It’s a makeover for MAKEmory@TechLab at Student Digital Life…Meta-more-phosis?

In a space where things are imagined, imaged and built (sometimes repeatedly as designs are tweaked), it’s easy to reach the saturation mark where finding places to put things can become overwhelming. There is a need for organization, a plan to fit the space and then the space must be able to continue to evolve as required. There is also a need for “identity”; a sense of separation from the Computing Center at Cox Hall that fronts the TechLab.

That’s exactly what’s happened to MAKEmory@TechLab. When Student Technology Support moved into the Library in 2014, the TechLab took over the old STS location and tried to make things work “as is.” Over time, plans began to refresh the entire space. Over the winter break, walls were painted, cabinets cleaned, and the floors waxed. Then began an intense organizing effort: nuts, bolts, coils and beads of resin, even thingamajigs and whatnots were sorted, matched and containerized, 3D machines thoughtfully re-positioned for maximum benefit, tools assigned a dedicated spot, and cabinets labeled with contents. According to Amelia Stagg, SDL’s Technical Support Coordinator, “Everything has a place, and I know where to look.”

Robin Horton helped grow the MAKEmory@TechLab since before its first iteration, and now this revitalized space is providing the opportunity for students to come in and “help themselves” using the visual signage and equipment placement to find things they would typically have to ask for. Robin notes that the current space “helps staff perpetuate organization and save time;” it’s easier to set-up, start up, finish and clean-up for both group and individual efforts.

The key users are students – both undergrad and graduate students – but faculty have also been making use of the lab. Everyone agrees there is a much better flow for current operations, and it’s important to note that the space is easily changeable and more fluid for adapting to different efforts.

MAKEmory@TechLab is open Monday – Thursday from 12 noon to 8pm and on Fridays from 12 noon to 5pm. All of LITS is invited to come by and see the renovated space, check out the latest on 3D printing, and see what new technologies might be available.

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