The Whitby Makerspace is an open and inspiring hands-on learning environment for kids of all ages. It embodies the Whitby School’s mission to teach children techniques for lifelong learning, encouraging them to develop their own curricula, work independently, and pursue their passions.
Embedded in the school's library, the makerspace enriches the knowledge accrual process with hands-on exploration. Where the library invites students to browse the shelves and research a topic of their choosing, the makerspace encourages students to tinker, experiment, learn, and explore. Work surfaces and mobile tables at several different heights allow younger and older kids to use the space. Shared workspaces as well as tucked-away nooks allow kids to learn and work within their own style and at their own pace.
The rib structure is an open lattice providing views between the work space and the book stacks. Tucked into this structure are a variety of ideation tools such as whiteboards, an iPad, books, and—most importantly—student work on display. The construction methods are clearly visible, inspiring future generations of designers and builders.
Since opening in December 2016, students go there to hang out, eat lunch, socialize, as well as work on projects. As they embark on self-directed and independent projects, the kids have already challenged their instructors to expand their knowledge. The space sits at the boundary of work and play, empowering students to observe, inspire, and learn from each other in an organic way.
SITU designed and built this project.