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University of Nebraska-Lincoln

July 17, 2017

Bicak Research to Explore Criteria for Makerspaces

University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Architecture is pleased to announce Nathan Bicak, assistant professor of interior design received a Layman Grant Award for his project entitled “A Spatial Taxonomy and Best Practices Criteria for the Interior Design of Makerspaces”. This auspicious project will serve as a foundation phase for future work focused on establishing developmental strategies, design criteria and best practices for makerspaces as an emerging interior space typology.

While making and makerspaces have evolved from a sub-cultural movement to the mainstream at a rapid pace, there has been limited research on best design practices. A makerspace developed with evidence-based practices has greater potential for success and longevity when its stakeholders, community leaders and developers are well informed. It is critically important that an institution or community understand common equipment, space standards and the potential of said spaces in various markets in order to determine appropriate actions and strategic plan development.

This project will involve the collection and examination of equipment resources, creative pursuits, user demographics and social capital in a variety of existing spaces. The target audience for this project will be organizations seeking direction on makerspace implementation in their communities.

Makerspaces were born from the Maker Movement, a “do it yourself” effort started by hobbyist engineers in the 1990s. These facilities offer equipment and studio space to individuals and organizations who might not otherwise be able to afford it. They democratize small scale manufacturing through equipment like 3D printers, laser cutters and Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines for the purposes of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Layman Grant Award program is supported by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Office of Research and Economic Development, which funds work that enhances a researcher’s ability to obtain external funding to support prominent scholarship. There are two tracks: the Layman Seed Program, which funds new projects by non-tenured junior faculty, and the New Directions Program, which funds tenured faculty who are re-entering research or branching out in new directions. 

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