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Lindenwood's MakerSpace Brings Endless Possibilities

Collaborative Space Consolidates Studios

The Lindenwood University campus has undergone nearly constant growth and change during its almost 200-year history. Many of those improvements are visible as the campus has become the crown jewel of St. Charles with its beautiful buildings and effective mix of old and new structures. Yet not all improvements are observable from Highway 94. A recent expansion was completed in one of the more mature spaces on campus with an eye toward the future.

The MakerSpace combines many aspects of the artistic and technological components of the university. Located in Butler Loft, MakerSpace was a brainchild of many and the inspiration for making the most out of an old space that once, in the school's past, housed a gymnasium. The consolidated location offers access to equipment that had been spread throughout the campus.

Courses offered in art and design meet in this area, with many of the most advanced technologies available to the departments, including 3D printers and laser cutters; it also includes more traditional sewing machines, kilns, and pottery wheels.

“Currently, this space houses six classes within the Art and Design coursework,” stated assistant professor Joe Weber, “but the beauty of this space is that it is open to the entire Lindenwood community.”

Classes include design, fabrication, ceramics, painting, drawing, and print making--that now uses laser cutters instead of chemicals, which had been the norm just a few years ago. This is much safer and OSHA compatible. Now, safety training occurs on a number of different pieces of equipment in one unified place.

Faculty, staff, and students may work on projects close to their hearts, using the state-of-the-art equipment now available to them. “With multiple studios under one roof, we hope to maximize the use of this area,” Professor Weber stated. “The possibilities are endless.

"It is an open area for the most part and is open until late night so that all may benefit when the time best fits their hectic schedules. Collaboration is enhanced with the open area, and students and staff can help inspire each other as they work almost side by side."

MakerSpace is still in its initial stages and the hope of many is that it will continue to expand to meet the growing needs of Lindenwood students, faculty and staff. As new technology and equipment becomes available, the studio will evolve and develop. This area reflects the Lindenwood's goal to meet the growing needs of a very diverse campus and community. The art and design world continues to expand, and this is yet another example of the university meeting the needs of the students as they prepare themselves for careers, and the staff as they remain at the forefront of their designated fields.

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