Free Professional Development STEAM Workshops for Educators

More info here.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

TSW* Session 13 – Which 3D Printer Should You Buy?

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

FIRST Robotics at the IRL

Some video of the FIRST FTC Meet at the Idea Realization Lab that was organized by Jackie Moore of the Chicago Knights last weekend. Loved having this at our space, and look forward to helping host many many more!

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Subscribe to This Should Work* on iTunes

I continue to learn how to promote a podcast and find an audience with every new episode of This Should Work*. My newest discovery? Getting people to rate and comment on your podcast helps its discoverability.

So! Here I am asking you, dear audience, to check out This Should Work on iTunes and, if you’ve been enjoying it for the last several months, please leave a nice comment and rating for us. It would go a long way in keeping this work going!

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Idea Realization Lab October Updates

Continued growth, continued transparency! Here are the updates for DePaul’s Idea Realization Lab for the month of October.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

TSW* Session 12 – Drew Fustini, the Open Hardware Summit Badge, and Why Make?

I talk with Drew Fustini, open source hardware designer at OSH Park and co-developer of the badge for the Open Hardware Summit this year. Drew is, as I say in the podcast, the glue that holds many maker communities together, and I’m really excited to have him on and talk about the things that he makes, and his ethos behind making and tinkering.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Moving Spacelab

We are exploring the move of Spacelab, NFP to a new, bigger location. This is a call for potential members. Want to join a group that supports local south suburban businesses, runs a Maker Faire, teaches community classes, and more? Email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

This Should Work on Twitter

Just a quick note: This Should Work* now has a Twitter account that you can follow for all podcast interview updates, notes, and behind-the-scenes tweets. You can find it here.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Alternative Computer Club

I’ve been building alternative controllers and game consoles for about the past five or six years. Project Libity, Big Data Outbreak, Thotcon 0x8, and Thotcon 0x9 are just some of the projects that I’ve worked on, often with my creative partner Rudy Ristich. My fascination with this has always centered around the idea that, if we could somehow break out of the three console paradigm, or change the way that we traditionally interface with games, we can begin to explore experiences otherwise unimaginable due to the inherent limitations of consoles and interfaces that are built for the mass market (and thus inherently built to be generic).

In the last couple years I’ve noticed a growing interest in this once-solitary fascination, which got me thinking: why not get some folks together who are making cool stuff to talk about our creative and design processes and why we do the things we do?

Thus, we have the Alternative Computing Club: Meeting 1 on November 16, from 7-10pm at DePaul University’s Idea Realization Lab (sign up here). During our first meeting, we’ll be talking about GDC alt.ctrl, the OSHW Summit, & Thotcon Badges.

Here’s a description:

Chicago game developers and hackers! Come on out to our first meeting at the DePaul University Idea Realization Lab. We’ll have a few short presentations from local developers on the platforms and controllers they’ve developed, followed by an open show-and-tell and gathering for people to talk about current, past, and future projects.

Short Presentations for our first meeting:
* Rob Lockhart – Hi-5 Heroes, featured in GDC’s alt.ctrl (
* Drew Fustini – Open Source Hardware Summit badge development (
* Rudy Ristich and Jay Margalus – Thotcon 0x8 and 0x9 games and conference badges (

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Session 11 – Nate Matteson of Obstructures and DePaul University

Nate and I have been working on an Industrial Design degree at DePaul with our colleague Eric Landahl, and have worked on a few other projects together as well. So I’m pretty familiar with some of the nuance that goes into his decision making process. But I’ve always been fascinated by his varied background in music, industrial design, art, and many many other things, and how it informs that process. This was a really fun conversation that dug into some of that, and I hope you enjoy it.

I talk with Nate Matteson of DePaul University’s School of Design and the industrial design company Obstructures. Nate’s company Obstructures makes aluminum guitars, wallets, pedals, and many many other useful tools. In addition to that, and most importantly, Nate is an excellent design educator and brings his practice into academia to help elevate his students’ potential in design. In this session, we talk about Nate’s personal projects related to sound and light, his work with Obstructures, and how that way of thinking translates into education.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus