Welcome to the eStudio

     The eStudio is a co-laboratory, 
a peer-to-peer research and learning studio that encourages students to experiment across media to re-imagine the digital and physical worlds. The eStudio positions the arts at the center of interdisciplinary collaboration. An open and welcoming approach encourages novices and experts to share the successes, challenges, failures, and surprises that they encounter in their learning and research activities. The eStudio is a nexus for students in art to collaborate with and become familiar with research approaches among students in diverse disciplines including architecture, electrical engineering, design, mechanical engineering, theater, computer science, gender, women, and sexuality studies, creative writing, dance, biology, and music.

The array of digital technologies in the eStudio were selected to support students as they learn the languages and processes common to emerging, programmable, machines. These include digital fabrication machines that sew, fuse, cut, etch, 3d print, draw, engrave, paint, solder, fasten, and collaborate as well as technologies for 3d scanning, augmented reality, and programmable electronics that require little or no prior knowledge of programming or electronics. In general the technologies in the eStudio are examples of those that are within reach of students post graduation. 

Our goal is to encourage artists, individually and collaboratively, to gain fluency with the ways of thinking common to digital technologies and to retune these technologies to support their artistic visions.

Our physical home is in W206 Regis Center for Art

Questions? Email estudio@umn.edu

Don't forget to check out our examples and blog pages for projects that have been done in the past. Want to add yours to the blog? Click here to submit! 

panorama of the estudio space

2017 Fall Hours

(Please check whiteboard outside, hours are subject to change)

If you'd like to schedule another time or volunteer, send us an email at estudio@umn.edu. 

Hours will be expanded as the eStudio continues to develop a community of people who know how to use the equipment and are available to staff the eStudio and open the doors. We hope to see you soon!


The eStudio origin story:

Sparked by her commitment to engaging artists with emerging technologies and inspired by her earlier collaborations at the MIT Media Lab, Diane Willow founded the eStudio in 2010. Just as the now global MIT Fab Lab concept was taking form in 2002, she led the studio-based symposium Digital Dialogues: Technology and the Hand. As the lead collaborator from the Media Lab, she was the catalyst for inserting digital technologies into the material-based studios of Haystack Mountain School. Digital Dialogues brought together artists whose practices were based in the material world and researchers and artists who were exploring a hybrid zone that connected the material and digital worlds. This dynamic experience led her to imagine an interdisciplinary, multi-modal, hybrid space that would prioritized the interests of artists and the questions that motivate us. To create this experimental and collaborative environment, she founded the eStudio by moving the technologies that she used in her research and teaching out of a classroom and into an open studio called the eStudio.


Although the eStudio is home to many machines, it is a people-centered space, a socially engaged environment that supports people as they experiment with new ideas. Open to art students working in any medium, it is a space that also encourages interactions among people from any discipline. At heart it is a place that invites community, serendipity, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration. The process of making art with digital technologies and programmable machines requires a playful attitude, a willingness to learn new things, and a generosity of spirit that encourages sharing what you know with others.


With the support of 2016-17 and 2017-18 Academic Innovation Grants,  UROP awards, and CLA Dean's Freshman Research and Creative Scholars, a dynamic group of highly motivated undergraduate students are working with Diane to communicate the potential of the eStudio to students and faculty in the Department of Art and across the University. Together we work with students and faculty in classes and individually, present participatory open studios called Exploratoriums, host this blog, and are collaborators in the CLA Embodied Technologies Collaborative Workshop. We are committed to opening the eStudio as much as possible and to creating an inclusive and creative space.




Prof. Diane Willow  


About: eStudio founder and creative catalyst

professor in the areas of interdisciplinary art + participatory culture


Teaching: I often teach these art courses: 

Interdisciplinary Collaborations, Sound Art, Making Art Interactive

I also teach in Architecture, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Occasionally I co-teach with a Biologist


 Expert in: creating physical and conceptual spaces for interdisciplinary collaboration, advocating for the arts at the center of art, science, and technology collaborations, making new technologies accessible to artists, using the languages of the senses and embodied experience in multi-modal art, proposing the practice of culturing technology, making art "by any medium necessary".  


Current Projects: By Any Medium Necessary is the title of her forthcoming book.  She is in process with two participatory public art works: In the Public Eye and Freedom of Movement.


Diane is also the catalyst for the current IAS Research Collaborative, ArTe [Art + Technology]. ArTe is focused on an intercollegiate initiative that would situate the arts at the center of an art and technology initiative at the University of Minnesota. 


Max                                                                                                       Research Assistant

About: Skateboarding internet video freak, low-tech hacker, and advocate for computer literacy, accessibility, and programming. Interested in movement, digital art, and creative collaboration.


Major: Individualized Studies with focus in Sign language, computer science, and art

Expert in: Dremel 3D Printer, Vinyl Cutter, Ultra Sonic Welder, OtherMill



Research Assistant

About: Interdisciplinary artist (photo, drawing, collage, etc). Believes everyone is/can be an artist. Collects tiny things. Loves collaborative learning, experimenting and thinking aloud. She/her/hers.

Major: Individualized Studies with a focus in Graphic Design, Cultural Studies + Comparative Literature, and Mass Communication

Expert in: Wacom tablets, Embroidery Machine, AxiDraw and currently learning all the other machines

eStudio Alumni

Research Assistant

About: 2016 - 2017, Loves trying new things and pushing machines to their limits. Open to brainstorming if visits are stuck with where to go next. Enjoys experimenting with new materials. 

Major: BFA Sculpture + Minor in Comparative U.S. Race and Ethnicity 

Expert in: AxiDraw, Sonic Welder, Wacom Tablets, Soldering Station


About: 2016- 2017 Volunteer,loves combining physical art and digital art, negative space, and simple body language. 

Major: Mechanical Engineering and Interdisciplinary Design (combo of graphic and product design)

Currently learning all the machines and knows the basics for all. 

About: 2011-2016, 5 year veteran of the eStudio, expert in combining design and art together in a hands-on process. 

Major: BFA Graphic Design + BFA Fine Arts

Expert in: Embroidery Machine, Vinyl Cutter, Wacom Tablets, Ultra Sonic Welder