Art and Craft

A makerspace within the Moody Center for the Arts empowers student and faculty creativity.

Moody Makerspace, photo by Gustavo Raskosky
Photo by Gustavo Raskosky

Spring 2024
By Tracey Rhoades

With three exhibitions a year in its galleries, the Moody Center for the Arts is always an enticing visual and sensory experience. But tucked away within the Moody’s soaring interiors is another kind of creative space — the Moody Makerspace, a home for graduate and undergraduate students to create and design projects using a variety of media and machines.

“Our goal is to help faculty and students learn something new through the process of creating,” says Rob Purvis, Makerspace director. “We’re building and leveraging a community of people who have an appreciation for fabrication and hands-on making as well as broad knowledge of materials, best practices and external resources.”

Industrial-level equipment and a variety of tooling options encourage cross-disciplinary experimentation and collaboration using materials like wood, metal and paint. Unlike the OEDK, which is for undergraduates only, all students can explore research and personal projects at the Makerspace, ranging from artwork to engineering prototypes.

Students who use the Makerspace quickly come to understand the material complexities of the equipment and what works with their required research. Mitch Roddenberry, a graduate student in electrical engineering, sought to create an ergonomic keyboard. After working with Purvis and undergoing laser-cutting training, Roddenberry fashioned a keyboard specifically outfitted for his hands. “I was impressed with how usable all the equipment is and how helpful it was to have someone there to open the door,” Roddenberry says.