IRL2 Building Up, pt. 1

I’ve been pretty busy over the last six months designing, outfitting, and getting all of the systemic structures in places for a second makerspace at DePaul University. As part of this big push, I had to develop floor plans for the space. These have substantially changed over time, so I wanted to start logging my process and evolution. This is part one of I have no idea how many parts.

The plans below were the original layout for IRL2 (or IIRL). A heavy focus had to be placed on the unique characteristics of our Lincoln Park campus, as well as the physical location of the space (second floor, with difficulties getting materials up). Thus, the space focuses on smaller machines (and thus, smaller materials).

Note, as well, the large amount of space dedicated to open work. This is based on feedback that we received from students, as well as casual observations from my student workers, that indicated people wanted even more space to spread out and get their work done. Lounge space was also invested in, as the IRL lounge is one of its most popular spaces. Finally, we invested in a larger sink, anticipating a similar popularity of screen printing that the IRL currently enjoys. Bigger sinks make it easier to clean screens.

In the next part, I’ll share how these plans have evolved since their creation, the considerations that led to those changes, and the challenges (and opportunities!) that have come up as this process has continued.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

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