The College of Arts, Media and Design has been busy crafting a new and improved environment for its students to explore their creativity. Ryder Hall is the first building to benefit from the upgrades, which include a Makerspace and renovated art studios, new Wenger SoundLok® noise-cancelling music rooms, and a new wayfinding system.
CAMD Makerspace and Art Studios
Two of the most significant new facilities available to Art + Design students are the CAMD Makerspace and remodeled art studios. Thanks to a generous gift from CAMD parents, this new Makerspace and suite of studios contains state of the art equipment including 3D printers, CNC and laser cutters, vacuum-forming gear, and of course, many environmental safety controls. Developed for creative collaboration among arts-related disciplines, this shared space is also an incubator for cross-pollination with science, technology, business, and a host of other fields.
“How many other people do you know who can say that they have 3D printed their own toy? [I was] able to see my digital designs made into tangible 3D objects, and that is pretty amazing if you ask me,” said Teresa Sweeney, AMD’16.
Up until now students have had to rely on 3D software to imagine their designs coming to life, now the designs can become a reality. The new equipment has also helped students of every academic discipline, like Julieta Moradei, E’16, who want to branch out of their majors and experience something new.
“I wanted to take a few electives in courses completely outside the realm of my major to express my artistic side. Not only has the Physical Design course encouraged unlimited creativity through the use of the 3D printers in the CAMD studios, it’s shaped the way I envision ideas in all other projects and classes I’m taking,” said Julieta.
The new facilities have given the Department of Art + Design the opportunity to expand their courses to offer innovative classes that stretch the boundaries of typical art and design classes.
“If you look at art and design history, you will see that major evolutions in formal and conceptual thinking have come in tandem with the invention and application of new tools, said Janos Stone, a lecturer and design researcher in residence who teaches the physical design course in the Makerspace. “Having the MakerSpace available to students and faculty is analogous to the tool-driven evolutions in art and design history. Thanks to this new equipment and technology, we are now able to create and be creative in exploratory ways, rather than mimicking what has been done before.”
Wenger Music Rooms
CAMD recently received generous donations that made it possible to build two Wenger SoundLok® noise-isolating rooms for the Department of Music. The smaller of the two rooms is used as a teaching studio; while the larger room, which is used as a practice room for student band groups, includes a drum set, guitar and bass amps, and a sound system for vocalists.
“We are enormously grateful to the parents, alumni, and other supporters who have supported the music faculty’s aspirations for our students. It brings us hope for a still richer path forward in the coming years,” said Dan Godfrey, the Chair of the Department of Music.
These rooms have benefitted the students and faculty in several different ways. The new teaching studio offers a sound environment for students to hear themselves sing or play their instruments in a private setting. This has helped faculty and students involved with music lesson courses tremendously. Once the doors to these rooms are shut, it sounds and feels like nobody on the outside is listening, which allows students to feel more comfortable with singing or playing their instruments. The rooms include built-in technology that allows students to enhance the room acoustics with reverb settings; the same technology panel allows students to make a recording of themselves that can be downloaded to a computer.
According to Junauro Landgrebe, a part-time lecturer and the Northeastern ensemble coordinator, this also benefits faculty with offices located directly across from these two rooms — now the sound emanating is much lower and muffled compared to the other practice spaces.
“The most significant benefit mentioned by students is the ability for them to practice louder styles of music, such as rock, in a room that is fully equipped with amplifiers, keyboards, drum set, and a sound system for vocalists to use a microphone. There are countless student bands that use the room to develop their original sound, compose original works, and more generally make music,” said Junauro.
This summer CAMD started a series of facilities upgrades in the common areas of Ryder Hall which include new paint and directional and departmental signage. “The engaging new wayfinding is a significant step in branding the College of Arts, Media and Design and building a stronger CAMD community overall,” said the College’s dean, Elizabeth Hudson.
The new wayfinding also helps guide visitors and long-time students alike through Ryder’s halls. In addition to general directions, the new signage also includes larger signs for departments and special facilities, such as the CAMD Makerspace, indicating that those rooms contain notable equipment.
“The old paint was really dark and I always had a hard time finding my classes at the beginning of the semester. Now I love the way that the new colors and design make Ryder feel more welcoming,” said Tom Minieri, AMD’16.