Olin Workshop on the Library Design/Build
The Olin Workshop on the Library (OWL) was a task force intended to realign the library's resources with the needs and culture of the Olin community. We undertook a variety of tasks, from simply cleaning out old clutter, to painting walls, to designing new hacks to improve the library experience. By the end of the summer, we molded the library into a dynamic resource: we built new furniture and refinished old furniture, and then put casters on (nearly) everything to create a modular space, capable of accomodating both everyday traffic and large cultural events on campus. We gave new definitions to old spaces, revamping dreary team rooms and reorganizing the collection to minimize wasted space and therefore carve out new working environments. We brought life into the library via a mobile and modular planter system, and updated the Library's branding and wayfinding.
The result was a prototype of a library where community members could be a bit loud and get work done alone or with others, but could also retreat to a quiet space. The space is more visited than ever before. It was—and is—a space that is meant to evolve over time and change to suit the needs of the ever-changing Olin community.
Developing a brand
I was charged with the task of creating a supergraphic for the circulation desk. After sketching some ideas, I used a projector to rapidly prototype full-scale signs. The graphic I created developed into branding for the entire library.
Fabricating platforms for work
In response to a lack of variety in furniture in the library, we added a new kinds of work surfaces to the library to facilitate different speeds and types of interaction. We refinished existing tables and built new ones.
Working in an agile environment
Our inaugural Design/Build team consisted of five Olin students, two recently graduated alumni, a mechanical engineering professor, and our library director. Our team engaged in weekly sprints. We used Scrum methodologies to stay organized, and cherished our frank and constructive retrospectives.
We let our imaginations run wild. We made the library a more modular space by creating mobile book stacks on casters. We made the environment more inviting by installing a Visual Radio and building modular planters for greenery.
June - July 2015
Team: Nick Eyre, Jeff Goldenson, Aaron Greiner, Aaron Hoover, Scott Mackinlay, Charlie Mouton, Alex Spies, Logan Sweet
Collaborators: Annie Barrett from BAS, Greg Nemes and Nic Schumann from Work-Shop