D-Lab Workshop

Make what you couldn't when you walked in.

Visiting inventor Robert Shamaingo (l) and workshop manager Jack Whipple (r).

 

D-Lab students in the shop.

 

Learning to make - and use - a hot wire foam cutter.

A workshop for international development makers

Lean Research for International Development is an approach to field research in the contexts of poverty and development work which seeks to maximize benefit and minimize burden and waste for all stakeholders.
Building on human-centered approaches to development and design, Lean Research places the experience of the research subject at the center of the research activity. 
Lean Research is rigorous research that is also respectful, relevant and right-sized. By creating a respectful and enjoyable experience for human subjects in the context of research questions that are relevant to key stakeholders—including human subjects—Lean Research seeks to: 
Increase the quality of information gathered through research
Improve the usefulness of research findings for key stakeholders
Enable both the research process and outputs to benefit study subjects and their communitie

The D-Lab workshop is a place where D-Lab students bring technologies for the developing world to life. An average of 150 students use the shop each year to test ideas, build prototypes, and refine technologies intended to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. Dozens of prototypes are developed in the shop each year.

In addition to current D-Lab students, the workshop welcomes D-Lab alumni, fellows, visiting inventors, and other D-Lab associates to use the shop to pursue international development-related projects. 

Training, learning, making

Love to build things by hand? Welcome to the D-Lab shop!

Never hammered a nail before? Welcome to the D-Lab shop!

D-Lab attracts students who know their way around a shop and those who have never wielded a hammer. To support all students interested in learning to build things with their hands, the D-Lab shop features illustrated, poster-sized “Learn-Its” on types of adhesives, fasteners, and material selection, along with well-labeled hand and power tools of all kinds. Resources like these help make it possible for both beginners and seasoned “makers” to get their prototypes made well, and made safely.

Register for a safety training - first Tuesday of each month at 5 pm. (Safety training at another shop on campus may qualify you to use the D-Lab workshop already.)

About the shop

Lean Research for International Development is an approach to field research in the contexts of poverty and development work which seeks to maximize benefit and minimize burden and waste for all stakeholders.
Building on human-centered approaches to development and design, Lean Research places the experience of the research subject at the center of the research activity. 
Lean Research is rigorous research that is also respectful, relevant and right-sized. By creating a respectful and enjoyable experience for human subjects in the context of research questions that are relevant to key stakeholders—including human subjects—Lean Research seeks to: 
Increase the quality of information gathered through research
Improve the usefulness of research findings for key stakeholders
Enable both the research process and outputs to benefit study subjects and their communitie

The D-Lab workshop, the heart and soul of D-Lab, is airy, colorful, well-equipped, and well-organized. The workshop includes:

  • a large collection of hand and power tools
  • steel fabrication and welding tools
  • an open shop with multiple workbenches
  • a wood shop
  • a long-term projects room 
Lean Research for International Development is an approach to field research in the contexts of poverty and development work which seeks to maximize benefit and minimize burden and waste for all stakeholders.
Building on human-centered approaches to development and design, Lean Research places the experience of the research subject at the center of the research activity. 
Lean Research is rigorous research that is also respectful, relevant and right-sized. By creating a respectful and enjoyable experience for human subjects in the context of research questions that are relevant to key stakeholders—including human subjects—Lean Research seeks to: 
Increase the quality of information gathered through research
Improve the usefulness of research findings for key stakeholders
Enable both the research process and outputs to benefit study subjects and their communities