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Nadya Peek

Spring 2023

Memes of Production

Computer-Numerically Controlled tools have been around for more than half a century, but have only recently been taken up by users not considered professional technicians. CAD tools as a commodity and the popularization of 3D printers in particular have led to new groups of users participating in digital fabrication. In this reading group, we will explore contemporary practices of digital fabrication, the prototype-production spectrum, end-user fabrication tools, distributed production, open source hardware, and related topics. In our analysis we will draw from Science and Technology Studies methodology to delineate between the promises and practices described in the readings.

While this reading group is mainly focused on fabrication research, we will also include related readings from computer-supported cooperative work, online communities, computer graphics, and media studies. We might also sometimes read field bus specifications or other technical documentation.

After the first week, students will be expected to lead discussions on the readings. We will produce annotated bibliographies to help contextualize fabrication research and ground our own design and engineering practices. Students who are not prepared to complete the readings, lead discussions, and produce their own bibliographies should not apply. The schedule will have one hour of discussion plus two hours of assigned reading a week. We meet Thursdays from 11:30am-12:30pm. To apply, send Prof Nadya ( your CV and an example of a research article you'd be interested in reading in the context of the DRG.

Spring 2023

Developing Accessible Workflows for Making Tactile Graphics DRG

Led by Drs. Nadya Peek, Emily Whiting, Abigale Stangl, and Sarah Coppola

This DRG is full for spring and no longer accepting applications.

Tactile graphics are artifacts that can communicate information through touch and may include raised lines, textures, and shapes. They are currently fabricated with approaches including vacuum-forming thermoplastics, embossing paper with dot patterns, and heat-printing papers with special swell-coatings. In this DRG, we aim to broaden access to tactile graphics by developing a low-cost and accessible workflow for tactile fabrication. 

We are looking for DRG participants who have experience in one or more areas of:

  • rapid prototyping 
  • blind and low-vision communities
  • accessible user interface development
  • AI-driven design tools and techniques

but also encourage applicants who are excited to learn. This DRG is 1-quarter and 2-credits, so we are looking for a ~6hr/wk commitment for spring quarter. To apply, please fill out this Google form with questions about your background and experience.

We expect to develop an accessible software workflow, custom fabrication hardware, and detailed documentation by the end of spring quarter.

Dr. Peek's Research Group archive