Makerspace Design Charrette

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In a whirlwind two-hour charrette at the CCCD, DesignBuild students spark discussion about the future basement-level Makerspace. The purpose of the charrette was to gather and interpret feedback for the makerspace from local and regional stakeholders. Among the participants were academics, artisans, architects, students, community organizers, activists, and CCCD staff.

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The CCCD plants to open The Hive’s “soft work” creative space after adaptive reuse construction on the building’s second floor next summer. The Hive will attract visitors from all over the country for conferences, learning, and creative enterprise. The basement makerspace could be open as soon as 2017.

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After a brief welcoming address from Stephanie Moore (CCCD executive director) and Chris Joyell (Asheville Design Center executive director), Mike Marcus explained why the CCCD is interested in opening this innovative new Makerspace. The Makerspace, he explained, is not just about public art. As a hands-on lab, the Makerspace will demonstrate the power of art to fuel healthy economic development by, for example, building relationships with local manufacturing centers.

DesignBuild Studio students delivered a 5 minute case study presentation of similar spaces, such as those at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA and Haystack in Deer Isle, ME. Following the presentations, participants toured the basement space and broke out into groups led by AVL DesignBuild Students.

Breakout group discussions largely focused on who the space will be serving.

  • What disciplines will the space attract?
  • How will incompatible activities be separated? (For example, carpentry might create dust that would be damaging to photography.)
  • Who is currently underserved in the community? Should the space attract students who don’t have their own equipment yet? People entering a second career?
  • What possibilities for collaborative and personal space exist?
  • How should the space be promoted or made visible?
  • Should the focus be local, regional, or national?
  • How can the makerspace foster interconnectivity with the gallery and second floor?
  • What is the makerspace’s niche? How can the space fill a void in the Asheville creative community and avoid competing with the established spaces already here?
  • How flexible should the makerspace be, keeping in mind that flexibility usually demands storage space?
  • How can the space be flexible in time as well as space?
  • How should non-makers be invited to the space?
  • How can the space respect Asheville craft identity while incorporating the digital?
  • How can acoustics be developed to respect individual needs?
  • How will the makerspace create opportunities?

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The students synthesized ideas from these discussions in posters displayed in the mezzanine during lunch. Participants were encouraged to write down any additional thoughts on sticky notes and affix them to the posters or windows. Each person was give five stickers to “vote” for the their favorite ideas, concepts, or vision statements. You can see some of the favorites here!

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Special thanks to Clemson University’s Doug Hecker, the CCCD’s Stephanie Moore and Mike Marcus, and project architect Brandon Pass.

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