Cindy Atman

Autumn 2017

Material Inquiry and Resource Design for Informal Making in CoMotion MakerSpace

Room: TBD
Time: Fridays, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Credits: 2

Note: This Directed Research Group is at enrollment capacity for Autumn 2017.


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 use them does not necessarily follow. 


During the fall, this DRG will examine the resources (skills, materials, tools, knowledge, aspirations, processes, etc.) needed to support informal fabrications processes in the Co-Motion Makerspace through autoethnographic research (journaling) and material inquiry.   A subsequent winter DRG will use this knowledge uncovered to develop, prototype, and test means of supporting making in these spaces.

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

Research Questions:

In the case of a small group of students working in the Co-Motion makerspace on quarter long sewing projects.

  • What resources are needed to carry out the projects? (materials, tools, knowledge, skills, aspirations, attitudes, space, processes, etc.
  • How does the space support/or not the acquisition of these resources?


Project (material inquiry): You will select a sewing project of their choosing and work on this project throughout the quarter using co-motion resources and whatever other resources needed. 

Journaling (data collection):  While carrying out this project you will document your process and the resources you discover that you need, want, and/or use.

Weekly Discussion: (Analysis) The research group will meet weekly to discuss our projects and analyze the data we are collecting through journaling,


1 weekly meeting (2hr) (Time TBD based on schedules)
4 hrs outside of meeting working on your project and collecting field notes


If you have questions contact Kathryn Shroyer at