During my residency at Open Works, I was lucky enough to meet Jen Schachter, a Robert W Deutsch Foundation Fellow. She was formally trained as a fine artist at MICA, but had evolved into being a maker and was using her residency to move the Open Works makerspace in Baltimore to be more organized and more inclusive with some of her energies and works. To that end, she was also apart of the Nation of Makers organization that was organizing its first conference — it’s theme: inclusivity. Learning about what I was doing with my Teen Maker Entrepreneurship Program there plus my background as a graphic designer, she quickly recruited me for a series of events that would culminating at the conference in Santa Fe. One culminating project was a partnership between Jen and a visiting doctoral candidate, Adam S. Masters, who was a Graduate Research Assistant Department of Engineering Education from Virginia Tech who would be putting together the opening event for the conference. Dr. Masters had cultivated a survey of different inclusion and intersectional issues that often come up in makerspaces, who are often dominated by older, white, and male members. The goal was to educate the conferences participants through the queues — the questions were boiler plated and plotted into a polling program — the only thing left to do was implement. When I saw some of the beta tests of the poll, I asked about the possible appeal of detaching personal experience with the questions, as some of the questions might offend to turn off the participants. So I designed a few test illustrations of personifying tools to demonstrate the questions with a bit more levity. You can see below the finished collection.
At the conference, there was such a good amount of engagement that many participants — many makerspace managers, owners, and members themselves — asked for the images to be released as open source, so that they could distributed their spaces or used in trainings with their staffs and community members.