The Electronics Workbench is a new space in the Duderstadt Center. The Electronics Workbench has two soldering irons, an assortment of tools, and various electronic components and wire. It is intended for prototyping interactive projects, especially those that involve DIY electronics.
Last month we gave the first round of orientations for the space to get the Design Lab 1 consultants up to speed, and we are now ready to open the workbench up to students who have projects that could benefit from such a space. Due to the current size of the space, user access will be limited on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in gaining access to the space, or if you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(70s DIYer paradise, many subjects, go download a pdf)
I kind of imagined that eventually the group would move towards the idea of of doing larger projects. These initiatives definitely required people as much as they required resources. Despite many people I know saying they would like to come and that they would come on mondays 6-8 pm, the amount of people who really showed up was about 2-4 per meeting for the only three meetings which ever happened, all of the attendees assuring that they pretty much couldn’t make it every week even though they’d like to. It was a quick realization that:
a) if you start a work-intensive club a month into the semester, people are already pretty buszy with other cool junk and by extension don’t have that much time for it.
b) it’s kind of hard to build an authentic ‘community’ from a kind of abstract shared interest unless it truly serves a certain kind of need in people’s lives that makes it relevant for them to attend often. For example, the reason the cooperative I live at has a lot of member engagement is because engagement = food, cleanliness, and house maintenance. Community membership in a DIY electronics club = time commitment, potential learning experience despite overwhelming amount of learning experiences intrinsic in being a student, and the fact that it’s taking a risk on a developing organization and an organizer who doesn’t actually know the real know-how about what they want to do (me). It really has to be something necessary to people’s lives in a big way in order for them to prioritize it, and on those terms I understand why not many people were able to make that commitment.
It was an experiment to see if something cool could develop, and in truth a few excellent ideas did come up which might be realized still. One special one is repurposing an intercom system I own into a 20-speaker PA system which would definitely still be a good time. And we were talking about building some Atari Punk Consoles, if you’d like to talk about either of these things, you can come see me on Monday nights at DL1. Here are some interesting DIY books for your free downloading pleasure:
(make your own inflatable architecture) http://www.letsremake.info/PDFs/inflatocookbook.pdf
Here are some links/descriptions!
This is a really catchy 90s alternative rock record which super-consultant Elly Schmitt played on and did wizard stuff to in neighbouring town Ypsilanti:
Conor Barry’s group, Men of the Cloth
This is a scary 7” from wonders-maker/consultant Simon Alexander-Adams:
With the parabolic speaker over the purple couch hang out space I’m also going to be setting up a ‘music gallery’ with only Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti musicians featured on an interface used exclusively for that purpose. It’ll be a cool place to discover what’s going on round here – so that’s something to look out for.