Position Opening: Shapiro Design Lab Program Assistant

The University of Michigan Library's Shapiro Design Lab (SDL) seeks two Masters'-level students to become Program Assistants and help direct this ever-evolving experimental space founded on peer learning, engaged learning, and interdisciplinarity. The Lab encompasses a variety of learning opportunities and projects within three different spaces, all located on the first floor of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library:

PIE Space (Prototype-Inspire-Explore):
An open area that features a Prototyping Cart, collaboration hub with 55” monitor, Design Library, whiteboards, large screens, and a repurposed vending machine, the Design-o-Matic 4000.

Media Production Rooms:
Two rooms offering a variety of tools and software that can be used for audio/video production, CAD, graphic design, and more. 

An area with a number of "making" tools (letterpress, sewing machine, vinyl cutter, soldering stations, 3D printers), as well as a collaboration hub and whiteboards. 

In addition, we have three communities of students who work in the Lab: Residents, graduate students who develop interdisciplinary and creative projects over the course of the year within the Lab; Interns, undergraduate students who assist in the day-to-day operations of the Lab and contribute to the communities of the Lab through workshops and consultations; and Student Developers, who explore and create experimental tools and applications for the future of the Library.

Finally, the SDL will focus on three themes for the 2017-18 academic year: 

The Citizen Lab, in partnership the School of Information's Citizen Interaction Design (CID) program, will support civic technology and citizen science projects here on campus and in conjunction with communities within and beyond Ann Arbor. In addition to developing their own project and gaining greater experience within these fields, they will assist with supporting CID courses and projects (along with other Design Lab staff members) as well as establishing the Citizen and Community Science Fellows program, a new program in partnership with the Museum of Natural History.

The Game Lab, which will serve as a hub for game developers, designers, and scholars on Central Campus, in conjunction with the Computer Video Game Archive on North Campus. Residents will spend the year developing a social impact game using the variety of resources within the Lab, while also helping build out the capabilities of the Lab to support gaming research and development on campus.

Library Lab, which will experiment with tools, services, and applications for the Library itself, in order to better understand the possibilities of how people can engage with the Library in all its forms. Residents will be expected to align their project with not only the larger goals of the Lab, but also with necessary partners within the Library (Collections, IT, etc).

Roles and Responsibilities

Each Program Assistant will focus on a different, but related part of the Lab, in conjunction with the Director. One will lead the coordination and management of the Design Lab's Interns and Residents and the day-to-day activities of the Lab, including staff scheduling, meeting facilitation, event planning, workshop design and presentation, and representing the Design Lab to audiences both within and beyond the University.

The other Program Assistant, in addition to assisting with the above tasks, will lead a new program within the Lab that focuses on engaged learning development projects for students. Utilizing the agile/scrum methodology, the Program Assistant will coordinate approximately 5 students in a variety of projects, ranging from internal, small-scale experiments within the Lab to contributing to large, open-source development projects like Zooniverse.

Program Assistants will be expected to work 15-20 hours per week at a rate of $20/hour. While much of the work should occur in the Shapiro Design Lab, we understand that some work will necessarily need to happen in other locations.

Required Qualifications

  • Current Masters student at the University of Michigan
  • Dependability and accountability
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and cooperatively
  • Capability for initiating projects and leadership
  • Experience supervising students (creating schedules, processing payroll, facilitating meetings, mentoring)
  • Software development and/or management experience (if applying for that part of PA)
  • Ability to respond to changing needs within the Lab, given its exploratory and experimental character
  • Interest in collaborating with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints

Desired Qualifications

  • Interest and experience in interdisciplinary scholarship and/or creative research, especially through the lens of the three themes listed above
  • Facilitation of partnerships across campus and with the broader community outside the University
  • Interest in various hands-on modes of learning
  • Planning and development of dynamic learning programs and communities

To apply, please fill out the following application and a CV/Resume to shapirodesignlab@umich.eduApplications will be accepted until September 8.

If you have any questions, please email shapirodesignlab@umich.edu.