Remoulding the future at RTU’s new Design factory

  • 2015-05-07
  • By Etienne Morisseau

RIGA - RTU Design Factory recently opened in Riga, with the purpose of creating a link between inspired students and start-ups. Whether to find the composition of a everlasting ink for tattooers or to develop a vertical wind turbine that increases its energy production through the principle of fluid dynamics, the “Lab” is a place where abstract ideas can become concrete.

Starting six months ago from a hi-tech room in the basement of the Faculty of Architecture of the Riga Technical University, the Design Factory is in the process of expansion.
Thanks to grants from the European Union and the university, the Lab aims to become from the summer 2015, the Latvian branch of the Design Factory Global Network, which already spreads worldwide.

3D Printing
A welcoming open space will soon be inaugurated in the faculty, offering a workshop that put at the students disposal several machine tools along with labs for 3D printing and silicone or resin work. Most of all, the place will be a thinking sanctuary, including all you need to keep focus on your project; a coffee machine, a brainstorming glass room, a black board wall, and even an American kitchen.

“The goal is to give students access to quality equipments, to get the highest results possible.” Charles Bušmanis, head of RTU Design Factory, tells The Baltic Times. “We want to provide a neutral ground where students from all departments can work together and help one another.”    

The Lab’s first ambition is to prepare them for professional work by conducting end-to-end projects. Through product development courses taught in English and shared experience between rookie architects, the objective is to make the students eventually get self-sufficient.
There is no obligation to revolutionize science; just creating an original piece of decoration might be enough to get you started on a machine.

Then there is always the opportunity to take part in more serious works. Such as the ideas which already sprouted in the Lab, for example the research for a biodegradable material for 3D printers or a navigation system, tested blindfolded in order to be more adapted to visually impaired people.

Smart Socks
One of the most promising projects could lie in a sock — a sock which has the feature to precisely analyze movements of the feet through sensors. This device primarily targets high-level athletes, yet think of the possibilities that this technology can offer if the sensors adjusted to fit an entire suit.
No wonder why there is a growing interest from officials and company representatives for the Lab over the last few months, for sure the Design Factory of Riga Technical University will stand, through the years, as the Baltic birth place for many notable innovations.