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The Makerspace: Our Way of Adding Visibility and Usability to Technology

Different technologies have always shaped the ways human beings live their lives. The electric light illuminated homes and businesses, starting in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and now one could not imagine a home or building without electric lighting or power. The telephone and then later cellular phones heightened communication between humans beings in ways like never before. Many historians have marked the mass usage of the telephone and subsequent evolutions of these devices as the beginning of the end of privacy for human beings, even within their own homes.

This lack of privacy, or say, increased public visibility, has heightened concerns about security and privacy via the internet and on one’s phone. Like who exactly can see what one posts on social media, just people on their network or anyone with the same app? Things are definitely more out in the open in the internet, digital and mobile world, but what if visibility of technology was not a bad thing?

“What if visibility of technology could be seen and used by many for common goods and altruistic goals?”

It can, through: visibility and usability. This is something that is specifically done by institutions like the University of Toronto and spaces like the KMDI-Semaphore Makerspace, located at the Claude T. Bissell Building, room 307 at the St. George campus. Technology needs places and spaces, like educational institutions and their labs to be visible, so technology can be learned and used by many. Today, someone can learn how to use a specific technology by seeing someone use it online and if they are provided with the time and space to learn and use the technology themselves, they too can make or create something.

More advanced technologies, including: 3D printers, Raspberry Pis, virtual reality headsets and others, have also broadened the possibilities of altruistic uses of technology, particularly in the crucial area of healthcare.
People can design and create new medical devices, prosthetics, or small aids using 3D printers. Moreover, people can program and manage medical databases with specific tailored medicines or treatments (as needed per patient), to better serve those struggling with health conditions or concerns. Even virtual reality has begun to push in the direction of medical altruism, as now some terminally ill medical patients have begun using virtual reality as a therapeutic form of enjoyment, specifically necessary for patients dealing with the stresses of a terminal condition.

As this piece is titled: The Makerspace: Our Way of Adding Visibility and Usability to Technology, visibility for education and eventual usability is key. Institutions like the University of Toronto and spaces within it, like the KMDI-Semaphore Makerspace, provide spaces for students and collaborators of the University of Toronto to go see things being made or make things themselves. The Makerspace is located on the 3rd floor of the Claude T. Bissell Building, room 307 at University of Toronto’s St. George campus and has: 3D printers and scanners, Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, sewing machines and sewing materials, soldering irons, an HTC Vive headset and more. Come make something for the greater good.

Click HERE for our Makerspace drop-in hours.