Position Opening: Shapiro Design Lab Residency

August 9, 2017

The Shapiro Design Lab Residency is a graduate student peer-learning community that focuses on fostering interdisciplinary and collaborative projects from all parts of the University, building practical skills for life after graduation, and helping to grow the Shapiro Design Lab’s learning communities. It is a hybrid position, with an even distribution of effort towards a student's project and developing the programs and spaces of the Shapiro Design Lab, in collaboration with other Lab staff: undergraduate Interns, graduate student Program Assistants, and undergraduate/graduate student developers.

The University of Michigan Library's Shapiro Design Lab is an ever-evolving experimental space founded on peer learning, engaged learning, and interdisciplinarity. It encompasses three different areas on the first floor of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library:

PIE Space (Prototype-Inspire-Explore): 
An open area that features a Prototyping Cart, collaboration hub with 55” monitor, Design Library, whiteboards, large screens, and a repurposed vending machine, the Design-o-Matic 4000.

Media Production Rooms:
Two rooms offering a variety of tools and software that can be used for audio/video production, CAD, graphic design, and more. 

An area with a number of "making" tools (letterpress, sewing machine, vinyl cutter, soldering stations, 3D printers), as well as a collaboration hub and whiteboards. 

For the 2017-18 Academic Year, the Resident projects should fit within the three themes of the Design Lab:

The Citizen Lab, in partnership the School of Information's Citizen Interaction Design (CID) program, will support civic technology and citizen science projects here on campus and in conjunction with communities within and beyond Ann Arbor. In addition to developing their own project and gaining greater experience within these areas of research and practice, Residents will assist with supporting CID courses and projects (along with other Design Lab staff members) and help develop the citizen science work within the Lab.

The Game Lab will serve as a hub for game developers, designers, and scholars on Central Campus, in conjunction with the Computer Video Game Archive on North Campus. Residents will spend the year developing a social impact game using the variety of resources within the Lab, while also helping build out the capabilities of the Lab to support gaming research and development on campus.

The Library Lab will experiment with tools, services, and applications for the Library itself, in order to better understand the possibilities of how people can engage with the Library in all its forms. Residents will be expected to align their project with not only the larger goals of the Lab, but also with necessary partners within the Library (Collections, IT, etc).

Roles and Responsibilities of Residents

As noted above, the Residency is a one-year, hybrid position, with an even distribution of time toward your own project and the development of the Design Lab. Residents will be expected to a work a minimum of 10 hours per week, up to a maximum of 15 hours per week at $16/hour. We expect work primarily to occur in the Design Lab, with some understanding that project work will most likely need to happen elsewhere on or off campus. 

In addition to any specialized focus or responsibility noted above for specific Design Lab themes (Citizen Lab, Game Lab, Library Lab), all Residents will be required to do the following:

  • Staff at least one 4-hour shift of Open Lab per week, which will consist of teaching people how to use the equipment in our various spaces and consult on projects where applicable. Training in areas unfamiliar to Residents will be provided.
  • Design a project or aspect of a project in conjunction with Design Lab staff that can be completed by the end of the Residency. Previous Residency projects have complemented coursework or thesis work, brought together a variety of disciplines and media, and engaged with communities within and beyond the University of Michigan.
  • Document their Residency experience in a variety of forms (blog posts, audio, video, and photo). Training in unfamiliar areas will be provided.
  • Attend at least three workshops organized by the Design Lab, some taught by colleagues within the Lab, others offered on different parts of campus. Residents are strongly encouraged to suggest areas they would like to learn more about, as well as share their own expertise with fellow Design Lab staff and the campus community.

Required Qualifications

  • Interest, background, and/or experience in one or more of the three themes of the Design Lab (Citizen Lab, Game Lab, and Library Lab).
  • Interest in and/or experience with Interdisciplinary collaboration and peer learning
  • Responsibility and reliability in accomplishing job tasks
  • Effective and prompt communication across multiple media
  • Interest in collaborating with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints
  • Self-motivated and self-starting

Desired Qualifications

  • Sharing work with others in formal and informal ways (blogs, Github, public scholarship, social media, etc)
  • Desire for developing skills and learning beyond what they learn in the classroom, both technical and interpersonal.
  • Ability to respond to changing needs within the Lab, given its exploratory and experimental character

To apply, please fill out the following application. In addition, please send a copy of your schedule and a CV/Resume to shapirodesignlab@umich.eduApplications will be accepted until September 15.

If you have any questions, please email shapirodesignlab@umich.edu.