The Lab: DIY Electronic Accessories The carolina union at the intersection of circuitry and design

The Lab hosted its first workshop of the year, DIY Electronic Accessories, with Be a Maker Space on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Kenan Sciences Library Makerspace. The workshop allowed students to get hands-on in creating bracelets from conductive tools.

After an informative presentation showing how new technologies have influenced design, students learned first-hand why hands-on making remains a vital tool in creativity and the design process. Throughout the process, they learned about basic circuit systems, LED lights, and even a little sewing. What were individual materials at the beginning of the night, became felt bracelets that lit up when the snaps were closed together.

"It was a really neat experience to think about design from a new, more mechanical perspective rather than just the visual. Having someone present a new outlet of creativity to me was so fun," said Allison Lyles, a senior graphic design major at UNC and design assistant at the Carolina Union.

The Lab, led by the Carolina Union Communications & Creative Services department, is a workshop series that focuses on design and creativity. It provides students of all majors and artistic ability with the opportunity to exercise their creativity and understand design as it relates to their own lives. The Lab partnered with BeAM for this workshop.

"It was a really neat experience to think about design from a new, more mechanical perspective rather than just the visual."

BeAM, or Be A Maker, is a network of makerspaces across UNC’s campus equipped with 3D printing technologies, wood and metalworking shops, and other tools to turn various materials into art and solutions for scientific and technical challenges. Like The Lab, BeAM opens its door to all Tar Heels.

Kenan Science Librarian, David Romito instructs students on creating LED light-up bracelets

This collaboration manifested into a fun, interactive learning environment. By the end of the night, students went home with not only an expanded knowledge of circuits, but a memorable creative experience and LED light-up bracelets.

The Lab workshops are categorized into three classifications: hands-on creativity, thought provocation, and basic skills/career building. Sessions have limited spots, but they are free and open to all UNC students who register to attend. Sign up if you are interested in experiencing design first-hand!

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Christine Bang - UNC '17
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