Prototyping to Design CDI Studio Programs

Building a climate of invention and iteration

exploring rapid prototyping and collaborative design to shape curricula and learning spaces

Collaborations for Knowledge

The Maker approach develops experimentation, engagement and agency over learning, teaches the process of design through play and exploration, and creates a climate of invention and iteration. We’re excited to offer the community the opportunity to explore our new labs, growing in capacities, as CDI prototypes experiences in active learning to cultivate creative, flexible habits of mind in learners of all ages.

We do not know of another experience like MAKEnight, a themed, immersive, all-ages and all-media opportunity to explore creative, hands-on problem solving. CDI devised a different MAKEnight each month in 2017-2018, a chance for students, faculty, and members of the community to dive into immersive, hands-on learning on a particular theme. Each evening offered different opportunities to participate, clean (high tech) and dirty (tools!), easy and difficult, rapid and immersive learning experiences.

Five iterations of the program, BIKEnight, PAPERnight, MUSICnight, LEGOnight and STORYnight, reached 1000 participants, testing ways the labs at CDI (3-D lab, electronics, CUBE, shop, outdoorlab, kitchen, and public design spaces serve varied learners and  practices via in hands-on design-based programs. Towns led the CDI team in careful critique and revision of each iteration. This design process led to significant discovery about the potential role of rapid prototyping and collaborative process in designing spaces for learning and course and curriculum design.

To illustrate, the second evening focused on BIKES.

  • We partnered an exercise physiologist with a bike fit expert to explore the physiological reasons for effectiveness of certain measurement choices.
  • A local chef led participants to create energy snacks with county nutritionist on hand to explore the science.
  • A bike mechanic and solar bike creator led repair course
  • GIS expert from City of Winston led exploration of different mapping softwares.
  • WS Bike-Ped coordinator shared details of the city’s bike-ped plan in the design space
  • CDI’s system architect and a local engineer shared the construction of an electronic bike sensor project from CDI 1.0, now used by the DOT.
  • In the shop, participants designed different bike racks that CDI could implement on our own grounds in a design workshop led by a local maker.

Several collaborations in community engagement, social entrepreneurship, business and alternative energy collaborations emerged from this program and are ongoing 9 months later.