What I do as the Design Making coordinator at the Ashesi Design Lab
The Ashesi Design Lab (D: Lab) is an initiative to grow a design thinking and design making culture on the Ashesi University campus which began in September 2015. It was during its inception that I volunteered as the lead for the fabrication hub (FabHub). The FabHub focused on inspiring creativity in digital fabrication and prototyping among students — ranging from paper and cardboard modelling, 3D modelling to 3D printing activities and discussions.
After a year of being a faculty intern for computer science courses and a volunteer at the D: Lab, I took a full time role as the Design Making Coordinator of the D: Lab in the fall semester of 2016. I now specialize in engaging students as well as other interested members of the community in the practice of design making through events I organize with the D: Lab team and design projects I coordinate. The first of several events the D: Lab team and I organized was the first Global Goals Jam at Ashesi campus, which exposed Ashesi to a larger global community of designers and problem solvers.
An essential part of my role is coordinating projects within the lab and assisting in prototyping outcomes and interventions created by the project teams as well as leading the documentation of the overall process of projects. As such, I co-manage the Flickr account and the WordPress blog of the lab which serves as the repository of reports, articles, photos, videos and posts of projects and events of the lab. I also design marketing material for Lab events. Having co-designed a process for managing events with the lab team, I manage the social media team in publicizing and reporting our events and co-manage the media team in photography and videography of these events.
Some of the projects I coordinate include the Farm Modeling project, the Organic solar Project, the Bahari Project and the Young Creatives Initiative among others. These projects allow student to apply their academic knowledge in real-life instances and, when necessary, in collaborative projects with companies in industry, hence improving their assimilation of what they learn in classrooms.
To encourage interests and practice of design making on the Ashesi campus, I introduced the Maker Skills Sessions, a series of hands-on workshop events whose core is to enable participants learn maker skills that enable them create a wide array of physical and virtual prototypes from fields such as electronics, digital fabrication, virtual reality, music and CGI animation. The Maker Skills Sessions feature makers within and outside the Ashesi Community in these areas of interest. Faculty and students have shown a high level of interest in these sessions and continue to keep them engaging and interactive.
Given that the design thinking process is core to the work I do, I assist the Design Thinking Coordinator in making design thinking a widespread culture and lifestyle of problem-solving in the Ashesi Community.