by LIZZIE DEAL
Students were welcomed into the Innovation Studio on Oct. 2 to make both buttons and stickers from scratch, offering students the opportunity to harness their creative energy into something productive. The Innovation Studio houses Silhouette Cameos, which can be used for drawing or sticker making, a 3D printer, a wood carver, and other crafts and activities like puzzles and Shrinky Dinks to help students break away from only thinking academically.
“The Innovation Studio is here to just try to get students to think creatively and do creative things while they’re on campus with the hope that it might turn into them creating their own business one day and can be a part of the entrepreneurship department,” Professor Chris Snider said.
Students walking through the halls of Meredith, as well as those with their hearts set on making stickers or buttons were able to create their own tangible products with the help of Professor Snider. To make stickers, students could create their own design on Silhouette Studio software and then have a Silhouette Cameo cut out the image. Those who wanted to make buttons could do so by creating either online or on paper an image in the correct size which could then be punched into a button.
“I never thought that I could make my own buttons, and now I obsessively want to make [them],” Emily Larson said. “It was really cool seeing it [go from] from computer screen to button. Looking at a computer screen all day is really boring, so being able to come in here and do fun stuff like crafts is really cool, and I got to try out something that I didn’t think was possible.”
Larson, a senior whose red backpack is decorated in buttons of all shapes and sizes, found out about the sticker and button making on accident when coming into the Innovation Studio to print something, but decided to stay and create a unique button to add to her collection.
“I’ve always enjoyed coming in here because it’s bright and happy,” Larson said. “I’m big on visuals. When I study, I like having lots of popping things around me, and sometimes the library gets a little drab. There’s a printer in here, and there’s always something going on.”
Typically, events are held in the Innovation Studio once a month to teach students about the different types of technology available to them. Snider and Professor Chris Porter also hold office hours on Thursday afternoons for any curious students who want to learn or use any of the tools. Snider hopes that through using the Innovation Studio, students will begin to stop thinking strategically about what they have to do to achieve a certain grade and let loose creatively.
“I really just hope [students] take away that [they] can do creative things,” Snider said. “Maybe those can apply to making [them] a better employee down the road or an idea to create [their] own business or to create something that [they] can give as a gift to someone for a birthday. I want them to think differently and not have any constraints and say, ‘What am I going to make today?’”