0 Things

0 Things 2018

Three Pecha Kucha presentations preceded last year’s Construct3D Saturday dinner. This presentation format, first devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture asks presenters to speak for six and a half minutes, while showing 20 images that were displayed on the screen for 20 seconds each. While these talks at Construct3D may have had a short duration, each one offered a wealth of inspiration.

Corinne Takara, a San Jose Area artist/arts educator, spoke about how design and engineering challenges can be daunting for youth, even without throwing 3D printing into the mix. She then outlined effective ways to scaffold student explorations in 3D printing design challenges, and project journeys, as  well as how building a collaborative, and exploratory class environment is essential. She highlighted the importance of process and workflow through journaling, labeled design iterations, print fail forensics, and low resolution model making.


Photo by Karen Blumburg

Cole Takara, a high school sophomore at Pinewood High School in Los Altos, California, spoke eloquently about how 3D printing can be a useful medium for exploring humanities. He showed how he has used the technology to explore history, art, and politics. He argued for introducing 3D printing as a reflection tool to engage students who may not normally be excited about technology, and he convinced the audience that his own 3D printing experiences made him a more curious and engaged student in both humanities and technology.




Cole's Project

Cole blew the audience away with his ability to articulate his argument with maturity, grace, and humor, but it was the third presentation that surprised and resonated with the audience the most.

Josh Ajima, a.k.a. DesignMakeTeach, an Instructional Facilitator for Technology at Loudoun County Public Schools, hit the stage with the topic: “0 Things.” In his presentation, he shared his and his students’ experiences of being able to find a multitude of Yoda imagery, but no 3D models that represented his or his students' culture or heritage. Josh pointed out that when he searched Thingiverse, a popular 3D printing repository with over 2 million things, he found 0 relevant models for instructional topics. He challenged the audience to view each empty search as an opportunity, and to use the power of 0 things as inspiration to create powerful, engaging designs and projects. Educators should use the omissions in the popular model repositories to encourage students to research, design, and share new 3D models to fill the missing content areas, and to promote social justice and equality.


Josh Talking

Josh has risen to the challenge himself. Some of his 0 Things projects are his Lego minifig attachments that speak to gender equality, such as his Minifig transgender sign, Minifig pussyhats, and Minifig women's march signs. He also created a model of the Friendship 7 space capsule with hidden portraits that are only revealed when the capsule is illuminated from inside of the NASA mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson. And, since 2014, he has created medallions to represent every Chinese New Year.


Minifig transgender sign

by DesignMakeTeach



Minifig pussyhats

by DesignMakeTeach


Friendship 7 space capsule

by DesignMakeTeach

Perhaps it was Josh’s cadence, or his passion, or it was that “oh, yeah” moment, but by the end of his six and a half minute talk we all felt compelled to do something about the 0 Things situation.


Audience at Construct3D

The challenge

Over the next semester, we challenge you! Have your students fill the gaps and create artifacts that speak to who they are and where they come from. Allow design to give them a voice. Post all the models on YouMagine and Thingiverse, tag appropriately, and don’t forget to add the tag "#0Things."

We’ll host an exhibit of all the work at Construct3D 2018. At this event, we will also host a mini-hackathon so that attendees can join together to help fill in what is still missing. Everyone should be represented. With the lower costs and higher access associated with desktop 3D modeling and printing, there is no excuse for 0 Things.


For more information about this project, go to the 0 Things Community Project Page.