A six-week summer course in Shenzhen gave students a unique experience in bringing their research into a manufacturing environment
Every summer from 2013 through 2019, students from the Media Lab traveled to Shenzhen, China to try their hand at transforming projects they’d painstakingly prototyped in labs into high-quality, mass-manufactured products ready to deploy in the real world. Known as Hacking Manufacturing or Research at Scale, the six-week course allowed students to gain experience in and exposure to the realities of deploying their research outside of an academic institution.
“As a Silicon Valley of hardware and manufacturing, Shenzhen has one of the world’s highest concentrations of factories across many industries,” explained Irmandy Wicaksono, a research assistant in the Lab’s Responsive Environments group who participated in the program last year. “This unique ecosystem gave us access to diverse knowledge, tools, and raw materials.”