SHED presents the RIT Maker Community

Nearly 70 different RIT student teams and clubs are poised to move into the Student Hall for Exploration and Development (SHED) this summer in preparation for the building’s official opening in the fall semester. The SHED will centralize RIT’s maker community, bringing together many of the performance teams, various other maker clubs and organizations, and a growing number of performing arts groups.

SHED’s glass construction will showcase student creativity and embody RIT’s unique blend of technology, art and design envisioned by RIT President David Munson. Passers-by and visitors to the campus see students on three levels in maker spaces, beginning with high school, and in extra-large classrooms, located on the third and fourth floors.

The baccalaureate is divided into two zones which will house an open maker area and wood and metal shops on one side and seven of RIT’s performance teams competing in national and international competitions on the other.

Gabrielle Plucknette-DeVito

The interior of the SHED is taking shape. Student groups can be found throughout the building.

Thirty clubs and organizations will use the three floors of themed Maker Spaces, and another 30 performing arts groups will use the music rehearsal rooms, dance studios and the Sklarsky Glass Box Theatre. According to Michael Buffalin IV, Director of the SHED Makerspace, the closeness of the various teams and clubs is intended to inspire cross-fertilization and collaboration throughout the building.

“One team could be really great at composites and another could start dabbling at it, and when they’re co-located, you see this sharing of talent and ideas that will hopefully accelerate the capabilities of some of those teams,” he said buffalo

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Shortly after the SHED project was announced, a cross-divisional planning team led by Christine Licata, RIT vice president of academic affairs, asked students in performance teams, clubs and organizations to share their vision of how they might use the space in the new building. While many of the students consulted at the beginning of the project have now graduated, their feedback – from a place to meet and work or practice, and access to technology and storage space – helped the SHED planning group adapt imagining what student teams, clubs and organizations would be like populating the facility.

Another seven resident A-level performance teams are grouped into “neighborhoods” – Electric Vehicles (Hot Wheelz and the Electric Vehicle Team), Robotics (VEX and Multi-Disciplinary Robot Club), and Aerospace (Launch Initiative and Aero Design). , and the Steel Bridge team will occupy its own space. The SHED planning group selected these teams based on criteria developed by the President and Provost to ensure representation of different types of teams at RIT, Licata said.

High-profile performance teams that run internal combustion engines and require additional space and infrastructure with dedicated ventilation – Baja, Formula One and Clean Snowmobile – will remain in their existing machine shops at Kate Gleason College of Engineering and Slaughter Hall. SHED’s Brooks H. Brower Maker Showcase features vehicles from previous competitions.

Contribution from student teams and from the student government that funds the clubs is key to SHED’s success, said Martin Gordon, professor of manufacturing and engineering technology. “We don’t want to build it and see if they come. We want to build it and hit the ground running.”

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A residency board will give teams a voice and review occupancy. “There are clubs that aren’t even there today that will find themselves there,” said Gordon.

The first floor of SHED will house a collaborative maker space and a classroom maker space, Buffalin said. He explained that the thematic Maker Spaces on the Abitur and on the first and second floors are intended to support the development of an idea. Various technologies will facilitate ideation, prototyping, building and testing, including core and 3D printing, woodworking, metalworking, textiles and electronics. Different teams will use each maker space, and some teams may discover new uses they hadn’t previously considered, Buffaloin said.

Maker Spaces are open to on-campus clubs and students looking to join or start a new club.

“We’re looking at the heavy users of our metal shops, and they might be more of the performance teams that are on our high school,” Buffalin said. “Then we look at our textiles and electronics space and the performing arts groups could be super users in that space. On a given day, they may share the space with the Neurodiversity Exploration Team to create things like a wearable brain-computer interface system, and sew floating vinyl pontoons together with a senior design team.”

Performing artists will have a large presence at SHED through music, dance and theater classes and clubs. Outside of class hours, student performing arts clubs can reserve the dance studios and ensemble spaces, including a “plug and play” room for musicians to experiment and record their sessions, and five soundproof rehearsal rooms on the A level.

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The creative potential of 3D printing capabilities, textiles, woodworking, augmented reality/virtual reality, projections and motion capture technology for set design offer new opportunities for productions at the Sklarsky Glass Box Theatre, said Ben Willmott, operations director for performing arts at the School of Performing Arts. “The SHED will allow us to take this innovative path in a way that has not been possible for us in the past.”

The new learning spaces offer new ways to schedule RIT/NTID performing arts courses such as: B. a costume course in the fall semester. Willmott and Buffalin consider hosting the class at SHED’s textile mill.

“It’s going to be a natural collaboration and partnership,” Willmott said.

SHED was made possible through Transforming RIT: The Campaign for Greatness, a mixed fundraising campaign.