makeLab Goes Global

“Today if you’re not practicing globally, you’re not practicing,” is the adage of makeLab Director Jim Stevens. Through a unique project the makeLab is attempting to demonstrate the ability of a small firm to be relevant globally through the use of digital fabrication. The team of designers, Xingjun Chen, Luyan Shen, Yake Wang, Fei Yang, and Shengchen Yang have been assigned the task of designing and prototyping an installation in house at the makeLAB, but which then will be fabricated and constructed in China. The team, led by LTU professor Paul Wong, Jim Stevens and Jin Feng will then travel to China to work with local fabricators and take part in the installation process in the summer of 2011.

The design team began work on the project in mid February, but the task has been made difficult by the fact the project has no set site. Over the past week the site has been changed three times and there is no certainty that a final resting point for the project will be decided upon anytime soon. The team is currently working with parametric design software in order to generate forms composed of adaptable components allowing for the design to quickly respond to whatever the context may be. At the present the team has an over abundance of concepts ranging from “space frame like” systems to tension strung fabric panels. The open-endedness of this project has allowed for immense creativity and inspiring possibility but now the challenge will be to reign in the possibilities and make something awesome.

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