CAIRN Week 2: Thank You and some FAQ

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Today (Monday 23rd April), the second week of CAIRN is starting. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to building our collective NYU MakerSpace Cairn. It’s been really exciting to see some of the individual cairns that were built and also to see the collective material representation of practices in the MakerSpace. It is a busy space, so busy that starting from day one we had to “reset” some parts of the table (while we had originally planned to reset it on the weekend!).


As Srishti and I have been observing interactions around CAIRN, we realized there were a few recurrent questions and we thought we will share our answers:

  1. Once you’ve built your first Cairn, it is not the end of the journey: it’s the start! We count on you for building a Cairn (or multiple Cairns) each time you come to the MakerSpace. This is a 4 weeks experiment and you need your help during this time.
  2. You can build several Cairns for one of your visit: you might have spent some time doing 3 D printing and then moved to the Laser Cutter area, and this would mean you have at least two Cairns for the day.
  3. Everyone can build a Cairn: students, faculty, TAs, etc. CAIRN is a tangible representation of practices by all users and visitors.
  4. First time” is for people who have come to this area for the First Time: Imagine new  students who come to make their first projects or come to their first workshops in the Greenhouse.
  5. Why is it not completely full? Because we regularly reset the different areas when they are completely full. So don’t worry and keep building Cairns.
  6. Why are you doing this? It’s part of a research project. We are counting and analyzing all the Cairns to understand the patterns of activities and analyze practices in the space. Thank you for participating!
  7. #MadeinNYUMakerSpace: It was made in the MakerSpace – by Maddie (CSE) and Srishti (IDM) with the help of several MakerSpace TAs (they were instrumental in making the legs, and we won’t have CAIRN if it could not stand!).
  8. Homework? Some have asked us what if I came and did homework? You can choose “hanging out” (that’s the option many chose), but if you feel it was a very specific type of homework, you can choose “project” (some did).

We need ambassadors of Cairn: invite your friends and classmates how to build a Cairn; show them how to do it. Feel free to find us (or Maddie Nicolas or Victoria Bill) to share with us your questions or suggestions: this is a prototype and your feedback will help us in our next iteration.

Thank you again for helping us in our research!

Anne-Laure Fayard (Associate Professor, Technology Management and Innovation; Faculty Advisor to the Greenhouse @MakerSpace) and Srishti Kush (IDM)