Making Magic

The roar of the lit furnace,
the warmth of freshly mulled sand,
the whir of cutters and coolant,
a layer of oil and soot on my hands,
a film of sawdust coating each surface,
the celebration of a first weld or bend,
the care in carving out every detail,
and the people by which this place stands.

These colors, textures, and shadows tell the story of an unpredictable, warm space worn with chips and grime, lit by old fluorescent bulbs and flame, and inhabited by spectacular projects and people. That space is the Stanford Product Realization Laboratory (PRL), the prototyping and fabrication student learning lab where I am both a teaching assistant and student. This series offers a snapshot into the manufacturing processes and projects coming to life in this place, but even more importantly, it highlights moments of intimacy, drama, pride, and joy that I often get to witness within its walls.

To say I love this space would be an understatement. This lab is where I have spent most of my time at Stanford -- whether designing chairs or jewelry, helping students solve problems, or letting the time pass seeing what people are up to. Being a part of this community has been fundamental in my development as a product designer in graduate school, in building the confidence to bring my ideas to life, and to sharing that empowering experience with others. I hope that that love shines through in this series - that the viewer can see the space with the excitement that I do - and that they will feel at least a small drop of the magic I feel is made in the PRL.