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When our students learn using not only their heads, but also their hands and their hearts, the product is not just a physical artifact, but also knowledge, intuition, and character. Every Stanford student deserves the opportunity to learn by doing, from political scientists to product designers, developing skills, creativity, and confidence they will draw upon throughout their lives. We envision a campus connected through making, with makerspaces forming communities of interdisciplinary collaboration that embody the diversity and inclusivity of our University. We can realize this vision for making@stanford by supporting the people that mentor our student makers, enabling accessible making courses in every discipline, and building connections between making communities across campus.

What is physical design and making?

It is the transformation of material in order to transform thinking. It is a student working on a meaningful problem, defining their own goals, applying their knowledge, developing creative solutions, realizing them in physical form, and reflecting on the experience. This process takes many forms in many disciplines. It can mean designing and creating mechanical, electrical, or biological systems out of metals, components, or cells, measuring their behavior, and learning from unexpected results. It can mean envisioning an aesthetic, welding, connecting, or sculpting materials into form, and noticing the spaces and emotional responses that are generated. It can mean designing a musical instrument and hearing its timbre, creating a new food and tasting its biochemistry, or using ancient fabrication methods to feel part of an early civilization. Physical design and making is a student engaging with a medium and experiencing the outcome in ways that make real and tangible what was once virtual and conceptual.

Executive Committee:

This initiative reflects input from faculty and staff across our campus, including leaders of more than a dozen makerspaces and members of the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Business, and the New School on Sustainability. The executive committee comprises members of our community who are representative of the different disciplines most involved in design and making education, excited about the possibilities for making@stanford, and ready to contribute to oversight of the initiative:

Terry Berlier, Associate Professor of Art and Art History 

Chris Chafe, Professor of Music

Steve Collins, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Claudia Dorn, Manager of Resources and Community, Office of the Vice President for the Arts

Rosemary Knight, Professor of Geophysics

Marlo Kohn, Senior Lecturer, Product Realization Lab

Hideo Mabuchi, Professor of Applied Physics

Michael Rau, Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies

Juan Rivas-Davila, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering

Shima Salehi, Research Assistant Professor of Education


Making Council:

The Making Council is made up of the leaders of student making spaces from across campus. These representatives from different disciplines of design and making are passionate about the student learning experiences enabled by the people, tools, and processes found in each space.  

Daniel Cadigan, Scene and Costume shops (Theater and Performance Studies)

Kerri Conlon, Sculpture Studio (Art & Art History)

Melissa Doernte, create:space (Student Affairs)

Quinn Dombrowski, Textile Makerspace (Division of Literatures, Cultures, & Languages)

Claudia Dorn, Roble Arts Gym (Stanford Arts)

Karin Forssell, The Makery (GSE)

Craig Milroy, Product Realization Lab (Mechanical Engineering)

Michael Nack, Maker Bar (Terman Engineering Library)

Makia Sharp, Experimental Media & Gallery Spaces  (Art & Art History)

Dan Somen, PRL Room 36 (Mechanical Engineering)

Jeff Stribling, Lab64 (Electrical Engineering)

Sonia Travaglini, Skilling space (Aero/Astro)

Ross Venook, Uytengsu Teaching Lab (Bioengineering)

Amanda Whitmire, Miller Makerspace (Hopkins Marine Station)

Matt Wright, Max Lab (Music - CCRMA)