" Department of Making + Doing – Michael Darfler
Michael Darfler

Personal website of Michael Darfler

Department of Making + Doing

Using making as a tool for placemaking in Philadelphia
2015 | Philadelphia, PA

Principal - The Hacktory, NextFab, Public Workshop, University City Science Center
Role - Design, fabrication, management, instruction

The Department of Making + Doing was a partnership of four Philadelphia based organizations, The Hacktory, NextFab, Public Workshop, and University City Science Center. Located at 3711 Market Street in University City, the partnership use making as a means of placemaking in a rapidly changing neighborhood adjacent to The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. For three years DM+D ran educational programming for youth, young adults, and adults while serving as the base of operations for some of the partner organizations.

“This is a place to Think, Dream, Make + Do.”

As the program manager, I was responsible for the day-to-day operations of a 4,000 sq.ft. makerspace—which included a full wood shop, a digital fabrication studio, and electronics benches— running and supporting programming, advertising and marketing, space design, and improvements.

The Space

Designed to be accessible to visitors of all ages and all skill levels, DM+D was a dynamic and thoughtful space for creating, not just things, but communities and partnerships. The 4000 sqft makerspace housed five distinct studios—community, electronics, digital fabrication, hand tools and assembly, and wood working—which promoted safety, creativity, and ownership.

Pictures courtesy of the Science Center