Republished from Henry Madden Library

Story by Jacqueline Gonzalez, Henry Madden Library Student Assistant
Photos by David Celaya

Fresno State Art and Design Librarian Monica Fusich is collaborating with Professor of Interior Design Holly Sowles on a research project that will eventually turn into “Makerspace Week.” Makerspaces are areas where students can make an original product using equipment such as 3D printers, laser cutters and sewing machines. They allow for students to take risks, be innovative and most importantly create in a collaborative setting.

“The movement began about 5 years ago from people who wanted a space to create things,” said Fusich.

MORE: Pop-Up Makerspaces

Initial planning for Makerspace Week began this summer when Fusich submitted a research proposal for a grant to Dean Hornbuckle that would fund the makerspaces. Professor Sowles would then incorporate the makerspaces into her class curriculum.

The makerspaces consist of 3 different spaces with 2 groups in each activity. The three activities will focus on Legos, adult coloring books and custom button making. Once the students are briefed on the Library’s needs, they are given two weeks to think of a concept. The makerspaces must follow a rubric and each student makes a case for it by presenting vignettes and design boards.

Professor Sowles hopes that Interior Design students see their makerspaces as a way to collect data and view their creation as something that the Library could use permanently.

“It’s fun to see them think outside of the box, and listen to how they would like to use the makerspaces themselves,” says Sowles.

This is not the first time that Fusich and Sowles have worked together. When Sowles first began at Fresno State, Fusich helped her get updated reference books for the Interior Design department. Additionally, Fusich assisted Sowles’ class with finding building plans for their project on buildings in downtown Fresno. For this reason, Sowles encourages students and faculty to reach out to Subject Librarians for their research needs.

“In an educational process, I don’t think that students today are driven to the library they way that they should be. Everybody Googles everything, I make my students read so that they understand that there is a reason we go to the library,” expressed Sowles.

Fusich will also be providing information literacy and research assistance for Professor Silvana Polgar’s Interior Design 71 class. Polgar’s students will be using their interior design skills while completing project based learning designs for the Poverello House.

Makerspace Week will be on October 8, 10 and 12 from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Henry Madden Library. This event is free and open to the public