New FabLab Member Onye Ahanotu

Material scientist long island city queens NYDesigns

Onye Ahanotu has spent the past 13 years living around the U.S.A. (Los Angeles, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Boston and now New York City), exploring and learning from all that is around him. His artistic origins are rooted in drawing from childhood. Over the decades, Onye grew into painting before entering the world of photography. He is classically trained in the Sciences & Engineering, receiving a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Material Science & Engineering from University of California Irvine while performing mechanistic organic chemistry research. After-which, Onye earned a M.S.E. in Material Science & Engineering from University of Michigan, with a focus on product development, emerging technologies, and fabrication techniques. He considers himself something of an analogous learner who’s knowledge and experience bridges many fields.

Desiree Frieson: Tell us about your background. 

Onye Ahanotu: I am a generally curious person who has had the opportunity to learn about the creative process and problem solving in many fields. I have a fair amount of experience in scientific research, modern fabrication methods and working to incorporate novel materials technologies into design. From understanding molecular interactions to now visual art, I work at the interface of fields, to develop enabling processes and technology platforms. Currently, my photography focuses on investigating the notion of ‘Essence’ as well as how advances in materials technologies impact Us & our environment. Within the FabLab at NYDesigns, I’m working on my latest series which seeks to incorporate fabrication equipment into the art making process, representing novel contemporary fabrication methods.

Desiree: What do you do? 

Onye: I am a visual artist and a materials scientist, working to combine the two fields.

Desiree: What did you study? 

Onye: At the University of California, Irvine I studied Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering, with more of a focus on chemical synthesis and process development. Followed by Material Science & Engineering from University of Michigan, where I explored electronic materials, technology development, and architecture.

Desiree: Where are you from?

Onye: I’m from Rohnert Park, CA

Desiree: Tell us how you got started in your field.

Onye: I have been drawing and painting, since I was young and the same goes for science and engineering. Professionally, I got my start working to de-risk and further develop materials technologies.

Desiree: Can you describe your techniques to us or something about it that’s innovative or different. 

Onye: I can’t quite share my techniques just yet, but hopefully soon! My interest is in having the method of fabrication to be reflective of the subject. The innovative part of my techniques stem from my experience in material science research; I like to think about hierarchies of scale and the fabrication process.

Desiree: What is your favorite fabrication tool at NYDesigns?

Onye: The tools that I use the most, would have to be the laser cutters. However, my favorite tool, that I would like to use more, is the CNC Router.

Desiree: Tell us how people can find your work. 

Onye: If you are interested in learning more about my work, my website (Ahanotu.com) is the best place; brief project descriptions and online store. You can also follow me on Instagram (@onyeahanotu) where I occasionally post updates.

Desiree: Tell us what you’re reading, listening to (podcast) or watching right now as it relates to design and art.

Onye: My consumption clusters around philosophy, science/engineering and art (sometimes directly related, often times not). Much of my readings are from the Nature & Science family journals, or Art history books. Working at the interface of disciplines, I’ve seen how there are so many interesting ideas that can cross fields, as well as time, to inspire something new. I also follow content agglomerators like “My Modern Met”, fall down plenty of Wikipedia rabbit holes, and watch woodworking tutorials on YouTube.

NYDesigns Fall 2014 Newsletter

Fall 2014 has been a busy time for NYDesigns and our residents. Below you will find some highlights of the events and other accomplishments of our staff and residents this fall. For more updates follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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NYDESIGNS INITIATIVES + EVENTS

#makingQUEENS
This fall NYDesigns launched #makingQUEENS — a fall 2014 initiative by NYDesigns featuring a series of events and presentations that explore all the types of creative making that take place in the borough of Queens. These events are part of NYDesigns’ ongoing effort to understand who is making (in) Queens — highlighting diversity in the design and maker communities in our borough.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION 

 

Making Cities Symposium
On September 20th NYDesigns welcomed the participants of Making Cities I3: Innovation, Incubation, Inclusion to our space. The event is a collaborative effort of The New School; the School of Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning (FADU) and the School of Social Sciences (FSC) of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA); and the School of Architecture of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.
On Twitter: Image 1 || Image 2 || Image 3

Maker Faire

NYDesigns is proud to have participated, along with thousands of makers, in this year’s World Maker Faire NY on September 20th and 21st. Our space at Maker Faire included interactive activities such as puzzles with the neighborhoods and community boards of Queens.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

New York’s Next Top Makers 

On September 24th NYDesigns welcomed NYCEDC and the 2014 New York’s Next Top Makers fellows class to the Get Made Summit.
On Twitter: Image 1 || Image 2

Open House NY

On October 11th NYDesigns participated in this year’s Open House New York. On a rainy day we hosted over 50 people who met our residents, including: Vengo!, MTWTF, HUXHUX, and Bhold.
SEE IMAGES OF SITE VISITS 
On Twitter: Image 1

 

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RESIDENTS

Automata

  • Automata will be at American Field on Nov 22 & 23, 10am – 6pm, at Industry City in Sunset Park.
  • Automata will also be featured at Pop Up Flea from December 12-14.

Bhold

Crypsa

Czeck + Webley

  • Harvest season is still happening on many of Czeck + Webley’s terraces. This one on West 86th Street has abundant figs, flowering rosemary and pyracantha berries.
  • It was Czeck + Webley Landscape’s 2-year birthday on October 3rd. They had a little get-together with staff, contractors and the many people who helped them out along the way. (image)
  • C+W installed a waterfront garden in Connecticut using all salt-tolerant perennials just north of New Haven. They aren’t ready to release any photos of the space until it fills in next spring, but here is a view of the water from the site with a slice of Frank Pepe’s white clam pizza.

MTWTF

Valentine Goods

Vengo

NYDesigns Open House New York (OHNY) 2014

Thanks so much to all those that attended our Open House New York (OHNY) 2014 site visits on October 11. Also, we would like to thank our residents Bhold, HUXHUX, MTWTF, and Vengo for opening their doors to our visitors. It was so much fun, and keep in mind that you can schedule a site visit at any moment by emailing us at info@nydesigns.org.

OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: Vengo

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

Vengo

Vengo is a small, high-tech vending machine. Vengo creates retail in new locations, couples it with interactive media and extracts consumer insights. Vengo has 50 machines deployed driving 25,000 unique engagements per month.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?  
Lots of tinkering and prototyping!

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
An amazing, spacious community that affords us the ability to bring all of our team together in one space in comfort.

See Vengo in action!

OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: MTWTF

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

MTWTF

MTWTF is a design consultancy that creates communication platforms for cultural, commercial, educational, and civic clients. Through research and analysis, we identify cultural and business contexts in which to design strategic communication platforms that get results. These platforms include signage systems, environmental graphics, exhibitions, identities, publications, websites, and posters. We believe that good design has the power to help individuals, organizations, and businesses clarify what they do and manifest their ideas to make change happen.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?
Samples of our recent work in signage systems, environmental graphics, exhibitions, identities, publications, websites, and posters.

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
An invaluable home and support system for young businesses and business owners.

See MTWTF in action!



OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: HUXHUX

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

HUXHUX

HUXHUX Design is dedicated to exceptional architecture, interior design, & furniture.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?
A working design studio where you’ll see the trappings and traces of customized designs… from 3d printed tiny things to custom textiles for pillows to custom wallpaper to giant interior design contract work here in NYC.

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
Prime studios for emerging design firms, along with a mindful community that is focused on design innovation.

OHNY 2014 Featured Resident: Bhold

NYDesigns is happy to be participating in this year’s Open House New York with tours on Saturday October 11th at noon and 2PM.

AT NYDESIGNS YOU WILL MEET:

Bhold

Bhold creates thoughtfully designed functional objects that are also fun, whimsical and elegant. Unlike traditional product manufacturers, Bhold’s design is made better by technology and a community of beta testers worldwide. Their rapid prototyping produces over 50 or 100 versions within a few months before a design is deemed ready for release.

What can people expect to see in your studio during OHNY?  
Our 3D printers, a timeline of our prototypes and our designs. A touch of warmth, wit and whim.

How do you describe NYDesigns?  
A city-backed design incubator with friendly supportive folks and a good amount of space.

See Bhold in action!



Maker Faire 2014

NYDesigns is proud to have participated, along with thousands of makers, on this year’s World Maker Faire NY. The event was our launch of #makingQUEENS, a series of events and presentations we are hosting this fall that will explore all the types of creative making that take place in the borough of Queens. These events are part of NYDesigns’ ongoing effort to understand who is making (in) Queens — highlighting diversity in the design and maker communities in our borough.

Our space at the Maker Faire included interactive activities such as puzzles with the neighborhoods and community boards of Queens.
Look at these tweets, sent during the Maker Faire, that show how people tell us they are #makingQUEENS:

#makingQUEENS

#makingQUEENS is a fall 2014 initiative by NYDesigns featuring a series of events and presentations we are hosting that explore all the types of creative making that take place in the borough of Queens. These events are part of NYDesigns’ ongoing effort to understand who is making (in) Queens — highlighting diversity in the design and maker communities in our borough.

Follow #makingQUEENS on Twitter and here on a specific page we have created here on our site.