MAD LABS (Makerspace for Art + Design)

The MAD LABS (Makerspace for Art + Design) are the digital fabrication labs for the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design. The facilities support the curricular needs of all units in the school, but are also available to students, staff, and faculty members from across the university. Services are billed to bursar, research, or departmental accounts, and cost roughly 1/4 of equivalent commercial services.

Since their inception in January of 2016 the MAD LABS have facilitated the research of individuals from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Kinesiology, Art History, Kelley School of Business, Informatics, the Media School, Radio and Television, and all units from the School of Art, Architecture + Design.

Description of the video:


[Video: Violet draws on a page]

Brandon speaks: It was kind of a shock to us, I won’t kid anyone.

[Video: Violet looks down at her pencil.]

Brandon speaks: When I saw it, I was very surprised. It’s almost like my eyes were registering what I was seeing.

[Video: Violet draws a cat on a piece of paper.]

Brandon speaks: I had to sit down.

[Video: Milet and Brandon sit in front of a window with the blinds drawn.]

Brandon speaks: and no one really explained anything to us. It was just, OK, you know, here’s your kid.

 [Video: Baby pictures of Violet]

Brandon speaks: It was a lot to process all in that one moment when, hey, I have my second child. Hey, where’s her other hand?

 [Video: Violet flips through a sketch book]

Brandon speaks: It was a lot about bemoaning what she can’t do. And we were just thinking about

[Video: Violet plays the ukulele]

 All the things she can’t do or she won’t be able to do. And she’s proven us wrong.

 [Video: Jon prepares to teach a class]

Jon speaks: When I was running an architectural firm and a furniture design firm

[Video: Jon sits talking to the camera]

I was very fortunate in that a lot of my furniture designs were picked up by magazines, Time Magazine, the New York Times and all that.

[Video: Jon works with a student]

Jon speaks: It was great at the moment, but it was ultimately, for me, it was not very fulfilling. Luckily I was young enough that I still had time to, sort of, make a change. It’s important that students see another type of work, that design is more than just aesthetics and making things look cool, that it really can be about creating change and having some impact in people’s lives.

 [Video: Jon walks across campus and enters a lab]

Jon speaks: I met Violet’s family through my kids. My two girls played basketball with Violet and I became Facebook friends with her mom.

[Video: Jon works in Mad Lab]

Jon speaks: and her mom put out a post asking if anyone knew anything about 3-D printing. I dabble in 3-D printing. I have a couple of my own and I’ve been doing a lot with digital fabrication of all different types and so I answered the post and we met and, yeah, we were able to put this project together.

[Video: Jon works with Ryan Mandel in the Mad Lab]

Jon speaks: The Mad Lab is a new facility. It's filled with laser cutters and 3-D printers and Ryan Mandell, who runs the lab there, he was a pretty important collaborator on this project.

[Video: Graphics on a computer screen of the hand]

Jon speaks: It's always great to do these projects with someone who knows the technologies

and is sympathetic towards the goal the project.

 [Video: Jon test the flexibility of the 3-D printed hand, arm and joints. He sets the prototype on the work bench. Then he drives a car with hand prototype resting in the passenger seat]


[Video: Pictures of Violet as a young child]

Milet speaks: All the things that we’ve tried, it did seem like it just got in her

way in whatever it was that she was trying to do whether it be just playing or writing or riding a bike or swimming. Finally, when she was about five we just felt like she's just better off without one.

[Video: Jon approaches the Hall home with the hand prototype]

[Video: Violet works with the hand]

Jon speaks: Cool. Good, good.

Brandon speaks: It’s not falling off?

Violet speaks: No.

Jon speaks: If it’s fitting OK, we’re going to keep it the same size.

[Video: Jon works at a table in the Mad Lab]

Jon speaks: After the first prototype, she redesigned it. She chose the color. She added a little star to the back of the hand. Even though it fit well, there was a lot of tinkering that still had to be done.

[Video: Time-lapse footage of Jon assembling the 3-D printed hand]

[Video: Milet and Brandon sit in front of a window with the blinds drawn]

Brandon speaks: And I’d like to see her ride a bike, because I’d like to ride bikes with her before I get too old, before she gets too old and only wants to drive a car. So that would be good.

Milet speaks: Definitely playing an instrument, that's something that she's been interested in and this definitely will make it easier for her. To me, I'm just so blessed to have her as our little girl and she’s an amazing kid.

 [Video: Jon drives to the Hall home to deliver the finished prosthetic]

Jon speaks: So we got your design and we followed it exactly.

Violet speaks: It’s so…

[Video: Violet covers her mouth in excitement]

Violet speaks: I’m speechless.

Jon speaks: Great!

[Video: Jon helps Violet fit the hand on her arm]


[Video: Jon looks on as Violet admires her new hand]

Jon speaks: The reason that I do the work that I do is because I want to be meaningful and I know the power of design and I know it can be, can have major impact. You know, it's not changing the world, but hopefully it's changing. you know, someone's life.

 [Words appear: Custom Made]

 [Video: The Indiana University trident appears]

 [Words appear: Indiana University] [Words appear: Fulfilling the Promise]

 [Words appear:]



Custom Made

With the help of the MAD LABS, Jon Racek, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design senior lecturer created a customized, 3-D arm that will allow Violet to pursue her goals of playing a musical instrument, easily riding a bike, and pursuing typical activities of a 9-year-old.

Spring hours

All Fabrication Labs are closed beginning Saturday 3/28, until further notice.