Lockers Designed for Artists

Overview Instructions

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That thin metal box at school where you cram all your stuff? Lockers aren't designed for students today. In fact, the design of lockers hasn't changed since the days of your great grandparents!

But in the School of the Future things could be different. Reimagine the design of a 21st century locker you would need as a Maker. A locker you could use to keep all of your stuff for making!

Let's get started on the challenge to redesign your school locker.

These ideas are for lockers that incorporate art and technology. I want the user to be able to customize and personalize their lockers, which will have lots of storage space and technological accommodations. Lockers at my school are very basic and boring, and I want these new ones to be bold and innovative. As you look at my ideas, please keep in mind that I did not factor in cost. These ideas are not necessarily practical, but I am trying to think big!

Collect Instructions

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Gather more information about your existing school lockers by taking photos, sketching, conducting interviews, or doing additional research.

Think About

  • What is the purpose of a school locker?
  • How has the way you use a locker changed since you first started school in kindergarten, for example?
  • How many times do you visit and open your locker each day?
  • Do teachers or school administrators have any safety or security concerns about lockers?  What are they?
  • What types of materials is your locker constructed from?

Try This

  • Take photos of a row of your school's lockers.  Open your own locker and take a photo of what's stored inside.
  • Make a list of all the features your locker currently has. (Examples: hooks, air slots, etc.)
  • Make a list of all the items you currently keep in your locker on a typical day.
  • Next to each item, make notes about what 'needs' that item has.  (Examples: my sweaty gym clothes need to kept away from my other things; my iPod needs electricity to be charged; my winter boots need a place to drip dry)
  • Make a list of all the items you wish you could store in your locker, but don’t have room for.
  • Measure the length, height, and depth of your current locker.
  • Measure the length, height, and depth of your backpack, books, coat / shoes, and other large objects you typically keep inside your locker.
  • Measure the width of your school's hallway.  How much of this width is taken up on both sides of the hallway when students stand in front of their open lockers?
  • Read this Washington Post article to learn more about some of the complaints students have with their lockers today.
  • Visit the websites of a few manufacturers to see various types of lockers currently made.  What do you like or dislike about these examples?

jasperl2015's work for the Collect Information step:

The purpose of a locker is to hold supplies that you use daily at school. To collect information, I found background information of the current model lockers.
This is the front of my locker. As you can see, it is very bland and boring. It is made from wood.
This is the top of the inside of my locker. It has a cubby for books and three hooks. I added...
This is the bottom of my locker. It can be seen that my backpack and coat are stuffed in with my...
This is the wall of my locker. My schedule is taped to the side. It is wooden, so I can have...
These are some of my notes. Basically they have what I wrote on the summary.
This is the lounge around the lockers. As you can see, there is stuff overflowing into the hall...
The lockers are about 6ft high and 1.5 ft wide.

Brainstorm Instructions

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Develop sketches or models to help you puzzle through new ideas and solutions.

Think About

  • Make a list of all the things you like about your current locker.  Ask several friends for their opinions.
  • Make a list of all the things you dislike about your current locker.  Ask several friends for their opinions.
  • Think about your locker not just as a metal box, but as another type of container.  What other types of containers do you use each day to store stuff?  (Examples: containers for food, clothing, household items)
  • Many animals, insects, and plants use containers to store things (Example: bees use honeycombs).  Check out some of the images in the Inspiration Gallery for other ideas of strorage units.
  • Keep in mind that your newly-designed locker will be one of many along the hallway.  How will these individual units all fit together?  How will several students use their lockers at the same time without bumping into each other?

Try This

  • Based on the information you collected above, brainstorm a list of special features you’d like your new locker to have.
  • Make lots of sketches to get your early ideas down on paper.  Learn from each different idea. 
  • Consider what materials the locker will be made from.  What materials will be durable against the wear and tear of student use over the years?

jasperl2015's work for the Brainstorm Ideas step:

I want to focus my new design on lockers specifically for artists. As technology continues to evolve, I also wanted the designs to accommodate laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
This is the first idea that I came up with. The locker is wider than our current ones, and opens...
This is another drawing from idea #1. It shows the scale of the locker compared to a student.
These are some lockers I drew inspiration from. They are extremely high tech, as they rotate and...
This is an example of storage for art supplies. As my lockers were made primarily for artists, this...
This is my second idea. It is simpler and incorporates more of the idea of art storage. The...
This is my third idea. This one is meant to be outside and art studio, so it does not incorporate...
I imagine that these lockers will be made of durable plastic that resembles glass on the inside to...

Develop Instructions

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Now's the time to take what you've learned from the steps above and develop your own solution for a new locker.

Try This

  • Use recycled cardboard to make a full-scale or half-scale prototype model of your locker.  You can't really understand if the locker will hold all your stuff, until you make a quick study model.  Don't worry about making a fancy finished model at this time. Instead, use cardstock, scissors, and tape to quickly create the large 3D form. See how it looks. Break off different sections, add new pieces, and try new ideas. Take photos of your model.
  • Sketch or use software such as Google SketchUp, AutoCAD, or Revit to put your ideas on paper.

jasperl2015's work for the Develop Solutions step:

These will be my digital and physical models and hand drawings. They will probably look similar to my final design stage, however.

Final Instructions

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The final step of the design process is to create a more finished model that communicates your ideas to others.

Try This

  • What color or colors will your locker be? What colors have inspired you?  Add colors to the digital model of your locker.
  • What materials will your locker be made of?  Choose materials and details to add to your digital model.
  • Include a human figure in your final locker model, so we can see how big your locker really is.
  • Upload additional images of your finished locker model to the slides for your project.  Write short captions explaining your ideas.
  • Congratulations on solving this design challenge!

jasperl2015's work for the Final Design step:

These are the final ideas for my locker. I combined the best qualities of all my ideas and am very happy with the results. Feedback would be appreciated!
This is a close-up of the front side of my locker. The user of the locker can customize the color...
This is a row of lockers, how they would look in a real setting.
This is a more zoomed in row of lockers, another rendering.
This image is a picture of the back of my locker. I added a refrigerator to keep artists'...