If you’re new to @Home with… we take a moment each week to spotlight a community member or staffer associated with LTU’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology by asking 5 questions centered on work and life during self-quarantine. We have a special installment this week featuring Lawrence Technological University alumni who work together at Neumann/Smith Architecture – and are making a difference at this very difficult time.
When Designers John McGarry, Trent Schmitz – both LTU College of Architecture and Design grads - and their colleague Clayton Wenrick heard about the dramatic shortage of personal protection equipment, or PPE, at hospitals and medical clinics, they couldn’t just sit still and let it happen. In just a few weeks, the team made 1,000 new face shields to donate to health care facilities for additional protection.
“My colleagues and I felt compelled to use our knowledge of 3D printing and advanced modeling to design and 3D print face shields for nurses, doctors and first responders,” said John McGarry, designer for Neumann/Smith. “We are fortunate enough to have access to two large 3D printers. With permission from our office, we were able to take home these 3D printers and set up our own makerspace.”
McGarry leads Neumann/Smith’s Computation Group, assists in managing Neumann/Smith’s Makerspace and is a professor at Lawrence Technological University, where he teaches simulation and prototyping.
He and his colleagues are collaborating with AIA Detroit and sharing resources with a larger network of architecture firms and individuals throughout the region. LTU’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology was able to provide six brand new 3D printers to assist in this project.
“When we heard about this effort we were thrilled to be able to support in ramping up production output,” said Christopher Stefani, associate director of the DCDT. “This is a perfect example of the power that our students, and creative industry in general, has when we engage Design + Technology collectively.”
The team now has a total of 12 printers and is producing 700 or more face shields each week, according to Clayton Wenrick, designer at Neumann/Smith.
McGarry, Wenrick and Schmitz also shared a special thanks to family and friends, the Neumann/Smith Team and their families, LTU’s Detroit Center for Design + Design, The Centropolis Accelerator, Delray Systems and Mirari for all their donations and assistance.
McGarry added: “It’s been incredible to see such care and generosity people have during these difficult times.”
If you would like to get involved and help the team at Neumann/Smith with its 3D printing effort to help those in health care, please reach out to John McGarry directly at email@example.com or AIA Detroit for resources. He assures us “there is plenty to do including if you do not have a 3D printer.”
And now … here’s a glimpse at how the trio is spending their time at home.
@Home with Neumann/Smith’s John McGarry, Trent Schmitz and Clayton Wenrick
DCDT: Where are working from these days?
JM: “I spend most days in my basement. I have a small workroom where I surround myself with 3D printers and laptops.”
TS: “The apartment I’m in has a large bedroom, so currently one corner of the bedroom is designated as the ‘at home office’ with some computer monitors, and a couple of 3D printers.”
CW: “The living room - It’s the only place in our home big enough to handle my workstation and all of these 3D-printers.”
DCDT: What’s the best part about working from home? The hardest?
JM: “The best part is that I’m with my wife and daughter. Though these are difficult times it’s a blessing that I get to see my family so much. It’s different working from home. Instead of a work-life balance it feels like a work-life blend. I found it important to take advantage of this time and go out on walks with my family.”
TS: “I think one of the nicest things is that I’m able to get a little more sleep because I no longer have to drive anywhere. I can also work at the desk set up I have, or from sitting in bed or on the couch (which, is perhaps also the hardest thing). You really can work from anywhere, so I’m finding it a little harder to find a work-life balance as they are now happening in the same place.”
CW: “Oh, the best is being around my family all day. My daughter and my dog are especially thrilled - my wife maybe not always as much ;) The hardest is being disconnected from my work family. I really miss that water cooler gossip! And then there’s the continuous ‘BeeYoop BeeDeepBoom’ of the 3D-printers all running at once that now echoes through my house.”
DCDT: What digital platforms are you using most at this time?
JM: “I use Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Zoom, and GoToMeeting to connect with others. CURA and Replicator G with Sailfish for slicing software for 3D printing. Rhino, Grasshopper and Dynamo for all my 3D modeling, parametric modeling and scripting.”
TS: “It seems like we’re utilizing everything and anything. I’ve been using Email, Zoom, Facetime, Microsoft Teams (a lot), and of course, regular phone calls every day.”
CW: “Microsoft Teams for work, and the Zoom for when we want to see all our friend’s faces.”
DCDT: What’s your favorite option for delivery or carry-out?JM: “For sure it’s Imperial in Ferndale! We order it about once a week. You can’t go wrong with their salsa flight, Sonoran hot dogs and tacos!”
TS: “I currently live in Southfield and they have great Thai carryout – Bangkok City.”
CW: “Brooklyn Pizza’s Buffalo Chicken pie all day, but I’m super fortunate because my wife is an amazing cook so we’ve been having a lot of home-cooked meals.”
DCDT: How are you spending extra time?
JM: “ I try to spend as much time with my family as I can. However, on my free time I try to catch up on Netflix shows or play Magic the Gathering on webcams with friends.”
TS: My all-time favorite series on Netflix is Parks and Rec, but I’ve also recently started watching Grey’s Anatomy. Aside from catching up on different Netflix series, I’ve been trying to study for some ARE’s when I get a chance. However, the majority of the time I’ve been spending 3D printing, utilizing both printers supplied by the DCDT, and the LTU Centropolis Accelerator, and doing homework.”
CW: “Well, we’ve been 3D-printing pretty much 24/7 for the last couple weeks, but when I’ve squeezed something in other than my daughter’s favorite movie Frozen (and now for variety Frozen 2), it was completely binge-worthy Amazon series Undone and Fleabag – both great!”
Join us again next week for another @ Home with.. feature. Stay safe. Stay @ Home with us.
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