I’ve always been interested in architecture. When I was little, I used to build houses out of wood, draw floor plans of my room, and play on interior design apps. As I got older, I started watching a lot of HGTV and going around the city taking photos of different buildings.
Last year, I joined Project 2050, a club that focuses on how we as a society can adapt to the environmental and societal impacts that are predicted by the year 2050. I started working on an architectural project on sustainable development and wanted to continue working on it, since it focuses on ensuring a better future. This year, I chose Design and Innovation as my elective. For the first couple of months, we learned how to use different tools in the Fab Lab and got to make a bunch of different things and, in December, we started planning our end-of-year project. Every student in the class has to come up with their own invention or concept and present it in May at the Design Fair. Because I had done a lot of research for my sustainable development project and I was really passionate about it, I decided to use it as my final project. Originally, I wanted to create floor plans and a model of my community. I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to have time to do everything that I had planned to do, so I learned how to adapt. I have no idea why, but for some reason, I thought that I would be able to complete a job that takes architects and developers years to do, in the span of five months.
I decided to create a website instead, so I started learning HTML and CSS. I never expected to be learning how to code and I thought that I would probably be using the laser cutter and not much else. Being in Design and Innovation has taught me how to better adapt to situations quickly and how to work more independently. The experience that I’ve gotten so far has been great and has opened the door for so many opportunities.
Besides being in the class and in Project 2050, I’m also lucky enough to be going to San Francisco for a week in June with 10 other LCC students. The purpose of the trip is to meet entrepreneurs, visit the Google and Facebook head offices, and get a better understanding of the evolving tech community. I’m really into law and debating, but because of everything I’ve learned since I started using the Fab Lab, I’m considering going into a more tech-centred job.
Even if you aren’t interested in any of these things, and you’re not a part of any design challenge or club, the Fab Lab is still open to you. If you’re into science, there’s a doctor who is looking for students’ help in making 3D printed prosthetics for his patients. If you really like fashion, there are sewing classes every week in the Lab, there are professionals that come in every once in a while to teach courses, and the Fab Fashion challenge is going on right now. Even if you’re really into art but not that great at using technology, you can help come up with sketches for a public sculpture competition being held in NDG, or you can learn how to use different software to make your sketches a reality. No matter your interest, there’s some type of opportunity available for you in the Fab Lab.
I know you’ve all heard people say that we’re so lucky to have the resources available to us at LCC, but the fact is, that’s true. Because our Fab Lab is part of the International network of Fab Labs, your inventions can get recognized all around the world through Instagram. You might not think that Design and Innovation is for you, but you might be surprised and learn something new, just like I was. – Ella Waxman ’19