(From left to right) Delaney Leefe group with Genevieve Bowlby, Pia Marin Barra and Jade Scatliffe created a concept board of their version of what the MakerSpace could look like. Photo credit: Camilla Sola

Third-year interior design students talk amongst themselves in their groups of four as they review their group’s concept art for the new ArtEngine’s MakerSpace. Groups look at their presentation slides that include a color palette of what the room would look like and the type of furniture they would want to have.

As they review during class, the artistic director from ArtEngine, Ryan Stec, walks in the class and looks at the presentations to gather ideas on what the Makerspace could look like.

It will be located in the Arts Court Theatre, which is connected to the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) in downtown Ottawa.

Pallavi Swaranjali, one of the interior design professors at Algonquin College, was asked by Stec to help assist with the making of the commons room in the new MakerSpace.

“It’s a kind of project when they go out there,” said Swaranjali.

Stec and Swaranjali decided that it would be a great opportunity for students to be involved and be a part of a project that will be built in the city.

“We talked about how we can actually integrate the students and the timing was kind of just right,” said Stec, who also teaches in the visual arts department at uOttawa.

The empty commons area of the arts court needed to have a concept design over the course this fall, so it made sense to connect the program to the ArtEngine Project.

ArtEngine Project is a non-profit organization to helps drive creativity to the community as well as allows people to view a variety of art pieces.

Within the Arts Court, this Makerspace will have a studio that has equipment as such a; digital caliper, hand and industrial tools.

It will also include a digital lab that incorporates 3-D elements such as printing, scanning, VR and AR production and motion capture.

Upcoming workshops will take place in the commons room, as well as an office room and public art for citizens to view.

Swaranjali and Stec wanted to convey to the students on how they could make a place feel welcoming when entering the room.

“I think it’s always important to involve students in kind of high-level thinking that is none the less ground in real space,” said Stec.

Over the summer Swaranjali got help from a couple of her students — one of them being Delaney Leefe.

Leefe knew that she wanted to pursue her passion for interior design at Algonquin College.

In April of this year, Leefe helped her professor in ArtEngine for a couple of hours each week.

“It was interesting. It was different on what you do in school,” said Leefe.

One of Leefe’s favourite moments during the project over the summer was to 3-D scan the commons room to get an idea of what the room could look like.

This was her first time being involved in a big project that was outside of school. Now that she’s in school, she hopes to continue in inputting her ideas into helping with the project.