For the 2015-16 academic year (~September 2015 through ~April 2016), the Maker Lab will be hiring at least two UVic students to conduct research in our makerspace. Although we will be developing a number of projects during the year, the Lab will be spending most of its time on the Kits for Cultural History, which are generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. With the Kits project in mind, we are especially looking for students (undergraduate or graduate, across the disciplines) with experience or interest in any of the following areas:

3D Modelling: The Kits project requires a significant amount of 3D modelling, some of which is born-digital and some of which is based on laser scanning and photogrammetry data. We prefer working with Rhinoceros and Agisoft PhotoScan and would like to expand our work through Grasshopper. We can also work with Autodesk products. The models we make are intended not only for circulation online but also for fabrication in an array of materials.

Sculpture, Fabrication, and Materials Design: The component parts of the Kits are made by hand and machines. In the past, we have relied quite heavily on fine arts approaches to remake historical media and technologies. We have done quite a bit of paper prototyping, too. Where possible, we would like to further develop these creative methods, with an emphasis on blending analog and digital sculpture techniques, including fabrication via CNC machines and 3D printers.

Physical Computing and Electronics: The Kits also involve electronic components and a touch of programming. We tend to use Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Python 3, and Git for this research, together with some breadboarding and basic circuit designs. A majority of these builds are based on historical technologies or “dead media” from the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, meaning they are not too technically complex. While we do not insist on being 100% faithful to original designs, we also try to avoid being too anachronistic with our builds.

Science and Technology Studies: Both the Lab and the Kits are deeply invested in the intersections of theory with embodied practice and tacit knowledge. Most of the theory we drawn upon comes from Science and Technology Studies and Comparative Media Studies. We are particularly interested in how feminist theories of science, technology, and media might help us speculate about devices that never existed, no longer exist, or are difficult to access, to then make compelling arguments about the historical entanglements of bodies, materials, and processes.

If you are a UVic student who is interested in working with us as a research assistant next year (2015-16), then please send a short (250- to 300-word) letter of interest, plus your CV (two pages max) and contact information for three referees, to PDF is preferred for all documents. We will begin reviewing applications immediately, and the two positions will remain open until they are filled. The salary for these positions will conform with standard research assistant rates. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about these positions. We are of course happy to clarify anything written here or to elaborate upon the research we do in the Lab. Thank you!

Post by Jentery Sayers, attached to the Makerspace project, with the news tag. Featured image for this post care of Jentery Sayers.


More about Jentery Sayers

Associate Professor, English and CSPT | Principal Investigator, MLab in the Humanities