Hi there. I’m Ryan and I’m from Royal Oak Michigan. Starting up hackLAB, my goal was to provide mentorship to young makers and help them get started in the field of creative design and technology.
Since a child, I have been creating mechanical devices: slingshots, tall welded bikes, Go-Karts, cardboard pinball machines and even a backyard amusement park made of wood pallets. I have dismantled more sewing machines and toasters then you would want to know about.
I got a late start on the Art part. After I studied Engineering and worked for 10 years, I was taught proper design fundamentals and the starter skills for metal and woodworking. I studied form, function, learned the value of critique and iterative design. (adapting and improving as you make)
During the past 10 years, I have been teaching and building online courses in design and telling stories thru data visualization, all while spending a considerable time on wood & metal working, sketching and Arduino based electronics.
At work, I became fascinated by some of the shapes that data makes and I believe that’s how I finally married an inspiration to just making things.
I accidentally discovered the challenge of creating wood kinetic sculptures after my 5th-grade daughter challenged me to make a wind-up spinning lighthouse for her school project, we did it together and it was the birth of my 1st constant force spring. It’s harder than you think and still is challenging. I’ll be straight up and tell you I ordered plans when I was stuck with certain motion mechanisms. Anyways, I loved the results of our lighthouse movement and now the nightly challenge of making my own designs in my shop. However, I’m not even close to the kinetic artist I aim to be.
My dream is to keep making art. It’s also to have sculptures hanging in hospital play areas entertaining comforting children or inspiring kids in schools to choose a path in life that’s both rewarding and a life they truly love. The life of a maker, a creator, a craftsman.