Mohawk Industries has hired Makervillage to lead design and production of 3D accessories for the Mohawk Group LightLab Design Center.

Makervillage will deliver 3D printed lampshades through a unique partnership with Elm Street Elementary and the Berry College Creative Technologies program. Fifth graders at Elm Street will compete to design lampshades for the LightLab employee cafeteria.

The LightLab is a 33,000-square-foot facility being constructed in Dalton, Ga and will house about 80 design professionals and other staff for the international corporation starting February 2016.

“LightLab is being built to the highest level of sustainability in design through the Living Building Challenge, which emphasizes local vendors and materials among other strict criteria,” said Jackie Dettmar, Mohawk’s vice president of commercial design and product development. “These students are the designers and engineers of the future, and we are excited to partner with them now as students. Mohawk is committed to developing local talent and providing opportunities for professional learning and growth.”

The fifth graders are using Tinkercad design software and their in-school Makerbot 3D printers to prototype their lampshades. Mohawk will be presented the best options this month and the selected designs will be enlarged to the desired size by Makervillage. The students with the winning design will be invited to tour the facility during its grand opening.

Berry Creative Technology students, Josh Cutter and Chris Whitmire, have led 3D design workshops with the students. In addition, Makervillage led a lamp-making workshop and will supply every fifth grader with a light kit for the creation of their own lamps when they study circuits in the spring.

“We are so grateful to Mohawk for approaching us with this experimental project. I look forward to seeing how this ‘year of light’ impacts the futures of these fifth graders and the future of our region in innovative ways,” said Makervillage President Tricia Steele.

Elm Street launched a STEM lab in 2014 and was the recipient of a planning grant from the Georgia Department of Education based on problem solving with 3D printing earlier this year. The grant, entitled “STEM in 3D: Dream, Design, DO’ will enable students to acquire integrated and applied STEM learning using Twenty First Century skills and innovation. With full implementation, three dimensional design and printing will be within the reach for students at all grade levels at Elm Street.

“This is a unique partnership that allows us to extend our curriculum in new ways,” said Dr. JoAnn Moss, Elm Street Principal, “and we want our kids to see how design and creativity provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities even within traditional industries.”