X-Shaped Shelves Let 8th Graders Design Their Own Library [Video]

X-Shaped Shelves Let 8th Graders Design Their Own Library [Video]
Arts & Culture

X-Space is a library designed by Studio H students at REALM Charter School in Berkeley.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 27 february 2014

Recently launched on Kickstarter, X-Space is a library designed and built by 108 8th graders at the REALM Charter School in Berkeley.

X-Space started out as a project by the students in the Studio H class, an in-school design and build program offered to students in the 8th to 11th grade. The students were asked what they wanted from their school and the majority just wanted a place to read, relax, and discover new things. While most people call a place to read and relax a library, the students decided to call it an X-Space or a space where “X” can be anything.

Emily Pilloton, the Director of Studio H, said,

For our students, this project came from their hopes and dreams and ideas for how their school could be better. They get to build the environment they want. The biggest benefit for our students is connecting an idea to a whole classroom full of tools to build something so audacious for themselves and for the hundreds of other students at REALM.

The students designed the entire library, which will be composed of a shelving system made out of hundreds of X-shaped wooden shelves called STAX. The STAX units are made with CNC technology provided by Carl Bass, the CEO of Autodesk. A single STAX unit can stand on its own as a separate shelf or as table or bench support, but several units can also be put together to create large shelves.


Pilloton added,

We see the library as analogous to our classroom or woodshop; it’s not about the books or specific tools, but the curiosity. So there will be books, technology, tablets, big work tables, maybe even a 3d printer or screen print station. The idea of the library is about exploration. X-Space is a place for kids to explore and discover in many media.

Studio H launched a Kickstarter campaign for X-Space this week, and every time a backer pledges a STAX shelf they will receive one, too. They also get to have their name put on the library wall of the future X-Space. The campaign ends on March 27th.

Check out the Kickstarter video below for more about the project.

Project H


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