My first year at the Shapiro Design Lab is ending at this moment, as I sit in the Lab writing this blog post during my last Open Workshop shift. I have worked on many projects, consulted a few university course teams, and attended many campus-wide workshops. Through them all, I have gained a wonderfully positive view on the Lab and its ability to bring so much knowledge to one time and place.
After these two semesters, it only seems fitting that one of the last tasks was to capture a 360 picture of the Workshop. Let me explain. We had finally cleaned the space enough to take a decent photo (shown above), only to realize that we shouldn’t have people in the photo for our website. Of course, I said it was no problem and that I would retake the photo later on that week, but it turns out, the Workshop is a living, breathing organism in its teen years, refusing to clean up after itself.
Yet, it makes for a good blog post theme. You see, the Workshop is where most, if not all, of our collaborative projects and innovative ideas come to fruition. For just my part for example, the Lab is needed to 3D print parts for entrepreneurship courses, to record audio clips for a student passion project, and to bounce ideas around of perhaps recycling abandoned bicycles around campus. Staff and users are always coming and going, and it is a bit impossible to catch a still of the area when it is buzzing with activity. The Lab is where I began tackling imposters syndrome, where I gained confidence to hold consultations and, furthermore, give advice on projects, and where I signed up for a workshop on making hummus (which is one of my unexpected joys of the semester).
My attempts in capturing a 360 picture of the Design Lab allowed me to see the full picture: the full circle. This place has taught me about the starting of projects, discovering the ability to evolve your passions, and general well-roundedness by example. There are so many things that just have to be done to be learnt, and I will be taking many of these lessons with me as I continue to develop my skills as a mechanical engineer, citizen, and simply a human.