Making Studio

3 Credits / 15 Weeks
Course Description

As the impacts and consequences of mass production become better understood, designers are finding great attraction in the re-emergent fields of making, hacking, modding, and DIY. This course exposes students to techniques, tools, and resources for expanding what we can make ourselves. In-class workshops, field trips, and guest instructors will inform individual and group assignments around the creation of a small-scale handmade product line. Students will combine traditional and novel techniques and materials in electronics, computation, crafts, fabrication, entrepreneurship, and other do-it-yourself areas. The course will provide great emphasis on participating in online communities about making, and through the instructor, students will have opportunities for online exposure and access to a stellar network of innovators, hackers, hobbyists, and crafters producing DIY projects.

Course Objectives

Makers today have all the resources available to them to fully develop a product idea into a small business. Methods of fabrication like laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3D printing—once only available to large corporations-have recently become easily accessible for just about anyone. This course will offer an introduction to many kinds of making, including electronics/physical computing with Arduino, and will give the student the confidence to move well beyond ideation and concepting to creating products of design that are fully realized and fully functional.

Class Experience

This studio course will involve hands-on skill workshops in electronics and crafts, as well as field trips and in-class discussions and critiques. Individually or in small groups, students will create projects and/or products to release online in the form of how-to’s and web storefronts. Students will contribute to a class blog where they will share their progress and experiences. Inspired by instructor presentations, students will research and iterate their ideas with resources and skills from class and online. Potential partners in the class are MAKE/CRAFT, MakerBot, Etsy, and NYC Resistor hacker space.

Course Deliverables

Students in this course will come away with a set of tools to:

  • Experience new methods of making
  • Develop knowledge and hands-on skills in basic electronics and physical computing
  • Develop hands-on skills in student-selected crafts: knitting, sewing, soft circuits, jewelry, laser cutting, 3D printing
  • Create portfolio-building products and projects
  • Engage with a huge online maker community through sharing projects, groups, blogs, and events
  • Document projects through photography, video, and writing
  • Release tutorials online
  • Experience publishing projects as how-to manuals
  • Learn to self-promote online
  • Cultivate resources and confidence for creating a business around independent making
Related Reading

Tools & How to Use Them, by Albert Jackson
MAKE: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery, by Charles Platt
Getting Started with Arduino, by Massimo Banzi
Etsy business how-tos:
The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman
Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design, by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl
MAKE magazine
Wired magazine
ReadyMade magazine
Fashioning Technology:
Featured Instructables:
How to Get What You Want: