The Language and Media Center is a collaborative space at Michigan State University that supports student media projects and language learning. As a design and project consultant in the space, I spend my time helping students conceptualize their projects and helping them navigate the resources that are available to them. We have photography, filmmaking, and music production equipment available to check out as well as a computer lab with all of the editing software needed for digital projects. However, we also have equipment to help turn digital projects into physical projects. My favorite piece of equipment in the space is the flatbed cutting plotter, which does this:

In an effort to get more involvement from first-year students and to encourage a “gift economy” among RCAH students, I pitched my idea for an LMC Idea Passport to the director of the LMC. The premise for my first iteration of the passport was a small booklet that contained a checklist for ways to get involved, blank paper for brainstorming project ideas and keeping track of progress, and an area to collect trading cards, stickers, and stamps that were made in the LMC. I teamed up with the director of the LMC and a fellow consultant to refine my first prototype. Eventually, we decided on a prototype for the pilot, which was an envelope for interchangeable “passport cards.”

Now that the hard part was finished, we spent the next two days producing enough passports for the entire RCAH freshman class, who were coming to visit the LMC in their first year writing classes.

It’s amazing to see something that I envisioned go from idea to implementation in just a couple of weeks. By talking with other consultants and LMC users, our team created a prototype that achieves the original project goals, but also allows for growth in the future. This project has potential for new consultants to add their own contributions as more people start using the passports. I’m excited to see where this goes!