Creative Fabrication

A diversity and arts intensive course at UNC Asheville co-taught with Susan Reiser Jan 2021 to Ongoing

Creative Fabrication was created by Susan Reiser and has always centered around service oriented projects that give students real world experience using the design thinking process to create highly customized solutions for individuals and community stakeholders. Susan asked me to co-teach the class with her in 2021. Each class focuses on a different project and satisfies the diversity intensive and arts intensive requirements at UNCA. 

Projects range from creating public art for the city of asheville to address issues of redlining and urban renewal to designing a custom storage shed for the Asheville Tennis Association’s wheelchair tennis equipment. 

Public Art for The Burton Street Neighborhood.   Spring 2022 (Co-teaching with Susan Reiser)

Students are tasked with creating public art in the Burton Street neighborhood in Asheville NC. The sculptures are intended to be points of information and community engagement in a rapidly gentrified historically Black neighborhood. Working with DeWayne Barton of Hoodhuggers International, students will gather information at community meetings, create designs and present them to the stakeholders for critique. The class will culminate in 3 maquets of design concepts. 

Storage Shed Design for Wheelchair Tennis Equipment.   Fall 2021 (Co-teaching with Susan Reiser)

Students designed storage sheds for the Asheville Tennis Association’s (ATA) wheelchair tennis equipment. Students researched wheelchair tennis and worked with the president of the ATA to create designs that would make the storage shed accessible and efficient. Students created ⅙ scale models of the shed designs and presented them to the ATA. 

Safehouse Door Lock Mechanism.   Maymester 2021 (Co-teaching with Susan Reiser)

This class will engage engineering students in the design and fabrication of the artistic details and surface design for Mel Chin’s Chicago Safehouse Door. The Chicago door is an adaptation of the New Orleans Safehouse Door as part of the Fundred Dollar Bill Project. The Chicago door will incorporate a surprise kinetic element to serve as an identifier of a new community center in the Sweetwater neighborhood. The door will adorn and keep safe a renovated church turned performance venue and makerspace. The door will be unveiled June 19, 2021.

The Sweetwater Foundation turns abandoned and forgotten urban spaces into community resources.

Public Art for the Nasty Branch Greenway.   Spring 2021 (Co-teaching with Susan Reiser and Leslie Rosenberg)

In partnership with the City of Asheville, this class engages engineering students in the design of public art along a new greenway. The Nasty Branch Greenway, defined by the small creek that absorbs and carries away runoff from the city above, is located in a historically Black neighborhood that was decimated by redlining and urban renewal. NC Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, worked with middle school kids from the neighborhood to write a poem about the Nasty Branch entitled Beloved Nasty Branch. The students in this class are tasked with researching the history of the neighborhood, engaging stakeholders and designing artwork to reflect the needs and desires of the community while honoring the history and reflecting the words of Green and her students.