Cindy Atman

Spring 2018

CoDesign of Introductory Sewing Project for CoMotion MakerSpace

Room: Co-Motion MakerSpace FlukeHall

Time: Wednesdays, 9:00a.m. - 12 p.m.

Credits: 2

Expectations: 3 hour meeting + outside analysis each week

Experience: No experience needed with sewing or research, just be willing to participate, be collaborative, and learn.

This DRG is part of ongoing research that examines how students can learn design informally through interest-driven physical fabrication projects.  The ultimate goal is the design of learning environments and tools that help people see the space possible designs and skills they can achieve and map their progress through these spaces.

To design such tools, we first must identify what resources beginners need to carry out a particular project and begin to see the design pace.  This DRG centers around an introductory sewing project, the construction of a basic bag, to be deployed in the CoMotion MakerSpace. DRG participants will engage in co-design of methodology for capturing and analyzing information and co-design of the beginning project itself.

By the end of the quarter we will produce a number of artifacts related to this 2 - 3 hour introductory sewing project:  1) a sewn bag, 2) journey-map of experience throughout project, 3) collection of resources (knowledge, skills, tools, materials, ….) needed to complete the project, and 4) prototypes of new instruction sets or tools that embed these resources.

Students will work in pairs or as a group for most of the quarter.  No sewing skills necessary. No previous research skills necessary.

This research group will be led by PhD student Kathryn Shroyer, with guidance from Professor Cindy Atman.  Feel free to contact Kathryn Shroyer ( if you have questions.

We are looking for 4 - 6 students to participate.  If you are interested please fill out the form linked here.

Winter 2018

Examining Self-Directed Learning through Material Inquiry: Developing an Introductory Sewing Project For the CoMotion MakerSpace SewingArea


As design tools and rapid prototyping technology become more publicly available in informal setting like makerspaces, the availability of these tools (sewing machines, 3D printers, lasercutters, etc.) increases.  However, accessibility to these tools and the resources needed to learn to use them does not necessarily follow.

General Description

Throughout the quarter, we will investigate self-directed learning and scaffolding of learning resources in the CoMotion MakerSpace SewingArea (CmMsSa) using qualitative research techniques (material inquiry, ethnographic field notes, class discussions, and design inquiry)

You will work in pairs to complete a specific sewing project (a simple bag). Over the quarter you will complete your own version of the project but will work with a partner to capture and analyze that process.  As a group we will analyze self-directed learning, respond to potential designs for scaffolding learning in the space, and generate ideas supporting important learning resources in the space.

Requirements and Interest

  • 2 units
  • Weekly research meeting: time TBD based on schedules
  • 4 hours outside of weekly meeting engaging in work on project and documentation of project in pairs
  • Fill out this survey if you are interested:

If you are interested please fill out the survey linked above.  You are not required to have any previous experience with qualitative research, sewing, or the CoMotion MakerSpace. 

This research group will be led by PhD student Kathryn Shroyer, with guidance from Professor Cindy Atman.

If you have questions contact Kathryn Shroyer at