Letter from the Director – IRL Year Report

Letter from the Director – IRL Year Report

We started a tradition at the IRL last year of writing an end-of-year report. As a part of that, I write a “Letter from the Director.” This year it was particularly challenging to find the right words. But, anyway, here they are:


The IRL community has always been a place where we instigate transformative work. We do this through engagement with the world around us – with objects, tools, and yes, with people. We make our ideas – from the everyday ones to the transformative ones – into real things.

Making is how we create change.

As we close our academic year, we do so with change in mind. Change is all around us, and with it, an uncertain future. But change also presents us with opportunity. Opportunity to help each other, to positively influence our environment, and to help make a better future. As agents of change, it’s our duty to stand up and participate in that process. To make things better.

I continue to be proud of the community that we’ve built together, and its continued ability to take action and act when action is so desperately needed. It’s no mistake that the same students who have made our space successful are the ones who continue to step forward in challenging times. From developing workshops that keep people tinkering while at home to developing much needed personal protective equipment for front line workers, this community has a lot to be proud of.

This is who we are. This is what we do.

I look forward to continuing our service to the DePaul community next year, and to continuing the growth of our ever-expanding community of risk-takers, doers, and makers of things.

Jay Margalus
Faculty Director of Maker Innovation