The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 4th

UNC CreatorSpaces invades Hanes Art Center

The initiative provides unique equipment for students to use

Part of the applied physical sciences department, CreatorSpaces already has a significant amount of technology such as 3D printers available to students at Kenan Science Library “makerspace.”

The latest addition in the Hanes Art Center, which had its grand opening on Monday, gives students a wider opportunity to demonstrate technical skills, with things like power tools and band saws.

Carolina’s Maker Network, or MakNet for short, is the student organization helping to connect students with the technology available. Applied science major Kai Shin, the current president of MakNet, said the space is a place where all majors and hobbyists can mingle and create.

“Why should art not be technical? Why does technology have to not be artistic?” he said. “The whole point of this is the whole network of makers — to show that makers come from everywhere.”

Shin stressed that part of these makerspaces are to encourage everyone to use the technology available.

“It’s not that we have a technical thing in an arts space,” Shin said. “It’s that we have sort of a blend space where all these things can come together.”

Michelle Garst, the CreatorSpace program manager, said she wants to make sure there are countless uses for the new equipment in Hanes for every specialization, even those some might not expect.

“We want artists to come in and make their stretcher-boards for their canvases,” she said. “We want English majors to come in and hold book binding workshops.”

It’s about exposing people to each other and bringing them together, no matter the nature of their work, said Garst.

“Artists don’t usually run into physics majors in spaces and work together on projects,” she said. “We really think that this interdisciplinary and this cross-campus mission is to bring people together on campus that wouldn’t ordinarily cross paths.”

David Hill, a chemistry graduate student, came out to a general meeting on Tuesday about the new makerspace.

“I am a carpenter by training. I’ve been doing it for many years, and so I was really excited to have a place to be able to work and to be able to work on some of the equipment that I usually can’t afford,” he said.

Right now, the equipment in Hanes Art Center is only available to MakNet organization members, but in the coming months it will open it up to the general student population and will be holding workshops to teach students how to use it.

Freshman Joshua Hardin said he’s excited MakNet is making these technologies accessible for students.

“I always wanted to do some kind of invention work, but I didn’t really know how to go about it,” he said. “I feel like this would be a great way to learn how to use all of these tools at my disposal.”


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