Meet the Makers

Behind every makerspace are great makers.

Read about some our own great members at OmniCorpDetroit below.

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brandad

name
Brandon “Brandad” Richards
day job
Sr. Mechanical Engineer at Harman International
member since
4/2010
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Lafayette Park
email
Brandon.richards81 [at] gmail [dot] com
contact about
Laser cutting, Consulting on Mechanical engineering + Manufacturing engineering + Electronics packaging, hosting workshops, partnership opportunities, as well as OmniCorpDetroit Events

Brandon is a Mechanical engineer by day and a maker/breaker at night.  As a founding member, he has been given the nickname “Brandad” for his Dad-like being at the space.  From rebuilding the space in his free time, updating facebook, collecting and paying bills, he is a highly active member. He works on the “Banana Car” – a Power Wheels Race Car, makes Boom Cases , throws events, and tries to make the collective better in any way he can.  When not at OCD, Brandon likes traveling, snowboarding, going to concerts/shows, hanging with friends, long walks on the beach, and living and enjoying Detroit.

At OCD, you can find Brandon near the sound system or other sound producing device, working on the laser cutter, at the electronics bench playing with LEDs, and sometimes in the shop.

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bethany

name
Bethany “toybreaker” Shorb
day job
Founder, Cyberoptix TieLab; Moonlights as: Artist/Designer/dj
member since
4/2010
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Eastern Market
email
info@bethanyshorb.com
web
bethanyshorb.com, cyberoptix.com, etsy.com/shop/Cyberoptix
contact about
Water-based screen printing, art, design, steel fabrication, some laser cutting. Bethany really needs to learn Illustrator.

A long-time “transplant” to Detroit of 14 years, Bethany received her MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2001 and BFA from Boston University. Her work has appeared on PBS Newshour, HGTV, CBS Detroit, The Martha Stewart Show and was recently reviewed in the New York Times, Wired, Antenna, FiberArts, LeFigaro, Brides, TimeOut New York, and Make Magazine. She is Founder and Principal Designer of product design studio, Cyberoptix; her design work is included in museum shops such as the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, American Museum of Natural History New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Her visual art and product work have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, throughout the US and included in numerous private and public collections including Red Bull House of Art, and as part of music projects that have performed at venues and festivals across North America including the Guggenheim Museum, New York and Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival. As a founding member of OmniCorpDetroit, she has exhibited at the inaugural Maker Faire Detroit 2010, ’11, and ’12 and World Maker Faire New York, receiving seven Editor’s Choice Awards. Shorb has served as a curatorial collaborator at Gallery Project, Ann Arbor’s leading non-profit venue for challenging contemporary art. Most recently Shorb was a visiting artist in printmaking at Summit Series and is looking forward to her residency at the Red Bull House of Art, for their seventh cycle of artists in January 2014 and exhibiting her new series of Sound Paintings at Stony Brook University’s Simons Center Consortium for Digital Arts, Culture and Technology f(glitch) show in February 2014.

At OCD, you can usually find Bethany in the shop, welding or cutting steel; near the laser cutter cutting out leather bow ties, or near the sound system playing music.

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man-holding-a-flute-1565

name
Aaron Blendowski
day job
Fabrications Coordinator at Cranbrook Academy of Art / Adjunct Faculty at Lawrence Technical University / Research and Development at Lightwave
member since
4/2010
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Lafayette Park
email
aaron@realokdesign.com
web
www.realokdesign.com
contact about
art, architecture, design, furniture, products, education, fabrication/prototyping of any kind or random projects.

Aaron Blendowski is an artist, designer, and educator.  He is currently the Fabrications Coordinator at Cranbrook Academy of Art where he oversees the Woodshop/CNC fabrication equipment and consults with students regarding their projects and making in general. He also organizes the section of the Academy’s Professional Practices program that offers students technical education in digital equipment/technology.  Aaron currently teaches at Lawrence Technical University (Electronic Methodologies in Imaging, Basic Graphic Design/Adobe Creative Suite) and is involved with detroitSHOP, LTU’s downtown experimental studio that helps students explore art/architecture/design at the intersection of civic engagement. He is a graduate of both the College for Creative Studies (2004) and Cranbrook Academy of Art (2006), where his curriculum was grounded in interdisciplinary studies, craft research, sculpture, and industrial design. Aaron worked for architect William Massie as a project manager, building prefabricated architecture and large-scale objects and installations. He works as a freelance artist/designer under the name of Real OK Design, building furniture, objects, and architecture.

At OCD, you can usually find Aaron in the shop, in the main space or near the laser cutter working on various projects at once.

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achille

name
Achille Bianchi
day job
Freelance production specialist, writer
member since
7/2010
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Corktown
email
Achille@Bianchi.biz
contact about
production & process design, product development, materials consultation, media & content strategy, logo design & branding and whatever else you might think of!

Achille Bianchi is a designer, production specialist and journalist. He works freelance bringing clients’ product needs to life as well as using his photography and journalism background to help document explicit and intricate processes. He currently works out of OMNICORPDETROIT and has worked for clients that range from University of Michigan, Michigan State University, General Motors, Inner State Gallery, Shinola, Freshwater Transit, MTV, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, Belle Isle to 8 Mile The Detroit Free Press, The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Downtown Detroit Partnership. He graduated in 2008 from Wayne State University with a concentration in journalism and design. He currently is developing a line of wooden sunglasses that use both new and salvaged/reclaim wood from deconstructed homes in Detroit.

At OCD, you can usually find him in the main space / laser cutter room, designing and refining my clients’ projects as well as my own.

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Hannahname
Hannah “Hank” Kelley
day job
(Public) Transportation Planner
member since
9/2011
city/neighborhood
Detroit/New Center
email
hank [at] hannahkelley [dot] org
web
hannahkelley.org
contact about
fine art, textiles, city planning, public space design / installations, pedestrian- bicycle- and public- transportation, popular education, citizen journalism, open source government, community-led research

Kelley is a transportation planner based in Detroit. Her projects range from teaching crash-courses in understanding public transit systems, to weaving and guiding bicycle tours. She has translated among English, Spanish and Portuguese for clients as diverse as Canadian consulting firms, community micro-finance projects, and refugee-shelters. In previous lives she worked as a law clerk, assistant bookkeeper, and waitress. Her planning interests include socially just revitalization, public transportation systems, zoning/regulatory reform, free-libre-open source initiatives and community led research.

At OCD, you can find Hannah weaving, teaching classes, making paper out of recycled pulp, hatching ideas for better government, or building WordPress sites.
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jeffsturges

name
Jeff Sturges
day job
Conductor, Mt Elliott Makerspace
member since
The birth of OCD (winter 2010)
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Near East Side
email
merg2bay [at] gmail [dot] com
contact about
making hackerspaces and makerspaces, youth maker learning, electronics, audio, IT

Jeff Sturges enjoys making things and connecting people, and this love for both led him to start hacker/makerspaces such as OmniCorpDetroit and the Mt Elliott Makerspace.  His work in these communities is inspired by experiences at the The Sustainable South Bronx GreenFab program, the NYCResistor hackerspace, Cranbrook Academy of Art and the MIT Media Lab.  Jeff believes that through collaborative making, tinkering, and learning, We the People can create a more awesome world for ourselves and our communities.

At OCD, Jeff can be found blasting sound in his face while learning enough about about audio synthesis and MIDI to create his own sound making tools/toys.

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AJ

name
Alex “AJ” Manoulian Jr.
day job
Electrical/Software Engineer
member since
4/2010
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Lafayette Park
email
alexmanoulianjr [at] gmail [dot] com
web
ajmanoulian.com
contact about
Electronics design, all things Arduino, PCB design, LED lighting, iOS/Android programming, mopeds, product design, random projects, and pizza.

 

AJ commutes from his home in Lafayette Park, Detroit, to Southfield where he works as an electrical/software engineer. In addition to doing engineering nine-to-five, he also does freelance/contract engineering and software work; ranging from global clients doing high-quantity production, to universities, to single piece works for Cranbrook students and other prominent artists’ projects. In addition to being a founding member of OmniCorp, AJ is also a founding member of the Detroit moped gang, Motor City Riot. Building and re-building small and medium displacement internal combustion engines has always been a favorite hobby of Manoulian’s, providing a great opportunity to get his hands dirty and his face out from in front of the computer. AJ also enjoys teaching; a math tutor in college, a former instructor at TechShop Detroit, and occasional guest workshop teacher at Cranbrook.Keep an eye out for future workshops led by AJ at OmniCorp and other venues.

At OCD, you can find AJ in almost every area of the space. At the electronics bench working on prototypes, in the shop welding moped parts or rebuilding an engine, at the laser cutter making enclosures for electronics, or in the kitchen making pizza.

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vanessa
name
Vanessa Miller
day job
Director CAMP Detroit, Digital Imaging Specialist at College for Creative Studies, Owner Hooray Media
member since
5/2012
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Lafayette Park
email
Vanessa.m@mac.com
web
vanessamillerphotography.com and campdetroit.tumblr.com
contact about
Photography (ie. events, documentary, fashion, editorial, portraits, weddings), Media (video, motion graphics, video production, art direction, presentations), Project Development (consultation, community engagement, contacts, collaboration, branding, strategy, logistics, communication, media), and Bikes (she just likes riding and building them :) )
Whether it be a photo shoot, event, large scale art projects, family dinner night, or baking cupcakes, Vanessa likes to spend her time ‘Making it Happen’. She has spent the last decade creating a photo-documentary titled “Changing Detroit.” Obsessively exploring this cities changing landscape, this work has been published internationally and shown in galleries across the country. From there she founded Hooray Media, a freelance media proprietorship of international and local clients including the Detroit Free Press, Dwell Magazine, Conde Naste Publications, and the Wall Street Journal. Her photographic interests lead her into co-founding and producing some of Detroit’s well known creative projects including Detroit SOUP, CAMP Detroit, and The Women’s event.
Today she is still engaged as Director/Director of Media for CAMP (Community Arts Moving Projects) an organization that facilitates the production of large scale art pieces that are displayed at Detroit’s cultural happenings before being placed back into our communities. In addition, Vanessa has served as a consultant for production of creative projects with both corporate and non-profit partners, and as a member of the New Leaders Art Council of Michigan, an advisory committee to the Michigan Council on Arts and Cultural Affairs. On occasion Vanessa teaches photography classes at the College for Creative Studies, and the Detroit Future Media Workshops.When at OCD you can find Vanessa jamming on her computer editing photos, hoarding the whiteboards to dream up her latest project, or helping to organize our summer BBQ’s and holiday party. When not doing work, she can be found riding her bike, hanging out in the forest, or thinking about finally using the stained glass supplies she bought last summer.
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james

name
James McMullen
day job
mapping, routing, tracking, navigation
member since
12/2011
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Midtown
email
sohowaboutthis@gmail.com
contact about
Arduino, Robotics, Youth Makerspaces

James is a cartographer, an electrical engineer & an artist working in metal, wood & scam. He dropped out of Wayne State University but eventually graduated from UC Berkeley. He returned to his native Detroit after several decades in Silicon Valley, where he built tools for chip design & simulation, developed algorithms to manipulate aerial photography, founded the late lamented Now What Software, created the Small Blue Planet series of digital atlases, & wrote the original renderer for the mapping engine used by Google & Yahoo. Other clients include Canon, Hammond Maps, IBM, Rand McNally, Qualcomm, Sony Etak, & innumerable failed startups.

He now works on navigation engines for deCarta & runs robotics workshops at makerspaces for teenagers at the main library & at 5e Gallery. He’s on the Collective of the Hub/Back Alley Bikes, where last year over 300 kids each learned to build a bike of their own. He wandered into OCD shortly after landing in the D, sharing his obsession with oloids & Reuleaux polygons. He knew he had discovered kindred spirits here when he realized that, after months of making oloid models, no one thought to ask why he would want to.

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joeyname
Joe Y.
day job
Depends on your time zone.
member since
4/2010
city/neighborhood
Detroit/Cass Corridor United
email
joey@omnicorpdetro.it
contact about
Bicycle Maintenance, Reclaimed Resources and Devices, Lesson Planning/Critical Pedagogy, La Mezcla, String Music (esp. Improvisation, Violin Performance, Soundtrack Composition), Digital Literacy/Getting Your Electronic Act Together (for individuals and groups), Social Media, Audio/Interview Transcription, Dance and Fight Choreography, Research Justice, Table Tennis, Internships, Extended Metaphor, Time-Travel, Data Visualization, Radical Cartography, and/or any combination/permutation of the above.

A founding member and graduate of Wayne State University (Tartar On!) whose coursework centered around cross-cultural communication, Joe is an experienced educator, bicycle-type, classically-trained musician, and sometime dancer who loves interdisciplinary collaborations.
As an educator, he has enjoyed working in diverse settings ranging from Arabic-centered public charter school, to hackerspace, to community bike shop, to public computing center, to chamber music academy, with students from as young as 7 to as old as 72, and curriculum as varied as elementary education, bicycle maintenance, web design, and string quartet rehearsals.

In the bicycle world, Joe has been a member of the Back Alley Bikes collective since 2006, thrown alleycats for some of detroit and the world’s fastest and weirdest (including this one that landed us near the top of io9′s ‘most cyberpunk places in america’ list: io9.com/5836264/the-most-cyberpunk-places-in-the-united-states-of-america-part-1), ridden self-supported across multiple states, and managed the startup and development of The Hub of Detroit bicycle shop in Detroit’s Cass Corridor.

The realm of music has heard Joe play the violin for the better part of three decades, including tours of Europe, the Midwest, and Southeast United States. Current musical endeavors include backing up Loretta Lucas, repairing/repurposing acoustic instruments, exploring data-as-score, and impact-based synthesizer design.

A sometimes dancer, Joe has been disqualified from ballroom dance competitions, won bar-room dance competitions, and danced on-stage with Big Freedia multiple times.

At OCD you can find Joe at open hack night giving group tours of the space, editing old hardbacks and collaging at his desk, tuning/tinkering/repairing/playing instruments, zooming around on a bicycle, and trying to get a garbage hockey game going. If the beat is right, there might be dancing involved. It’s for your health.

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Aragornname
Aragorn
day job
high performance computing
member since
4/2010
city/neighborhood
Detroit/New Center
email
n/a
contact about
gelato, light installations, wood working

Aragorn assists Wayne State University research groups (and affiliates) with high performance computing needs while at his day job. Lately he has been spending most of his free time repairing turn of the century homes in the city. When he is not doing those things you can find him biking, preparing good food (sometimes gelato), assisting random people with random things at OmniCorp, and wandering the earth.

At OCD, you can find Aragorn doing random things. Everything he does at the space is subject to variation.

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KelsonHname
Kelson Helbig
day job
Welder/Fabricator/Designer with Ray Katz and Andrew Owen
member since
2/2011
contact about
welding, sculptures, ideas

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Alumni

ken

name
Ken
day job
Nope.
membership
7/2011 – 01/2014
city/neighborhood
Detroit
web
ken.wol.co.tt
contact about
Woodwork, lockpicking, programming, house hacking, coffee roasting, bikes. Hates music, builds guitars.