Announcing the 2021 Design Lab Internship Program!

The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Libary's Shapiro Design Lab (SDL) seeks undergraduates to be Design Lab Interns. Interns will assist with specific projects of the Lab, provide virtual consultations and assistance associated with the Media Production Rooms and Workshop resources, participate in the broader learning communities of the Lab, and take on leadership roles to help grow the Lab with their own ideas and passions.

(If you’re a graduate student and interested in working in the Design Lab, please see the posting for our Residency program!)

New to the program this year, students from the U-M Flint and U-M Dearborn campuses are eligible to apply.

Design Lab Interns are students at any stage of their undergraduate education that work on projects which fall under the Design Lab’s three themes:

Disability Culture // Accessibility

Projects focus on improving accessibility through a piece of technology, making a piece of technology more accessible, or advancing the development of Disability Culture within the University and wider community.

Audio Storytelling // Podcasting

Projects involve making, editing, and distributing long-form audio stories or an ongoing, multi-episode podcast. Can also include working with community partners on local audio recovery projects.

Community Knowledge Partnerships 

Projects involve sustained engagement and/or partnership with communities beyond the University of Michigan, and prioritize and center the communities’ knowledge and lived experiences.

Below are examples of projects that Design Lab students and staff have worked on over the past five years: 

  • exploring and creating tactile maps, diagrams, and images for greater accessibility
  • exploring and creating workflows for more accessible gaming hardware 
  • transcribing and editing oral history interviews and presentations
  • crowdsourcing transcription projects on the Zooniverse platform with materials from the U-M Library's Orson Welles Collection, La Brea Tar Pits, University of Michigan Biological Station, and more
  • an online forum on how libraries and museums can better support environmental justice community activists
  • assisting with the repatriation of Indigenous materials
  • developing a mobile game to educate players about climate change
  • creative projects like podcasts, magazines, visual art, and other forms of media on a wide variety of topics

Responsibilities:

  • Work a minimum of 10 hours per week up to a maximum of 15 hours per week at $13/hour 
  • Assist with completion of Design Lab Projects
  • Using Adobe Illustrator and other graphic design software to simplify and translate textbook graphics into braille and prepare them for tactile printing
  • Utilizing Python-based forms of OCR (optical character recognition) and methods of data analysis (including aspects of machine learning) to understand and analyze historical written data from crowdsourcing projects 
  • Share your project progress with fellow Interns,  Residents, the Design Lab community, and (where applicable) on the Lab’s blog, Lab Notes
  • Provide peer consultation and instruction to Design Lab users and community members 
  • Assistance with learning software/hardware
  • Troubleshooting
  • Exploring and developing your own interests and talents as part of the learning community
  • Engage in bi-weekly meeting about project progress with the the Design Lab team

Given the shifting reality of living, learning, and working during a pandemic, much of the activities outlined above will be done virtually, with in-person work and meetings when safety and conditions allow. 

Qualifications

  • Experience using maker technologies with an emphasis on digital fabrication, and/or media production
  • Dependable and timely communication across multiple media
  • Demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and work independently
  • Ability and desire to work both collaboratively and cooperatively in the service of building a learning community in the Lab
  • Interest in collaborating with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints
  • Ability to respond to changing needs within a project and with the Design Lab overall, given its exploratory and experimental character
  • Passion for and alignment with the Design Lab’s principles

Desired Qualifications

Experience with: 

  • Intermediate electronics (circuit boards, Arduinos/Raspberry Pi, IoT devices
  • Additive and subtractive fabrication (3D printers, laser cutters, CNC, )
  • Audio/Video equipment and software
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Graphic Design
  • Data analysis, especially with R- or Python-based packages, as well as experience with machine learning concepts 

To apply, please complete an online application (including uploading your resume) by September 20, 2021. If you have any questions, please email shapirodesignlab@umich.edu.

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