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Material ConneXion Library: How to Use the Room

MCX Room Guidelines

The Material ConneXion room is a place to explore materials that can be used in design, fashion, engineering, material research, and more! 

Some guidelines for using the room:

  • You are welcome to touch the materials with clean hands
  • You are welcome to take the panels from the shelves
  • The materials themselves must remain on the panel (please treat them with care!)
  • Keep the panel within the MCX room
  • When you are finished with a material, place it in a white bin so that it can be re-shelved by MCX staff
  • To keep the materials safe from pests, food and drinks (other than water) are not permitted in the room
  • If you’re unsure of anything, don’t hesitate to ask us!

Material ConneXion library at TMU

Examples of Use

There are a number of ways in which the collection can be used:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering projects
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovative fashion designs
  • Interior Design
  • Zone Learning prototyping 

There are endless creative opportunities! For more examples, check out some student projects.

Teaching Activities and Assignment Ideas

There are endless possibilities for teaching with the Material ConneXion room. Find some activities below or email to ask about the availability of a librarian to facilitate an activity for a group or a class.

A Design Activity

  1. Assign students a product, space, or structure to design and include a couple of requirements for the design (ideas below).
  2. Ask students to research and choose up to three materials from the MCX room.
  3. Students create a design by incorporating the qualities of their materials to meet the requirements for the design.
  4. Students present their designs.

Design assignment ideas:

  • Furniture: office chair, dining table, bookcase, etc.
  • Clothing: children's clothing, adult clothing, pet clothing, etc.
  • A building: a hospital, a library, a school, etc.
  • A room or floor of a building: a recreation room in a long-term care facility, a children's section in a library, a living area in a single-family home, etc.

Requirement ideas:

  • Sustainable
  • Sound-proof
  • Water-proof
  • Accessible
  • Multi-use

A Problem Solving Activity

  1. Provide students with an issue that could be solved with the development or improvement of a product, space, or structure (ideas below).
  2. Ask students to plan their approach to the issue (research method, possible stakeholders, possible risks and benefits, etc.).
  3. Students research and choose one or more materials that may solve the design problem.
  4. Students present their materials' qualities and how these qualities could be used to solve their design problem.

Design problem ideas:

  • Traffic noise for residences close to a highway
  • Coffee cup waste in an office
  • Visibility for bicyclists at night
  • Wet paws after rainy or snowy dog walks