Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center

Don’t just be stuck with an idea in your head. Build it, and get it in your hands.
~Alan Baker of Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center

The Chicago Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) hosted a special meeting at the Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center (CIADC) on Wednesday evening. It’s tempting to call CIADC a maker space because it certainly appeals to makers. But as the ACM group learned during a tour, CIADC stretches beyond making and into empowerment.

Video: Molten bronze is poured by makers at the Chicago Industrial Arts & Design Center (CIADC).


Makers and Computers

Why would ACM Chicago choose to tour a maker space? A few reasons:

Four Instructional Areas

CIADC is open to makers at every skill level, from beginners through advanced. Every member is required to take quarterly safety instruction because tools and procedures evolve over time. Instruction is offered in the following areas:

Start off with integrated technology & design, and learn enough computer aided design (CAD) software to make it work. And then head to the other areas, gathering expertise and materials as needed. It takes years to achieve mastery, and CIADC offers a place where you can get started now.

Some CIADC members float between the areas, building projects that encompass multiple skill sets.

Industry + Art + Design

CIADC reflects the eclectic background of its founder, Matthew Runfola. Raised in farm country in upstate New York, surrounded by machinery, earned a Mechanical Engineering degree with a minor in Environmental Studies. Artist, designer of bmx bicycles and snowboards. One might call him a renaissance man. From the brief tour, one gets the impression that Runfola surrounds himself with similar minds.

CIADC shows that industry, art, and design can and should exist together. What an exciting place for makers to make.