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Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Solutions: From Hands Off to Hands On

On left, Inuit snow goggles and hide scraper. On right, Thayer’s 3-D printouts. Photograhs courtesy of Hood Museum of Art.

When Thayer School lecturer Jack Wilson took students in ENGS 2: Integrated Design: Engineering, Architecture, and Building Technology to Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art to see a variety of practical tools and artifacts, including snow goggles and hide scrapers made by Inuit peoples of the Arctic, he was both delighted and frustrated.

Delighted because, as he puts it, “Observing and analyzing functional objects made by people from different cultures and time periods helps students to understand the importance of design and collaborative initiative in the progress of culture.”

Frustrated because only curators can touch the objects. So Wilson, who co-taught ENGS 2 with Professor Vicki May, replicated the Inuit artifacts with Thayer’s 3-D printer. M.S. student and former Thayer design fellow Christian Ortiz ’11 Th’11 helped scan the objects and then printed goggles that students could try on and a hide scraper they could handle with impunity.

According to Wilson, the printed versions were a hit with his 50 students—and with him. “There is no greater way to connect with those who have established culture before us,” he says, “than to experience their environment, be in the buildings they have built, and touch the objects they have produced.”

Categories: The Great Hall, Solutions

Tags: arts, faculty, students

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