ASU's CreatorSpace teaches students tech skills through crafts

The club holds events that range from laser-cutting pumpkins to Bob Ross paint nights

Back on ASU's campus after a two-year hiatus, CreatorSpace is here to develop students’ technological skills through the creation of original and exciting artworks by complex industrial machines. 

The club hosts a wide array of different events, most notably 3D printing workshops, laser-cutting and a Bob Ross-themed painting activity. The broad spectrum of events is not only meant to attract a hefty amount of people, but it is also supposed to teach students about technology and hone new creative skills.

Akil James, the club's communications director and a junior studying human systems engineering, said learning how to use laser cutters or 3D printers is actually quite easy to do.

"When we create something, we want to make sure that every single person can at least walk out that night with something tangible," he said.

It's the software behind the technology that's hard to comprehend, James said, but the goal of getting students to use these machines is to explore creativity, and they don't need to be engineers to do that.

“I don’t want them necessarily to feel like they have to ... know exactly what they just did," he said. "But the idea (is) that they can actually understand what might be possible with what they’re using.”

Maureen Van Dobben, the club's project coordinator and a senior digital culture major, said a major force behind starting the club was an interest in fostering a community of makers who are “learning new skills, learning how to be creative in different ways that you don’t typically in a classroom setting."

Though the prospect of lasers and other heavy-duty machines may seem daunting for some, the events are created in a way where one can walk in not knowing a thing about a certain piece of technology and walk out having learned something while creating something physical.

“The real idea we have is to give (the students) something tangible so (they) can be like ‘I made this, I learned a skill today, and I learned something today that I didn’t know yesterday,’” Van Dobben said. 

Through this sense of completion, CreatorSpace hopes that students are not just encouraged to come back, but are excited or feel accomplished enough to continue to explore and develop skills. 

The next CreatorSpace event, which revolves around laser-cutting pumpkins, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 4-7 p.m. The following event will take place Nov. 15 and will focus on sewing DIY patches

Hannah Wheeler, the club's financial officer and a senior digital culture major, said being a relatively new club has given CreatorSpace a lot of freedom in planning events around any topic that interests them.

"We can just be like, 'This looks good, this looks fun, let's try this,'" she said.

Wheeler said CreatorSpace is also always open to new ideas.

“If there’s anyone that ever comes in and is like, ‘I want to learn this,’ it would be pretty well-received,” she said.  


 Reach the reporter at cjbarney@asu.edu and follow @clintonjbarney on Twitter.

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