July 18, 2016

Learning Spaces

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Kyle Bartell, Co-founder, Sit On It Detroit
Sean Ryan Everett, Director, Detroit Public Library Foundation
Linda Knox, Learning Design Librarian, University of Michigan Library
Nick Tobier, Associate Professor, Stamps School of Art & Design; Senior Counsel to the Provost on Civic Engagement; Brightmoor Maker Space
August 2 | 12:30-2 | Dearborn Room
Transportation from Ann Arbor to Detroit City Study:
Parking is available in the structure behind the Detroit Center and can be validated inside.


In this session, Kyle Bartell, Linda Knox and Nick Tobier will lead us in a discussion of learning spaces, through their shared work in libraries, maker spaces and the built environment.  While Nick brings his perspective as a design professor, interruptive furniture designer and founder of the Brightmoor maker space, Linda and Sean bring their perspectives on library learning spaces, including the design labs and maker spaces at the University of Michigan Library and the growing implementation of maker space at the Detroit Public Library. As a designer of outdoor benches that double as libraries, Kyle blends these different perspectives in his effort to grow Detroit’s built environment through furniture and literacy.

This event is open to the public. Walk-ins welcome. RSVP preferred: shiras@umich.edu. Light lunch served.


Kyle Bartell is the co-founder of Sit On It Detroit, an effort to alleviate the lack of bus stop benches throughout Detroit. Since 2012, SOI Detroit co-founder Kyle has supported the Detroit community by providing a place to sit while at a bus stop, as well as increase literacy through the incorporation of free libraries in the bench designs. Sit On It Detroit is passionately aiding in the preservation of Detroit history by constructing the benches out of reclaimed wood from abandoned houses and businesses within the city. With various projects in their future, Sit On It Detroit is looking forward to continuing to assist busing Detroiter’s, and bettering our Detroit as a whole.

Linda Knox is a Learning Design Librarian at the University of Michigan Library.  Her focus is on program design for places that foster connected learning.  She is particularly interested in understanding how emerging technologies can serve experiential or engaged learning in higher ed; and how the library’s role is evolving. She has the opportunity to explore those themes intensively with students, staff, and faculty members through the Digital Media Common’s experimental learning spaces in the Duderstadt Center:  Design Lab 1 and Design Lab 3. 

Nick Tobier is a New Yorker who has transferred much of his affection and sense of street level exploration to Detroit. Nick’s focus as an artist and designer is with the social lives of public places, both in built structures and events. He has designed and/or activated bus stops, farms, kitchens, boulevards, and have worked within and without municipal structures in Detroit, Tokyo, Toronto, San Francisco. His work has been seen at The Queens Museum, New York, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Kunsthalle Nikolaj, Copenhagen, the Tirana Biennial, and the Chicago Cultural Center. He has received grants for his projects from, among others, The Knight Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Harpo Foundation. Current and recent projects include Marvelous Guests (initiated with Juliane Stiegele), a series of site-specific urban interventions, Brightmoor Bikes and Trailers, a hands on workshop for designing, building and distributing utility bicycles, tricycles and trailers in Detroit. He is also the founder of the Brightmoor Maker Space and faculty advisor for Detroit City Study.