Frequently Asked Questions
We know you've probably got tons of questions for us! That's why we threw together this FAQ. Check out what's most commonly asked below, and if you don't see your question addressed here, contact us at email@example.com.
Using Our Space
The Design Center is open to all Barnard College and Columbia University affiliates (students, faculty, and staff) who have a campus-specific ID card at either of those institutions. We also welcome adjacent affiliates from Teacher's College and Union Theological Seminary.
If you're a NYC-area K-12 institution or a community organization interested in partnering with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request, idea, or for more information.
First, check our Hours & Calendar page to view when safety orientations are coming up; we offer them several times a week, both during the academic year and during the summer months.
Note: you do not need to register for these! Just show up to whichever one works best for your schedule.
No. If you've completed a safety orientation with us, you're good to visit from one semester to another.
However, if you violate any part of our Community Agreement, you're be required to complete another safety orientation prior to using the space again.
Yes. While we're excited you've used makerspace equipment before, our safety orientations cover important information about our policies. Because of this, everyone must complete a safety training regardless of prior background or experience.
No. Everyone working in the space (with "working in" being defined as using tables and tools for more than a few minutes) must be safety trained, even if they're just hoping to use something as simple as our button maker.
Generally, no. We have some scrap materials (such as fabrics, chipboard, and small pieces of wood) that you can use to learn a new tool for the first time, but you're responsible for supplying your own project materials while working in the Center.
We suggest you check out our materials buying guide for more information on where to purchase things.
Visit the Faculty and Student Support page to learn more about what kind of course support we offer.
You should definitely sign up for our newsletter! It's a monthly dispatch that features information on new workshops and programs coming up, and on any new tools we've purchased. This is the best way to keep up with what we're up to without stopping by and asking.
Absolutely! Please visit our Faculty and Student Support page for more information on how to book events with us.
Hardware and Software
Our team supports all of the software that's associated with our hardware (e.g. Easel for the Carvey, and RDWorks for our laser cutter). We also support users who're working with formatting files in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, as most of our staff use these software programs regularly.
However, we suggest checking out our Tutorials page for more information on software support.
We've got lots of options when it comes to learning about tools! For starters:
- Attend a "Getting Started" session (we run these multiple times per week during the academic year), or use one of our getting started text-based guides posted around the Design Center.
- Visit our Tutorials page to view how to use and troubleshoot our most popular tools.
You can also just walk in whenever we're open and ask us to teach you the tool you're interested in learning.
Currently, no. All of our tools are available on a first come, first served basis.
No. All tools need to be used in the Design Center. This helps us keep track of where tools are at any given time.