By Alex Wu
The Design Realization Garage (DRG) is a space where all students can go to pursue their passions and bring their creative dreams to life. However, you can’t just go into the DRG whenever you feel like it, anymore. You now have to request access to the DRG through a Google Form. Why do students have to request access to the DRG? Does it make people less likely to go?
The DRG “Request for Access” form is a nine-question form that can be found on the DRG website. It takes no more than five minutes to complete and is relatively easy, as long as you know what you want to do in the DRG. Despite this, when some people hear that there is an application process in order to use the DRG, they are immediately turned away.
I surveyed 110 d.tech students about their experiences with the DRG and their thoughts on the application process. 78 students (71%) reported that they have been to the DRG before. Of those students, only 40% said that they filled out the form when they wanted to go and 68% said that the application made them less likely to go. Of the 32 (29%) students who said that they didn’t go to the DRG, 47% said that it was at least in part because of the application.
I talked to some students about their views on the DRG application. Junior, Bradley Kishiyama, stated, “It used to be so simple to go in there and do your d.lab or passion project, but since the application came out, it’s become a much larger process.” Sophomore, Yohanna “Yoyo” Konardi, said, “I’m too lazy to fill out the form. I filled it out once and by the time he finally approved it, I didn’t need to do the project anymore.” Students said the application was too much work and not worth the effort.
However, the application process wasn’t created with the intent to make it harder to get into the DRG, it was created to help make experiences in the DRG better. Galen McAndrew, DRG Director, says, “We have the DRG request for access form so that I know which students are going to be coming in, what they are going to be working on, what tools they might need, and how long they think it’ll take them to work on their project. It gives me accountability for who is going to be in here, and I can prepare better.” He wants to make sure that everyone who goes in has the optimal experience and that he’s ready to help. He also said, “I also use the data so that I can see what types of projects are being [created], what types of students are utilizing the space, what types of tools are getting used most often so that I can show that data to others and also use it to make budget and tracking decisions for the future.” By collecting the data of what tools people are going to use, he knows what to buy to make sure everyone can do what they want to do. The application is meant only so that he can ensure each student has access to all DRG resources.
Although the DRG application does seem to be keeping some students away from using the space, the DRG is an invaluable resource to all students at Design Tech. The application will only enhance your experiences in the DRG, so just take a few minutes to fill it out.