Design Innovation Announces DI Hub Membership for Community Members

The Design Innovation (DI) collaborator network will grow this semester as the DI Hub and its makerspaces open to the public through a new community membership. 

Beginning Jan. 17, anyone 18 and older can obtain a DI Hub membership and become a collaborator, which grants them access to Reactor shops and labs, equipment in the building’s makerspaces and staff assistance with projects. This membership, which was previously only available to Kent State students, faculty and staff, is now open to the external community. Membership levels start at $15 a month for “DI Collaborator,” which provides members access to most spaces in the DI Hub. The next level, “DI Collaborator Plus,” grants additional access to the Metal Shop, Wood Shop, Industrial/Robotics Shop and Electronics/Prototyping Shop and costs $20 a month.

“By opening [the DI Hub] up to the community, our hope is that the community members in the Kent area can come to a space where they can benefit the same way our students do from our equipment and our technologies and experience, but also help our students branch out into different ways of thinking or partnering with other organizations to create unique projects and solutions,” said Chris Holthe, director of the Design Innovation Hub and Ecosystem. 

Kent State student and DI crew member Greyson Byrnes said he is most excited to finally share the space he works in every day with his family.

“My brother can use our space, as he is not a Kent State student, but he loves fabricating his own art for personal projects,” Byrnes said. “I also really want to teach my mom some cool stuff and help her make some things of her own.”

The new membership model will help give the Northeast Ohio community more access to high-quality equipment such as advanced 3D printers, virtual reality, laser engraving and water jets at an affordable price. Community members who sign up will be able to work on an array of projects, from prototyping a business idea to creating a work of art — the possibilities are endless.  

“It's about having these different mindsets occupying the same space and being able to create and innovate together,” Shannon Hines, assistant manager of the DI makerspaces, said. “I'm excited to get to know a whole new team of collaborators and anticipate that this will have a positive impact on our community.”

Holthe, eager to share DI with a new community, echoed this statement.

“We have that collaborative mindset that we're hoping to share,” Holthe said.

Those interested in purchasing a membership can start by visiting the DI Hub membership webpage to learn more. Membership payments can be made semi-annually or annually, and fees may be charged for material and machine usage. Additional business collaborator and academic membership levels will be available for $25 a month and $50 a semester per person, respectively, paid for by participating organizations and universities.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 18, 2023 12:21 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2023 12:58 PM