Brown Design Workshop

Brown Design Workshop


The assistive technology makeathon is underway in the Brown Design Workshop Ideations began this morning as teams were formed, and the groups will be working through noon tomorrow.
Undergraduates Frances Imarhia (left) and Benjamin Phelps (right) joined with MADE graduate student Maddie Jacks to organize an Assistive Tech Makeathon sponsored by the Brown Design Workshopover the weekend. The projects that came from undergrads, graduate students and community members who participated addressed mobility, inclusivity and fine motor control issues.
Office Hours ~ Nov. 9-11 - sign up
In Person Office Hours!!!!!!!!!!
This week on we are featuring the Brown Design Workshop!

Located at 182 Hope St, the Brown Design Workshop (BDW) is a student-run makerspace that aims to make the practices of design and creation more collaborative, open, flexible, and accessible. The BDW, which started as a dream of faculty in 2013, now fully functions as a student-run makerspace. With 40+ student employees, the work and input of students continue to progress the BDW with their leadership, enthusiasm, and dedication to the missions of the space. Workbenches, rolly chairs, and machines sprinkle the open 10,000 square feet of the workspace of the BDW, where students convene to learn, design and build.

The BDW has a diverse array of tools and machines and also has quite a bit of material for use—leftover from research projects, coursework, and events in the space. Whether Brown students become a member through a class, join a specialty workshop, or are interested in learning a new skill, there are plenty of ways to get involved.

Learn more about the Brown Design Workshop by visiting:
Design career paths & advice from famous Brown designers.
Prep for Design Recruiting Season Webinar with Das ’21 is up!! Learn & Do -
Office hours as needed/wanted this semester -
From Clara Kliman-Silver '13: Interested in UX? Join us on Monday May 18th at 12 pm ET for a virtual career panel discussion with Brown and RISD alums who work in a variety of UX roles at Google. They will share their journey to Google, talk about what skills are needed for a career in UX and offer their own advice and knowledge.
Please RSVP using the form below, and add your questions for the panelists at the end of the form.
The Brown Design Workshop may be physically closed, but it certainly hasn't gone silent. Faculty director Chris Bull '79 ScM'86 PhD'06 has been working with students remotely to utilize the facility's 3D printers to make critical personal protective equipment for local health care providers.
Another Pop-Up Challenge from Brown Arts Initiative and Brown Design Workshop!
The Brown Design Workshop is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by using 3D printers and other rapid prototyping equipment to make personal protective equipment and other components that address the specific needs of local health providers.

The Brown Design Workshop is a makerspace on campus designed to provide a collaborative and creative

The Brown Design Workshop is an interdisciplinary space for construction and design at Brown University. We are a largely student-run shop with direction and supervision from Ian Gonsher and Chris Bull in the School of Engineering. The BDW is an open, flexible workspace that provides easy access to space and tools for anyone affiliated with Brown or RISD to collaborate and prototype. Our trained t

Operating as usual


CSCI 0130 User Interfaces and User Experience
Instructor: Talie Massachi

Hey non-CS concentrators...Are you looking for a fun and engaging UX/UI design class this spring? Talie Massachi is teaching a UX/UI class for students who don’t have any CS perquisites. This sounds like it is going to be great! Check it out!

Course Description: Have you ever had trouble using someone else’s microwave? Have you ever wondered why keyboards are ordered “qwertyuiop”? We will focus on hands-on experience to learn when to use different interfaces, how to model and represent user interaction, how to elicit requirements and feedback from users, as well as the principles of user experience design, methods for designing and prototyping interfaces, and user interface evaluation. Students interested in gaining hands-on experience designing a user interface as well as learning the process behind building an effective interface should take this course. There will be assignments, readings, and workshop time, where students will have the opportunity to work alongside each other as they learn critical tools for interface and web design. This course is open to students that have not taken CSCI 1300 or CSCI 0130 in the past. Permission of Instructor Required.


Hi ! 👋 We're shifting to a different appointment system, starting Monday 3/22 🛠 📣

With this new system, you must be logged into your Brown Google account to access the site. Access to the BDW is by appointment only to ensure a safe and healthy community. Unfortunately, this means we are only open to Brown University students and faculty during Spring 2021.

If there is any feedback for the new system, please let us know! We are constantly reworking it 🥕

Photos from Brown Design Workshop's post 12/22/2020

Apply to be Monitor in Training at the Brown Design Workshop! No experience is necessary and first-years are encouraged to apply--we’re happy to train you on all the equipment that the BDW has to offer! Our only hope is that you are passionate about making things and helping others do so.

We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis, starting interviews on January 11. For more information, tips, and to apply, please see this form.

If you have any questions, you can email us at any time at [email protected].


As Brown returns to Level 1 operating status, the BDW will also be closing, effective Wednesday, November 18 through the rest of the Fall term.

The last open and monitored hours will be November 17 after which access to the BDW will be restricted to those deemed essential for research purposes. In these times of constant change we have to do our best to uphold the community's health.

We understand that the BDW is an essential space for completing projects especially with the end of the semester approaching. With that in mind, we would love to work with you to bring your ideas to fruition however safely and remotely possible with the resources we have in the space. Please reach out to us at [email protected] if there is something we can help with despite the closure of the space.

We want to hear from you--how can the BDW better serve you during this time? Submit feedback with this form.


A fantastic internship opportunity from BDW alum Nathan Amin: 4C company, Tesseract Health (, has posted a summer internship for a software/firmware engineer on Handshake ( Students can apply for a SPRINT award (Short-term Projects for Research, Internships, and Teaching).

The application deadline is July 1st, but the internship can start right away until September 1st.

Contact us to get in touch with Nathan if you have any questions!


We are excited to congratulate "Match" by March Boonyapaluk, Ellen Jiang, Renny Ma, & Jessica Zhu for winning the BDWxBrown Arts Initiative At Home Olympics Pop-Up Challenge by popular vote! Here's their little virtual game for you to try at home:

At Home Olympics 05/01/2020

cast your votes

At Home Olympics Welcome to the At Home Olympics Pop-Up Challenge! In the most recent Pop-Up Challenge, Brown Arts Initiative and Brown Design Workshop challenged participants to create an original At Home Olympics event that reflects our current state of being. Submissions are posted in this slideshow for you to...


We're thinking of you! Are you feeling creative? Itching to make something? We're partnering with Brown Arts Initiative for a Pop-Up Design Challenge to make something cool this weekend. There's a prize! Sign ups close at midnight EST Saturday, open to current students only

Have some time on your hands? Get involved with the BDW wherever you are! 04/22/2020

Have some time on your hands? Wherever you are, you can reconnect with the BDW community by entering the BDWxBAI Pop-up Design Challenge or get involved with our efforts to support RI healthcare workers by volunteering to make masks on site or at home. More info in our newsletter

Have some time on your hands? Get involved with the BDW wherever you are! The BDW and Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) are excited to announce the next Pop-Up Challenge, a 24-hour creative initiative for Brown students to connect, collaborate, create and have some fun. The goal is to provide an outlet for makers and creatives to continue working together while we are away fro...


Students--we hope you're feeling inspired to join us for the Design Challenge this Sunday!


Schedule office hours with Deb to talk about anything from Social & Regular Entrepreneurship to Engineering, Design, Concentration advice, Business Models & Value Propositions, Life after Brown…. 11/14/2019

Design Stories – Medium

The new Brown Design Workshop Medium page is live! Click here to learn about submission guidelines and meet the inaugural student editorial staff. Share your design stories and contribute to the Brown/RISD design community! This blog looks to feature the humans that share our space, their creative pursuits, passion projects, and musings about the BDW.


Calling for applications to Design@Brown by this Wednesday, 10/9!

Design at Brown is a group of designers passionate about helping fellow designers from a student-facing and institution standpoint.

On the student-facing side, they are a forum for connecting, supporting, and advising students. On the administrative level, they advocate for design to be represented in the Brown curriculum.

They helped organize the Design Fair 2 weeks ago and are Co-hosting the IBM Design Thinking workshop coming up next. Email [email protected] if you have any more questions! Check out to learn more. Deadline to apply is October 9th.


Hello, BDW doors are open for the semester! Our monitor hours have changed from previous years, so check our schedule online if you want to attend a workshop* or get help from a monitor. Otherwise, the floor is open 24/7 as always!

*All members are required to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants for workshops — you will be refused training if appropriate attire is not worn.


“I found out about the BDW through ENGN 0030. I still like to think about it as a hidden gem, but it’s so rapidly become something more than just an engineering space. I’m a senior now, back when I joined in 2016 it used to be an engineering laboratory where mostly engineering students would come and work. It felt underutilized when I was first here, but now it’s evolved to become a much more interdisciplinary space. Tools and machines like 3D printers have become much easier to use, and I think there’s now a more purposeful shift that monitors are here to help everybody integrate into the space. Being a monitor was my dream job; to learn to use all these machines as well as I possibly can, and the best way is by making projects I’ve always wanted to make.

My first project as a monitor-in-training was to build a chess set. It was based on a set of sculptures my father made. As an artist, he made different pieces out of plexiglass that had interesting refractions. I laser cut his drawings as a stencil, used the shopbot, machined the brackets, and 3D printed all the pieces. Being a monitor in the space allows you to work on your own projects, but you also get to meet and interact with people who are always working on something new. You get to put yourselves in their shoes to wonder how to make it.”

— Zach Gamble, Monitor of the Month (November), Class of 2019


More scenes from the highlights of the showcase, check out all the projects!

Thanks to the BDW staff, showcase contributions and attendees that made this possible.


Preview for the showcase -- Kabob and Curry will be served, this Friday, March 1 from 11am-1pm.

Come through!


Intro Wood Workshop: Intro

Interested in Woodworking? Check out our video series featuring David Strout :

See our website for more videos:

Intro Wood Workshop 1. Intro [] 2. Material Selection [] 3. Measuring [] ... 11/26/2018

Spring 2019 BDW PR Person Application

We are also hiring for a Public Relations Role! Deadline Friday Nov 30th.

Alongside the hiring of new Monitors, this year we would like to hire into a new PR position. This position would begin with Monitor training to gain context for the space and the community (Note: If you are already a monitor, you can still apply). This would include training on the tools, learning how to teach and working one shift a week. For the PR role, the BDW currently has social media and outreach, but it is far from regular. Since this position has not existed before, it is an opportunity to help us develop a PR and marketing campaign focused on design. We currently have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the engineering newsletter, and a listserv as information media. The expectation is this role will require about one hour of meeting time per week and 1-2 hours developing material and sending/posting it to the appropriate sources. Below is a bulleted job description:

PR Person:

-This job involves: setting up Facebook Events, Today@Brown, newsletter updates and MailChimp, event photography.

-Work 2-4 hours a week, dependent on events. Weekly tasks include: taking pictures of BDW staff and members working in the space, posting on BDW Facebook and Instagram, writing newsletter about Brown, RISD, and Providence design events and meeting with managerial staff.

-During events, take pictures, upload the pictures into our Drive and Facebook. Occasionally update social media with pictures of events.

-Creating Today@Brown announcements and graphic design for our Facebook event photo as well as event details

-Graphic design for event posters/internal signage if interested.

-Example work of PR people for the Nelson Center:

Please send us a sample of your writing and any portfolio material (photography, graphic design, etc)

Link to application: Thank you for your interest in becoming the point person for all Brown Design Workshop PR! Please fill out the form below by 11:59PM on Friday 11/30. After submission, you will receive an email about the next steps in the hiring process by 12/6 (if we haven't gotten back to you before that date, don... 11/26/2018

Spring 2019 BDW Monitor Application

Monitor-in-Training Application Open until Friday Nov 30th!

As we continue to grow, the BDW looks for new monitors each semester. We would love to invite you to apply for the monitor-in-training position next spring. The monitor-in-training position is an “internship” which allows you to work 6 shifts with a head monitor and learn the processes and procedures of the BDW. To be eligible, you must be entering your 2nd through 5th semester!

If you are interested in applying to this position, please fill out this application [] and send your resume to [email protected] by 11:59pm on November 30th. Please let us know if you have any questions and we look forward to reviewing your application. Thank you for your interest in becoming a BDW monitor! Please fill out the form below by 11:59PM on Friday 11/30. After submission, you will receive an email about the next steps in the hiring process by 12/6 (if we haven't gotten back to you before that date, don't worry!). To be eligible to apply....


The Brown Design Workshop

The creation of the Design Workshop in Prince Lab is a key to the overall re-envisioning of engineering, which aims to make the disciplines of creation and d...


Updated flyer with details about the Amazon sponsored AI hackathon. This is being co-sponsored by the Brown Design Workshop, Brown HCRI, SHPE Brown University, Discovery, and Amazon. No technical experience is required, and non-engineers and non-CS folks are encouraged to apply (ENGN and CS folks are encouraged, too : )

Register via this link:


Hello all! We are currently experiencing some issues with our laser cutters. They are both out of service today. They should be back up and running early this week. We apologize for any inconvenience.


10 Bullets. By Tom Sachs

"Working to Code" is a movie series designed for members of the Tom Sachs studio team. Required viewing for all employees and studio visitors. ALWAYS BE KNOL...



She started a business in her college dormitory. Now she's the founder of a $30-million dollar company. MIT graduate Limor Fried shares her story. 🙌


Creative Scholars Project

Join us at 12;00 on Friday in the Brown Design Workshop for a one hour workshop on design process. We'll go from idea to prototype in just an hour, and discuss important elements of the creative process along the way.

Join us at 12:00 on Friday 3/9 in the Brown Design Workshop for the Creative Scholars Project , where you are invited to take part in the one hour design challenge outlined below. Participants will learn how to go from an idea to a prototype quickly, critically, and iteratively, and gain the expertise necessary to facilitate similar design workshops on their own.



Students display their creations at the annual Brown Design Workshop (BDW) showcase. By encouraging tinkering, collaboration and project-based learning, the BDW is a place where creative thinkers get to transform their ideas into reality.

Video by Gwen Mugodi '18

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