Business of Design students launch makerspace at SFU Surrey

Mar 14, 2018


Business of Design students with Lisa Papania, Co-Director of the program, at _space, a new makerspace at SFU Surrey

Students in SFU’s Business of Design program, an interdisciplinary collaboration created by the Beedie School of Business and the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, have created _space, an 1,800 sq ft prototype makerspace located at SFU’s Surrey Campus.

_space offers students the opportunity to use a variety of equipment including a sewing machine, electronic and woodworking tools, as well as share knowledge with others across disciplines. _space is currently available for students and clubs at SFU, in any faculty, as well as local businesses in Surrey, offering the opportunity to deepen connections between SFU and the community. However, the vision is for _space to be an open-access place, available to anyone.

“We called our makerspace ‘_space’ as we wanted it to be truly interdisciplinary,” says Jay Tseng, one of the Business of Design students behind the project. “The ‘_’ is not an underscore, but a line for our users to give meaning to the space. We believe that our space is not just a maker space but a design space, art space, social space, startup space, inspirational space and so much more. When people use our space, they will naturally define what this space is to them, and by doing so claiming it as an important part of their educational journey.”

Tools available to users of the _space

Before the official launch of _space, more than 200 students in Business of Design, including clubs such as Technovus, had already made use of the new facility. With strong demand for _space, the students have negotiated additional premises – known as subspace – offering an additional meeting and working area.

The students have ambitious plans for _space, and hope to expand it further, with potential plans including a pop-up shop for entrepreneurs to sell their products, a machine shop for larger fabrication work, and more co-working and multi-use space, which could be used for events and exhibitions.

The _space is currently guaranteed to run through the end of Summer 2018 with hopes of continuing into 2019. Student groups wishing to book access to _space should email pmakerspace@gmail.com or visit their website here.