Prototyping Studio Manager

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Apr 29, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Interdisciplinary Studies Job Description

Job Summary

Provide technical and creative support to the Design Thinking Initiative, including management of the daily operation of studio equipment and space, management of student studio design partner interns, and the development of learning materials in service to advancing ‘making as a way of thinking’ for students and other members of the Smith community.

Take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Essential Functions

Prototyping Studio Operations 40%

Manage and coordinate daily operations of the design thinking prototyping studio. Maintain organization of space and materials to ensure access for students, faculty and staff at the college. Test and implement new processes, techniques, and equipment for prototyping and making. Oversee equipment purchases, use, and maintenance. Order and stock materials and supplies for collaborative creative projects. Lead the hiring and supervision of student work-study interns including weekly meeting, 1:1 check-ins, training, and mentorship. Oversee training and safety protocols for studio use. Develop video and graphic communication material for equipment use, workshops and studio safety.

Maker and Design Thinking Workshops and Curricular Support 40%

Develop and curate learning materials to introduce students, faculty and staff to the equipment in the prototyping studio. Develop, propose and facilitate workshops on making for community members in partnership with student staff. Initiate creative projects that advance the mission of the Design Thinking Initiative and increase student engagement. Support and consult with faculty on design thinking processes and hands-on making components of their courses. Provide hands-on making workshops for these classes and work 1:1 with students on course projects. Guide special studies projects in open source design/build projects.

Building Community Partnerships and Collaborative Efforts 20%

Liaison between the Design Thinking Initiative and other complementary studios and labs at Smith, across the five college consortium, and within the broader Pioneer Valley. Serve as an active member of the college’s maker group meetings and coordinate Smith’s involvement in the annual traveling Pioneer Valley Maker Faire. Improve students’ access to making resources at Smith and in the community. Support the collaborative efforts of making spaces across campus including workshops, shop technician support, and coordinated logistics. Co-teach and coordinate interdisciplinary courses and initiatives, including the interdisciplinary 3D printing course and paper making studio pilot.

Other Functions

All employees are expected to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, skills, education, experience, certifications, licenses)

Bachelor’s degree in Arts & Sciences, Engineering or related field. 1-3 years experience at a makerspace, fabrication shop, and/or teaching and working with students; or an equivalent combination of education/experience. Familiarity with making in the context of an undergraduate, liberal arts context or a community-based makerspace. Demonstrated commitment to improving access, equity, and inclusion.

Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

Masters degree preferred. Design, design thinking or creative experience are strongly preferred.


Knowledge and demonstrated experience with fabrication studios and/or Makerspaces required. Desired proficiency with 3D printing, laser cutting, basic woodworking tools, metal work, familiarity with CNC routers, sewing (hand–industrial techniques), microcontrollers and electronics. Proficiency with associated software including Fusion360, the Adobe Suite, CorelDRAW and open source design softwares. Aptitude for troubleshooting and devising clever work-arounds for technical problems. Machine repair and maintenance. Experience working collaboratively with diverse constituencies, especially college students. Ability to multitask, pay consistent attention to detail, respond effectively to various work styles, communicate with faculty, students, staff, and community members and to exercise independent judgment. Ability to organize and prioritize work effectively, to take initiative and responsibility are important.

Please attach BOTH a current resume and a cover letter in order for your application to be considered for this position . You may combine your resume and cover letter into a single file or attach multiple files to your application, but BE SURE you have provided all attachments BEFORE SUBMITTING your application. You will NOT be able to attach additional files after you have hit the Submit button.

Review of applications will begin

May 17, 2021

Compensation Grade:

Grade K Exempt

Position Type:


About Smith College

Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.

Smith College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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