Creating a home for interdisciplinary co-creation & entrepreneurship at SFU Surrey.

Project Details

Client Simon Fraser University, Surrey Campus Director's Office

Role Project Manager, Strategy Team Lead, & Fabricator

Responsibilities Creating Master Plan, Business Strategy & Building & Fabrication

Timeline September 2017 - June 2018

Tools Wood, Metal, & Plastic Shop Tools, 3D Modelling & Printing, Consultation &

Simon Fraser University, as an institution leading in engagement, education, and community, was seeking methods upon which they could deepen their role in each of these segments. Our class, the Fall 2017 cohort of Business of Design, lead by School of Interactive Arts professor Dr. Rob Woodbury and Beedie School of Business professor Dr. Lisa Papania were tasked with creating a "makerspace" by the end of the semester. The 11 students, representing 3 faculties, were given an 1350 sqft. space to tackle this wicked problem. We defined our goal as "create a permanent space at SFU Surrey Campus for students from all disciplines, community, and industry to come together and create." Collaboration and co-creation, we believe, will bring goodwill to the university, improve the student education through experiential learning, and strengthen the universities' ties with the community and industry.

Photo of the makerspace one month after we moved in.
The space, when we moved in, didn't even have painted chalkboard walls or a workbench.
The makerspace as we designed it.
The space, modelled for our presentation.
The makerspace model with photos.
Photos of our makerspace after completion.

The vision of _space Makerspace is to establish a place within close proximity to Surrey Campus at the heart of the rebuilt downtown Surrey that serves as a hub for education, industry, and community to collaborate and co-create. External programs and SFU courses that empower collaboration and co-creation will be invited to be run out of the space. Not only does this serve to enrich student's education experience and community interactions but also cements the City of Surrey and SFU as centres of design and innovation in alignment with the City and the university's strategic vision.

You can find out proposed presentation pitch deck & take away package.


A welcome experience.

The _space Community Hub is a multi-display welcome experience. Containing a tack board, a whiteboard, and a digital display it the _space Community Hub is a versatile tool that gives users and administrators of the space different options to share information. Located by the door, the bulletin allows everyone who enters to have an opportunity to slow down, peruse the latest news, information, and activities inside the space and perhaps discover new opportunities. Built as an addition to the existing railing, the _space Community hub is design to use sustainable materials of wood and metal that fits with the aesthetics of the makerspace that we were building around it.

Completed _space Community Hub
The completed _Space Community Hub with it's Raspberry Pi powered digital display running Magic Mirror, un-configured.
Community Hub with lighting at night
The community hub has automatic motion sensed lighting that lights up the room that allows users to find the room's light switches.

The two main constraints in the _space Community Hub is space and funding. The first, university facilities did not permit us to make major modifications to the room for liability and space allocation reasons. Any major construction, including attaching anything to the walls, required their approval and the hiring of contractors. Thus, any addition to the space had to be both non-permanent and not modify the existing hardware within the space.

Image showcasing the non-permanent installation hardware
The custom designed anchoring hardware that attaches onto existing railing hardware.

In terms of funding, this project’s budget comes from the total makerspace budget and thus must be approved by not only the instructors but the class. This required an iterative process with proposals to the class before the project is greenlit. Ultimately, the project had a budget of $600 to be spent on materials only.