About Gabby Resch

Gabby Resch is a PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. He conducts research in the area of multisensory HCI in museums. Part MacGyver, part John Bender, he can often be found eating hummus and listening to speed metal, or stripping old 3D printers for parts.

The Promise of Library Maker Culture

May 25, 2015Gabby Reschevents1

PhD students Dan Southwick and Gabby Resch will be giving a keynote presentation titled “What’s in the Box? The Promise of Library Maker Culture” at the Mississauga Library System’s annual staff conference on May 27, 2015. Slides from their presentation will be available here after the presentation.

Critical Making Lab Research in the News

PhD student Gabby Resch’s research experimenting with new modes of multisensory museum interaction was recently mentioned in a Toronto Star article on the use of 3D printing to enhance a blind Brazilian mother’s birth experience.

Critical Making Lab at Richmond Hill Public Library

October 24, 2014Gabby Resch3dprinting0

Critical Making Lab members Dan Soutwick and Gabby Resch demonstrated a workshop concept using lego bricks to foster greater understanding of 3D design processes at Richmond Hill Public Library in October. This is the second time they’ve been invited to RHPL to talk about 3D printing. The methods they’ve been experimenting with will inform a year-long research project they are undertaking with other members of the Semaphore research cluster. Expect to see frequent updates about library and museum-based events coordinated by the group throughout 2015.

Critical Making Lab – Open Hours

October 24, 2014Gabby Reschprojects0

Through the fall 2014 academic semester, the Critical Making Lab will have open lab hours on Friday mornings from ~9:45-11:45. Anyone interested in working with us should feel free to drop in during those hours.

The lab is located on the 7th floor of Robarts Library, in the Semaphore Research Cluster.

Fall 2014 Critical Making Workshop Series

We are hosting a workshop series at the University of Toronto this fall!

The first event in the Critical Making Lab Workshop Series uses desktop fabrication tools to make custom prostheses. “Scanning, modelling & printing—An experimental toolchain for prosthetics,” the first workshop in the Critical Making Lab Workshop Series, will take place Thursday, the 18th of September. Open to students and the public, this workshop will explore a prosthesis-production toolchain developed by researchers in Semaphore’s Critical Making Lab. Using affordable 3D scanning and 3D printing tools, as well as free 3D modelling tools, this workshop offers participants the opportunity to try out a process which will soon undergo a pilot study in a Ugandan hospital.

The workshop will take place from 1PM to 3PM, Thursday, the 18th of September in the Semaphore Demo room (rm. 1150, on the ground floor of Robarts Library).
Registration is full.

This workshop will ask participants to explore 3D design with the aid of a library of building blocks. This workshop is ideal for anyone interested in design, 3D printing, or building blocks. No training or special tools are necessary, though experienced designers are welcome. We will be providing iPads preloaded with the design software. Participants will be able to take any completed prints home with them.
DATE & TIME:Tuesday October 14th, 1:30pm-4:30pm
LOCATON: Semaphore Research Cluster Demo Room (room 1150), Main Floor, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street
Click here to register.

Extending the “Doomsday Clock” that has been representationally deployed by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947 to warn the world of the possible imminence of nuclear catastrophe, participants will develop tools to alert the public about the growth or decline of a variety of threats to global civilization, such as ecological crisis (i.e. desertification or ocean acidification); political or sociological catastrophes (i.e. potential genocides or infrastructure collapses); and public health issues (i.e. influenza pandemics).
This workshop is ideal for data scientists seeking to make their data more meaningful through the use of eye-catching visualization; sociologists, political scientists, and environmental scientists who would like collaborate with technologists to build educational tools; historians and futurists alike; public health and disaster researchers; designers and artists.
DATE & TIME: Tuesday November 18th, 1:30-4:30
LOCATION: Semaphore Research Cluster, Demo Room (room 1150), Main Floor, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street
Click here to register.


Article About Quantified Toilets on iSchool Website

There’s an article on the iSchool website discussing the Quantified Toilets project that came out of our CHI hackathon. It can be found here.

Re/Making the Unknown: A Symposium Exploring Humanistic Approaches in Science and Technology Research

A few of us from the Critical Making Lab are co-organizing a half-day symposium that brings together scholars from multiple fields to discuss the use of interdisciplinary humanistic approaches and methods in understanding:

  • how scientific and cultural knowledge are produced

  • how infrastructures that cross disciplinary boundaries can share objects, methods, and features

  • and how new technologies that blur material/digital distinctions are changing cultural institutions

Date: June 18

Location: Room 1150, Robarts Library (Main Floor), 130 St. George Street, University of Toronto

Session One – 10am to 12pm

Finding the Known in the Unknown – This session will discuss historically-informed approaches to curating unknown, discarded, and damaged/destroyed technoscientific objects. This session will be facilitated by curators from the University of Toronto Scientific Instruments Collection, and will present a handful of case studies that see historical artifacts from the collection brought to new life through the use of cutting edge technologies.

Coffee and light lunch (provided) – 12pm to 1pm

Session Two – 1pm to 3pm

3D (De/Re)Materialization This session will consider, with respect to the use of 3D technologies in humanistic approaches to science and technology studies, how 3D scanning and printing can be beneficial for some humanities scholars. Through the presentation of relevant examples and a live demonstration of 3D scanning and printing technologies, it will encourage a discussion around whether 3D makes possible certain kinds of investigations that are becoming increasingly necessary in a number of disciplines. The session will be facilitated by scholars from Information, Museum Studies, and History and Philosophy of Science and Technology.


This symposium is an effort of the Jackman Humanities Institute Working Group on Humanistic Studies of Science and Technology.

DIY Water Sensing Workshop at Subtle Technologies (May 30th and 31st)

This event is co-organized by Nina Czegledy, Adriana Ieraci, Antonio Gamba-Bari, Michelle Gay

Guest Speakers : David Lawrie, Ramón Guardans

May 30, 2014 6:00-9:00 pm AND May 31, 2014 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Place: Semaphore Demo Lab, Main floor Robarts Library
130 St. George Street, on the University of Toronto campus

Registration includes materials for the kit (estimated at $50). Bring the kit home with you.


In this one and half day experimental workshop we will explore basic water characteristics, mythologies, practical facts, socio-technical issues, cultural and art projects about H2O. Participants will be invited to bring their own fresh water samples – from their homes, from run-offs in their neighbourhood, or from nearby water sources. We will build a simple electronic DIY testing kit, based on the Arduino, and develop a test methodology to sense the water properties. No previous technical knowledge is necessary. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Critical Making Hackathon on Big Data and Surveillance at CHI

Critical Making Lab director Matt Ratto, along with lab members Antonio Gamba Bari and Gabby Resch and a small group of collaborators, are co-organizing a critical making hackathon at the upcoming ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The deadline for interested participants to submit applications for involvement in the hackathon has been extended to January 24th. More information can be found here.

A Peek Into the Critical Making Lab…

enactive2013 from Matt Ratto on Vimeo.

Collaborative 3D-Printed Mesopotamian City at the Royal Ontario Museum

Together with Toronto startup MAKELAB and the [R]ed[U]x Architectural Science Design Lab at Ryerson, Critical Making Lab members Dan Southwick and Gabby Resch designed and implemented a 4-week 3D printing experience at the Royal Ontario Museum that ran in November and December, 2013. This experience saw patrons of the ROM’s Friday Night Live public engagement use iPads to design their own custom ancient Mesopotamian buildings and then print their designs on a small fleet of 3D printers. Over the course of the 4-week run, many of the printed creations were assembled into a unique, crowd-sourced exhibit. Mudbrick ziggurat-based CN Towers on the banks of the Tigris, robots and cats perched above grand temples, and collapsed ruins are just a few examples of what the public imagined and built in this experience.

More information about this event can be found here.

Matt Ratto on 3D-Printed Guns

Matt Ratto recently appeared on an episode of TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin to discuss the critical implications of 3D printing dangerous, controversial, and occasionally illegal technologies (like guns) with Paikin and Cody Wilson, director of Defense Distributed, the R&D firm behind Liberator 3D-printed gun.

Critical Making Lab and Children’s Own Media Museum at Harbourfront

Lab members Antonio Gamba Bari and Gabby Resch, in conjunction with the Children’s Own Media Museum, took a handful of arduinos and one of the lab makerbots down to Toronto’s Harbourfont Victoria Day festival in order to provide the opportunity for kids (and their parents) to explore, create, and build a range of unique artifacts. It was an interesting opportunity for us to explore the interactive possibilities afforded in a busy, chaotic atmosphere, as well as a chance to see how a long-running group such as the COMM anticipates and prepares for an event that caters to hundreds of both excited and distracted kids (and their parents) as they experience technologies like 3D printing and electronic circuits for the first time.

Critical Making Lab Members at Ladies Learning Code 3D Printing Workshop

Critical Making Lab members Dan Southwick and Gabby Resch recently mentored a 3D printing workshop for Toronto non-profit Ladies Learning Code. LLC is an organization that runs workshops for women (and men) who want to learn beginner-friendly computer programming and other technical skills in a social and collaborative way. Over the past few years, they’ve established a number of chapters across Canada, a thriving girls’ program called Girls Learning Code, and a permanent workshop space in Toronto. Gabby has previously instructed one of their 3D printing events, so it was a real eye-opener to see how far they’ve come over the past year in developing the infrastructure and mentoring support to expose the broader public to this technology.

Gabby with one of the lab makerbots at the Ladies Learning Code 3D printing workshop.

Gabby with one of the lab makerbots at the Ladies Learning Code 3D printing workshop.

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