Innovation Through You

| Jennifer Cutinha

The DesignLab organizes a series of workshops every year to encourage students and staff from different disciplines to be able to build from their own ideas. Their first workshop of this year’s series ‘Intro to Solid Works’ was held yesterday. A member of the DreamTeam and one of the main organizers Dirk Wanders tells us more about them.

Photo by: Annemiek Klamer, DesignLab

What type of workshops are you organising?

‘We organize workshops for 3-D Modelling, Electronics, Laser Cutting, 3-D Printing, Wood Working and Arduino. We are now expanding to Virus Communication workshops where people can build their own long-range wireless communication device.’

Why do you organise them the way that you do?

‘There are a lot of things that you enjoy in your study. The one thing that I really like is to build the stuff you think of, and with the basic skills provided at these workshops, you can do so. We also try to keep the workshops entry-level so that people can improve their experience in the workshops and be able to build things themselves.’

Do you target certain disciplines of study with these workshops?

‘These kinds of workshops mostly interest Engineering students like Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Information Science students. But, we also have people from Communication Science and Psychology attending these workshops.’

Have there been some interesting and fascinating projects made in the past?

‘I made a robot arm controlled by a micro-controller, a while ago with a Bio-Medical Engineering student and couple of Mechanical Engineering students. In the past, we had designed a temporary audio-visual art installation, “From Twente with Love” which was part of the Amsterdam Light Festival. That was one of the best things we made! We also had a workshop about the “Internet Of Things” where elderly people were taught to use devices and researchers then build prototypes of devices to improve the live of elderly people. We are trying to be a place where people come together to build cool stuff, and this is also what the workshops are for.’