Category Archives: Student Work

For field notes and other posts by students

Design Post for May 26

The simplest method to know if the environment is working, is if the printers are being used throughout the quarter.

While the total printing time of an item is dependent on the size of the object being printed, there is still considerable start up and finishing time as well. While a large item might take the entire time the area is open (assuming it isn’t available 24 hours/day), two small items might be able to be printed. This is all trackable by the printer, of course. At first, a schedule/reserve may not be needed, but demand could push this to be a necessity.

This leaves two assessment plan possibilities: the schedule and the printer log. The schedule is a straightforward analysis, the number of open slots requested for use versus the number of total slots available gives a percentage of in-use time. If the printers’ access is controlled by the librarian, or open to general use, this measure is implemented in similar ways. The printer log is similarly straight forward, just compare its start and finish times to when the library is open (ore the making area is accessible) to determine total percentage use.

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Design Post for May 19

I am assuming that a learner’s initial interaction with the space is curiosity about what the printer is doing and the propensity for people to read colorful, attractive posters. I’m also assuming that an area set aside with predominately non-computer equipment will draw some interest from people, especially if it is labelled with a banner or sign with “Creation Corner” or something similar. Seeing the printer in action, I am assuming, will draw at least some people to learn more about it.

While interviewing people, I asked what they would print if they had access to a 3D printer. While many of the responses were quite similar, essentially just printing out a personal tchotchke, some responses were personal and unique. Using these unique responses as demonstration pieces (e.g eyeglass frame, shoes, bow & arrow), place them out in an area where people can see and touch them and be informed that they were created by students for various uses. (No need to worry about them walking away, more can just be printed.)

The experience could look like this: A student in the library walks past the display case and sees something interesting. Above it, there’s a poster which says that the piece is a model of an engine and is moveable. She picks it up, moves the pistons around a bit, seeing how they interact with other parts and thinks “that’s pretty neat”. The sign nearby explains that another student used this is a class presentation as a visual aid instead of just a drawing. While this is does not immediately cause her to do anything, the next day while she is eating lunch with group members, she mentions the device she saw. Other people’s curiosity is piqued, and she heads back to the library later to talk to the librarian about the 3D printer in the crafting room. There, she is exposed to other crafting and making resources, which she may or may not look at immediately, but will be exposed to through her use of the printer.

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Design Post for May 12

Incredible artistic ability

Incredible artistic ability

1. Setting the Scene: The library, a nice place to study and not be isolated in a dorm room.

2. The Strange Box: “What’s that strange box over there?”

3. More Peculiarities: “What are those two holding and talking about?”

4. Realization: “That box is making something by melting plastic”

5. Possibilities: Posters showing the various and unique uses of 3D printing in medicine, education, etc.

6. Inquiry: How do I get to use that new box over there?

Lana is on her way to study in the library, which she likes so she doesn’t have to feel alone in her room. Off to the side of the open study area, she sees a new piece of equipment she hasn’t noticed before, and a couple of people are standing around talking about something one of them is holding. Out of curiosity, Lana heads over to look at the box. She reads the posters nearby and learns that the box is a 3D printer and 3D printing has been used in the medical field, scientific research, education, and many other pursuits. Her interest piqued, she heads over to the tech desk to find out how she can use the printer.

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Design Post for May 5

The learners are people who are just discovering this as an activity to help other pursuits (both personal and educational). It is important to not hinder those who are already familiar with the technology, so try to build a community for them.


Persona Lana

Lana is an art history major. She has watched her mother sew costumes before, but isn’t really exposed to creating things herself. She likes studying in the library because other people are around also studying. She enjoys dancing and is just learning about period (historical) dance. While she likes being exposed to new things, she doesn’t have much patience for investing a lot of time before seeing some results. Lana needs a way to easily incorporate her creative ideas without spending a lot of time in learning how.


Persona Mark

Mark is a biology major. He is attracted to the biotech industry and is interested in the both between biological research and how biological research is conducted. He has a libertarian bent and likes discussing hypothetical and legal ramifications of new technology, especially on how it relates to the general public. He is not very interested in mechanical engineering, but does like what ME has contributed to biology. Mark needs an area which contextualizes what can be currently accomplished.

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Design Project Post for April 28

This place is special because it is not built, yet. The university has not decided how many resources to commit to it, so I can present my design based on that scale. The three possible spaces are currently designated as: a large conference room, a multiple person study room, and cubicle space. While similar spaces exist commercially and are appearing in local libraries, this space is on a university campus. The activity is frequently viewed as “hobbyist”, which may not appear to belong at an institution of higher learning. However, I believe the applications of this new technology will extend into many educational fields.

The learning in such a space is similar to prototype development, in that a physical object is created and several iterations of creation may be required to bring the ephemeral idea into physical being. As a technology just entering a price range approachable for consumer use, the learning will not necessarily focus on creating things, but on how such things can be employed elsewhere (e.g. in a student presentation).

The insight that constrains my design is the allocated space. With just a cubicle space, only one printer can be used. With a slightly lager space, maybe 2-3. In a very larger space, multiple printers and other equipment can be housed.

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Design Project Post for April 21

I was initially looking at spaces like the Hacker Dojo and Tech Shop to improve, but found the topic too far afield to be approached. Now I’m looking at the SUL building in construction, designing a making/crafting space with 3D printing.

The stakeholders are the Stanford University Library, represented by Beth McCullough.

I connected with them through Karin.

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Learning Space Observation: Hacker Dojo

At the entrance, there is a computer and fob reader for login, this allows other people to see that you are there (via a webpage). This is great for collaborators and other people who are interested in working with you or talking to you.

The space is a large warehouse that has been converted. Besides the entrance there is a recreation room, kitchen, but the majority of the space is workspace. The rec area has a pool table and ping pong table and there are bookcases around the outside. It looks to be that the books are intended to be used as a reference, but they are old (for software books) and don’t seem to be referenced. The kitchen is in the middle of the warehouse, with the workspace completely surrounding it.

The workspace furniture looks to be from various donations (not a consistent model) and there are some computer monitors for use. There is plenty of power, ethernet, and wireless network access. There are a handful of previous generation 3D printers.

People come to the space to learn about the 3D printer, generally by using it. Other people use the space like a library space, just somewhere to go that isn’t work or home that is conducive to getting stuff done. Like a software development office environment, a lot of the learning is self-driven (web lookups), but some people ask each other questions, especially if they know the other person has experience with the subject at hand.

The space helps people learn by being a gathering point and providing services. Being away from distractions, having internet connectivity, and standing in as an office with a web page to know when people are in are what the space contributes in this continuing, informal learning environment.

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All Presentations for Class

All presentations from class are available for viewing here

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Experience and Assessment EBF Kitchen

I have reduced the redesign of the kitchen to 3 critical factors.

1)   The culture surrounding the job of cook

2)   The signage and other type of tacit instruction/feedback

3)   The flexibility and intuitiveness of the space itself.

In order to gauge these I am currently performing 2 surveys and have had a tour through the kitchen with a non-resident.

For assessing the culture around the job of cook, I decided to assess the houses’ feeling of connectedness as well as some other measures like number of unaccounted missed jobs and self-reported time spent on jobs that weren’t assigned. I also placed a few simple signs around the kitchen with QR codes linking to a survey asking about the reader’s reaction.

The survey of connectedness was mostly populated with positive answers. Most residents agree they can speak to someone else in the house and that the environment allows for change. There was, however, a single resident who reported “giving up on the house”. To me, if even one person reports this than we have failed at creating an equitable community. Moreover the shallowness and predictability of the replies didn’t tell me much about feelings of connectedness.

As of yet, 0 people have scanned the QR codes or found my survey. It is clear that no one in the house wants to use electronic forms of communication. This is also in combination with my impression of how emails are received in the house.

On the kitchen tour, my new person, was mostly struck by the anarchy around the storage place. They weren’t sure where they would put anything back and said they would likely just choose any old place. They liked the neat snack boxes in the pantry and the fact that they were all labeled. They suggested the same type of organization for utensils.

Combining this and the kitchen tour have given me an idea of what type of experiences I would like to add to the house as well as methods of assessing their success.


Jobs Board – A publically displayed schedule with everyone’s weekly and quarterly responsibility clearly laid out. This has been set-up in the kitchen and each resident was allowed to add their own little pendant to represent themselves. Hopefully this will add more fun and engagement to the rather dry jobs system.

Rez Points – A system I hope to suggest for next year in which resident’s and manager’s can give and receive points for pro-social actions in the house. Points can be taken away only in the event of missed jobs and responsibilities. Some point earning actions could include cooking workshops, helping out on a crew you aren’t on, and other informal positive actions.

Abnormally Large Wall of Feedback – I simply want a large whiteboard that is broken down into categories like “Food”, “House”, “Fun”, etc where residents are encouraged to write and respond to others thoughts. There is no place for manager replies but managers should monitor this board.

PostUrMeal – Cooks will be encouraged to write their menu on another large wall of white construction paper each week. Residents can draw pictures of what they liked or add anything they want. At the end of the week these will be recorded digitally and stored on a house blog for posterity.

HouseMeetings during meals – Finally I want to make sure house meetings happen during meal times given our abysmal attendance rate.




The assessment of the success will mostly be performed by next years managers. This is certainly one of the largest and oddest difficulties of creating and maintaining such a transient community. While there are many motivated and caring people, a year is simply not long enough to create a meaningful connection to a space. Hopefully some of these design choices will allow some creation of a cultural legacy and identity. Here are some factors that will be important to observe next year:


Amount of Feedback on wall

Character of feedback on wall

Amount of wasted food

Amount and character of interaction at house meetings

General attitudes about the house, can be assessed through surveys in person

Amount of meals put into the PostUrMeal

How many times PostUrMeal is visited

Number of independent projects done for the house without manager prompting

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Thanks for showing us a great resource

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for a fantastic class, it was nice meeting all of you, and I hope you have a wonderful summer. A thanks so much to Johnny and Haley for letting us know about CASEL, it has provided some awesome insight for our project on socio-emotional learning. If anyone is interested in their work, check out their website:

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