshops. Before the cafe opens regular business hours, it opens for occssional meet-ups and events. The EASE Lab organizes pop-up Make-it Markets. These three-hour events invite anyone off of the street to buy crafts made with high-tech processes, taking home products, building purchases from parts or ordering custom creations. Makers from K-12 schools, college campuses, and adult amateurs are featured at each market.
-Sponsors and partners: the Simon Group.
Littlebits extensions and curricula
Littlebits, based in NYC, produces invention kits comprised of bits that snap together to perform electronic functions - such as controlling lights or making things move when there's a loud noise. Members of the EASE Lab are developing curricula for existing bits that target teen-aged creators. We are also prototyping and submitting new bits that make new creations possible, for exploring topics such as neuroscience and computing.
-Sponsors and partners: South End Technology Center