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Designmatters4 and FabLab are almost off and running

Designmatters4 is a cross-campus lecture series, now in its fourth year, that initiates cross campus conversations on the integration of design, business and technology in the creation of products, services and experiences. In spite of reduced funding, we are planning  to continue this series. The 2009-2010 designmatters3 lecturers included Principal Researcher for Microsoft, Bill Buxton, the Head of Pixar’s Moving Pictures Group, Michael Johnson, and futurist and Principal Researcher for Nokia, Jan Chipchase. This fall, we are pleased to support our colleagues in the Champaign Urbana Community FabLab on the occasion of its opening by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT. Professor Gershenfeld is the creator of the FabLab network, and we are excited that he has agreed to make his lecture about digital making part of the designmatters4 series. We are planning to follow this up with a series of other exciting speakers next semester. Please watch the listserv for details of upcoming events. We will be pleased to discuss sponsorship of the 2010-2011 dm4 series, and future series with interested parties.

The Champaign-Urbana Community FabLab will formally open on Thursday, November 11, at 3-5 pm in the FabLab, located in the Art Annex 2, 1301 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, 61801.

This event is open to everyone and will feature hands on activities, welcoming remarks by members of the Lab’s Community Leadership Council, and by Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and the founder of the global FabLab network. The mission of the Champaign-Urbana Community FabLab is to promote ingenuity, invention and inspiration by introducing students of any age to modern prototyping and fabrication equipment. Our goal is to encourage creativity as well as an interest in architecture, art, computing, engineering, mathematics, science, and technical trades. Community access, at a reasonable cost, builds local capability with global links to the entire FabLab network — enabling personal growth, economic development and cross-cultural understanding. We encourage people to build virtually anything they can imagine.

After the FabLab opening please walk on over and join us for a light informal buffet at 5:45 pm in the atrium of Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, which will be immediately followed by the first exciting design matters4 lecture at 6:15 pm, this Thursday, Nov 11, in the Lawrence Plym Auditorium; Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, 611 E. Lorado Taft Drive, Champaign, IL 61820.

Programming bits and atoms: How to make (almost) anything by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT
Professor Gershenfeld is the Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. His unique laboratory is breaking down boundaries between the digital and physical worlds, in projects as diverse as molecular quantum computers and virtuosic musical instruments. Technology from his lab has been used in MOMA/NYC, rural Indian villages, the White House and the World Economic Forum, Las Vegas and Sami herds. He is the author of numerous publications, patents, and books including Fab; When Things Start To Think; The Nature of Mathematical Modeling, and The Physics of Information Technology. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Economist, and on the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, he has been named one of Scientific American’s 50 leaders in science and technology, has been selected as a CNN/Time/ Fortune Principal Voice, and by Prospect/FP as one of the top 100 public intellectuals.

Dr. Gershenfeld is the originator of the growing global network of FabLabs that provide widespread access to prototype tools for personal fabrication, and directs the Fab Academy, the associated program for distributed research and education in the principles and practices of digital fabrication. Designmatters4 is a cross-campus lecture series, now in its fourth year, to initiate campus conversations on the integration of design, business and technology in the creation of products, services and experiences.

This years series is sponsored by Autodesk Inc, the Department of Human factors, the School of Art and Design, and maybe you, your company, or department.

For more information — contact: David Weightman: or Traci Pines:

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