A space dedicated to design thinking

Capen Annex is the new home of the Design Thinking Initiative. It is a space for exploratory learning and for experimentation with the curriculum. The building has a classroom and prototyping studio, a meeting room and a co-working office used by the directors, instructors, administrators, and student design partners.

The building was designed and renovated over the Fall 2015 semester and occupied in January 2016. To date is has served as a learning space for design thinking workshops and for students in our flagship courses:

  • IDP 116 Introduction to Design Thinking (Offered J-term 2016, 1 credit)
  • IDP 316 [Critical] Design Thinking Studio (Offered Spring 2016 and Fall 2016 , 4 credits)

Workshops in Capen Annex have been tailored to students, faculty, staff, Smith College Campus School teachers, as well as Smith College alumnae and Trustees.

Capen Annex will also be the home base for the inaugural cohort of Smith College University Innovation Fellows (UIF). The fellows are part of a prestigious NSF-funded national student leadership program aimed at equipping students to be leaders of innovation and entrepreneurship on their home campuses. The Smith UIF cohort will create workshops, design thinking projects and set an agenda for how their student peers approach change-making on the Smith College campus.

For the academic year 2016-2017, Capen Annex will be open to recipients of the Design Thinking Initiative’s Curriculum Enhancement Grant. Requests are being accepted for innovative uses of the classroom and prototyping studio in the service of transforming existing courses, conceiving new collaborative or co-taught courses, or adding learning opportunities in the curriculum that go beyond the traditional format of a course.

Come Get your design on!

Our space and equipment are open for appropriate use by all community members. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to use the Meeting Room and Classroom for workshops, group meetings, and classes.

Let us know the dates of your meeting, the specific room requested and include a description of your intended use of the space.

To Make a request to use Capen Annex – Email bookit@smithiesdesign.com

To use the prototyping studio, you must complete safety training.
Click here to begin.

Using Capen Annex

The classroom, Room 101, has a capacity of 16 learners and 2 instructors. It comprises 4 workbenches, and instructors workbench, and a prototyping cart. The classroom has paper construction materials and legos, iPad Pros (with Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard), 3Doodlers (3D printing handheld pens), Portable Photo Printers, and Magnatag Porcelain Magnetic Whiteboards.

After use, the classroom furniture should be reset according to the layout in this reset chart: capen-annex-classroom-reset-chart

The prototyping studio, Room 203, has 3 iMac desktops, 4 prototyping stations, 2 workbenches and a prototyping cart. The studio is open to all students enrolled in our courses, special studies or interested in design thinking; it is used primarily for IDP 316 for student design-build assignments.

Handtools and eTextiles Station
– Hammers, drills etc
– Sewing machine and fabric kits
– Electronics sensors and kits such as Arduino, Lilypad, MakeyMakey, SparkFun Inventors’ Kit.

Laser Cutter Station
– Epilog Zing Laser Cutter
– The iMac desktop in this station has Windows/OS dual boot. We currently have CorelDraw and AutoCAD installed.

3D Printer Station
– Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D Printer
– Handheld 3D Scanner

Vinyl Cutter Station
– Roland desktop vinyl cutter with proprietary software (Adobe CS extension) already installed

The meeting room has seating for 8 and is an ideal space for small group meetings.
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  • Untitled drawing (11)
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  • 2016-04-08 16.58.11
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Getting to Capen Annex

The address for Capen Annex is 25A Henshaw Ave, Northampton, MA 01063.

Capen Annex is the yellow and brown house across from Davis Ballroom, behind Cutter-Z.