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Local architect Jordan Vaughn, a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Architecture, created his successful design company over 6 years ago, in the industrial area between the Highlands and Globeville. A second generation architect from the Denver area, his company VonMod focuses on cases, cabinets, textured surfaces and modular homes with a modern design aesthetic. His clients have included Awaken Gymnastics on Santa Fe drive, boa technology, Taxi (the co-working space in Rino) and currently his firm is working with University of Colorado Denver and Outward Bound to create 14 modular cabins with design students in the Design Build Program.

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In the last year, though, Vaughn has turned his focus toward the maker community as well. Realizing the resources at his company’s disposal in the form of advanced design software and large state of the art equipment, Vaughn and his associate, Patrick Beseda realized the opportunity they had to engage community members and other designers who might want to get a piece of the action. Located in his company’s modern offices at 4415 Cahita Ct. Denver, CO 80216, in the self proclaimed “GloHi” neighborhood, Vaughn opened his doors to the community, in the form of The Maker Lab.

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The motto for VonMod, which focuses on cases, cabinetry, modular housing and textured surfaces, is “for designers by designers,” and this mission will be guiding The Maker Lab as well, to a large extent. He will be teaching courses based on his specialty areas, geared towards working professionals in the design community, but the classes will also be open enough to accommodate beginners and community members looking to explore the world of design and making.

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The classes will be structured both to include both concept instruction and fabrication time, and will be priced accordingly. For an entire two week course, the class meets twice to cover concept, and two times to fabricate materials. The concept classes will run about $50 dollars and the fabrication classes will run $80, to include the added expense of materials. The two-week course will be available in June and July.

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Inspired by co-working spaces like Galvanize, and the broad Maker Movement that is seeping into communities across the country, Vaughn sees the space being used as an incubator of sorts, where designers who have ideas, but lack the equipment, software, or skills, could use the lab to create products which they could sell on Esty or other craft sites. But Vaughn also wants to work with other architects and designers who may be able to collaborate on projects with VonMod if they know more about what they do, and how they do it.

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In effect, The Maker Lab blurs the lines between mentor and collaborator, and this open source and collaborative mentality is something Vaughn embraces. “We have a lot of skills understanding how a design business works, how to use some really cool equipment and we want to share that knowledge with anyone who is interested. But we also want to meet up with other designers and creatives we could potentially work with and collaborate.” It looks like the collaborative mentality is alive and well in GloHi. You can find more information about Maker Lab on the their website, here.

by Emily Przekwas