2018-19 Shapiro Design Lab Residency - Call for Applications

The Shapiro Design Lab hopes to hire multiple Residents for the 2018-19 academic year to assist in a variety of projects under our themes of Open Accessibility and Community and Citizen Science. This year’s iteration of the Residency is slightly different than previous years’ cohorts, as the Lab defines project areas that Residents could work within, rather than proposing their own separate projects. Our goal for this year is to experiment with aligning the Residents’ work directly with projects going on in the Lab, while still being committed to an immersive and interdisciplinary learning experience with fellow Residents and the rest of the Shapiro Design Lab’s student staff.

The overall Residency work will consist of two components within each theme:

  • Leading and/or facilitating a project or projects within the themes of Open Accessibility and Community and Citizen Science (more details below on specific projects)
  • Contributing to community development around these themes, which will include connecting with already-existing groups on campus or helping to develop new ones, as well as consulting with students, staff, and faculty who have project ideas in this area

Open Accessibility

The Resident(s) will be responsible for organizing/leading/facilitating explorations into the use of Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality for accessibility projects (including wayfinding in the Library) as well as working with the Lab’s other student staff (including Developers, Interns, and Program Assistants) on a variety of accessibility projects.

  • Exploring and utilizing Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality (AVMR) for wayfinding and other accessibility projects
  • 3D-printed tactile maps and other interactive projects (such as the Tactile Universe)
  • Web accessibility checklists
  • Algorithmic audio transcription

The Resident(s) will also be responsible for communicating/liaising between the Design Lab and other accessibility groups within the Library and on campus more generally, including the Council for Disability Concerns, the Knox Center for Adaptive Technology, and Services for Students with Disabilities.

Community and Citizen Science

The Resident(s) will facilitate and lead projects related to Community and Citizen Science.

  • Coordinating a Community of Practice and Project Incubator on the topic, bringing together interested students, staff, and faculty, as well as members of the wider Ann Arbor-Detroit community
  • Developing and running projects on the Zooniverse crowdsourcing platform, both within the Library and assisting with Faculty and Graduate student projects
  • Exploring the use of machine learning to identify specific species within image-based crowdsourcing projects
  • Community science projects such as air quality monitoring and community mapping with groups in Dearborn and Detroit
  • Working with the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History to develop a Community and Citizen Science kiosk in the new Biological Sciences Building (opening in 2019)
  • Access and Preservation of Federal Climate Adaptation Information, in partnership with the Science to Action Community and the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI)

In addition, the Design Lab supports a variety of media storytelling projects, especially podcasts, oral histories, and video games. If you have specific skills and/or interest in working with the Lab in these areas, please apply!

Please keep in mind that we have multiple positions available for each theme, and no one Resident is expected to have interest and/or skills in all of these projects. Residents hired will be collaborating with other members of the Design Lab student staff, including Interns, Developers, and Program Assistants.  

Roles + Responsibilities

All Residents will be required to do the following:

  • Work a minimum of 10 hours per week, up to a maximum of 15 hours per week at $16/hour. We expect work primarily to occur in the Shapiro Design Lab, with some understanding that project work will most likely need to happen elsewhere on or off campus.
  • Join the entire Lab community one night a week for updates, project sharing, and informal co-learning
  • Document their experience and work in a variety of forms (blog posts, audio, video, and photo). Training in unfamiliar areas will be provided.
  • Attend at least three workshops organized by the Design Lab, some taught by colleagues within the Lab, others offered on different parts of campus. Residents are strongly encouraged to suggest areas they would like to learn more about, as well as share their own expertise with fellow Design Lab staff and the campus community.

Required Qualifications

  • Interest, background, and/or experience in one or more of the project areas listed above
  • Interest in and/or experience with interdisciplinary collaboration and peer learning
  • Responsibility and reliability in accomplishing projects
  • Effective and prompt communication across multiple media
  • Interest in collaborating with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints
  • Self-motivated and self-starting
  • Ability to respond to changing needs within the Lab, given its exploratory and experimental character

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated interest in sharing work with others in formal and informal ways (blogs, Github, public scholarship, social media, etc)
  • Desire for developing skills and learning beyond what they learn in the classroom, both technical and interpersonal


To Apply: please fill out this online application form and submit a resume/CV to shapirodesignlab@umich.edu by September 24, 2018.