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Overview Instructions

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That thin metal box at school where you cram all your stuff? Lockers aren't designed for students today. In fact, the design of lockers hasn't changed since the days of your great grandparents!

But in the School of the Future things could be different. Reimagine the design of a 21st century locker you would need as a Maker. A locker you could use to keep all of your stuff for making!

Let's get started on the challenge to redesign your school locker.

The student did not provide any content for this step.


I'm an architect currently teaching architecture in Monterrey, Mexico. I look forward to following your work!

You´ve made some great observations and include a helpful history of your personal use of lockers in your collect information. You could also take photos of your existing locker, or look for images of other lockers or storage furniture for inspiration. Another idea for collecting data involves interviewing classmates about how they use their lockers, trying to identify any problems with the current ones.

Is the sketch you´ve posted under Brainstorm-Analysze your existing locker or your first idea for a new locker? Measuring and drawing your existing locker could be helpful and you could post under collecting information. Then when you are ready to brainstorm, try to do as many sketches as you can of different ideas, that´s what brainstorming is all about. Then try posting 5-10 of those sketches under brainstorm-analysze along with some text to explain your ideas.

You are off to a good start, keep going, and have fun!

How is your project progressing? Do you have new work from the "develop solution" step to share yet?

sjmolina. You are off to a good start with your project. But it's hard to understand what you're showing us in the sketch under "Brainstorm" because it's hard to see all of your drawing.
For best results, all your images should be horizontal and have a maximum size of 580px by 326 px. The imageviewer will automatically shrink them to fit if they are larger, but if it's a vertical image to start with, it will cut it off, as it has done with yours. Please rescan your image as a horizontal, remove the old one, and upload a new one? Thanks!

So far it's going good. I just ploaded pictures of how my locker is, and how my partner and I share it. There's things I want to change, or add to my sketch, but I'm trying to figure out how to do so.

You've got some great details and notes in your drawing. If you want to test ideas or make changes to a hand drawing, one option is to place trace paper over it to use your current drawing as a reference as you draw new ideas. Or you can make a photocopy of your current drawing and then add more details and notes to the photo copy version, also utilizing color pens can help distinguish new ideas from what you originally drew. You should be able to upload multiple images too. Keep up the good work and sharing what you are doing.

I can print this today then you can draw over it in a different color as mentioned above. You need more sketches, if you have started a sketch up model please post an image today and throughout the week. It's all about the process. You need dimensions. Please include them on your next sketch.

Great detailed written description and 3d model of your locker design. It is helpful that you have included dimensions in your model too, even if I can not read them all, sometimes they overlap, which you want to avoid especially if you are going to print it. Also, one dimensions I can´t see because you are just showing us the front elevation is how deep is the locker? I like all the considerations you made and needs you observed that you tried to accommodate in your design, for example including storage for musical instruments, gym bags, and shoes. Your explanation about why you have different shoes you need to store in your locker was informative too, and made it clear why you had provided those special compartments. Nice job!

sjmolina, i like your idea of a multi-compartment locker, its nice to see that you thought of the possibility of more than one pair of shoes. one thing that might help clarify your ideas is to spread out the dimensions of the locker on the "final design" section.

You've made such a good output and information here. I really d like how you put effort on work. Thanks for sharing.

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Collect Instructions

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Gather more information about your existing school lockers by taking photos, sketching, conducting interviews, or doing additional research.

Think About

  • What is the purpose of a school locker?
  • How has the way you use a locker changed since you first started school in kindergarten, for example?
  • How many times do you visit and open your locker each day?
  • Do teachers or school administrators have any safety or security concerns about lockers?  What are they?
  • What types of materials is your locker constructed from?

Try This

  • Take photos of a row of your school's lockers.  Open your own locker and take a photo of what's stored inside.
  • Make a list of all the features your locker currently has. (Examples: hooks, air slots, etc.)
  • Make a list of all the items you currently keep in your locker on a typical day.
  • Next to each item, make notes about what 'needs' that item has.  (Examples: my sweaty gym clothes need to kept away from my other things; my iPod needs electricity to be charged; my winter boots need a place to drip dry)
  • Make a list of all the items you wish you could store in your locker, but don’t have room for.
  • Measure the length, height, and depth of your current locker.
  • Measure the length, height, and depth of your backpack, books, coat / shoes, and other large objects you typically keep inside your locker.
  • Measure the width of your school's hallway.  How much of this width is taken up on both sides of the hallway when students stand in front of their open lockers?
  • Read this Washington Post article to learn more about some of the complaints students have with their lockers today.
  • Visit the websites of a few manufacturers to see various types of lockers currently made.  What do you like or dislike about these examples?

sjmolina's work for the Collect Information step:

1. The purpose of having a school locker is to use it for your personal belongings and school books. Having a locker comes in handy for students because instead of carrying your jackets, your books, or gym bags, you can leave them in the locker.

2. When I was in preschool, we used small wooden lockers to put our jackets and crayons. As I went on to other grades, we didn’t use lockers because we didn’t have them at school. I knew what they were and how they looked, but I didn’t experience the use of one until my freshmen year at Benito Juarez. I shared lockers with all guys that went to grammar school with me. My sophomore and junior year was when I started putting up pictures little by little to brighten it up because the colors were so boring. I’m planning to the same for my senior year, to decorate it with pictures of memories with my friends.

3. My locker is opened approximately five times a day. I’m there in the morning putting in my gym bag and my sweaters and jackets. In the afternoon when I take out or leave notebooks, binders and textbooks. At the end of the day I just go and leave things I don’t need and grab what I do need.

4. Staff at Juarez asks for passes when we go to our lockers. They don’t let us be at our lockers after the bell rings for class. Other than that, they don’t have many concerns.

5. If I am correct, I think our lockers are made out of steel and metal.

Brainstorm Instructions

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Develop sketches or models to help you puzzle through new ideas and solutions.

Think About

  • Make a list of all the things you like about your current locker.  Ask several friends for their opinions.
  • Make a list of all the things you dislike about your current locker.  Ask several friends for their opinions.
  • Think about your locker not just as a metal box, but as another type of container.  What other types of containers do you use each day to store stuff?  (Examples: containers for food, clothing, household items)
  • Many animals, insects, and plants use containers to store things (Example: bees use honeycombs).  Check out some of the images in the Inspiration Gallery for other ideas of strorage units.
  • Keep in mind that your newly-designed locker will be one of many along the hallway.  How will these individual units all fit together?  How will several students use their lockers at the same time without bumping into each other?

Try This

  • Based on the information you collected above, brainstorm a list of special features you’d like your new locker to have.
  • Make lots of sketches to get your early ideas down on paper.  Learn from each different idea. 
  • Consider what materials the locker will be made from.  What materials will be durable against the wear and tear of student use over the years?

sjmolina's work for the Brainstorm Ideas step:

Develop Instructions

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Now's the time to take what you've learned from the steps above and develop your own solution for a new locker.

Try This

  • Use recycled cardboard to make a full-scale or half-scale prototype model of your locker.  You can't really understand if the locker will hold all your stuff, until you make a quick study model.  Don't worry about making a fancy finished model at this time. Instead, use cardstock, scissors, and tape to quickly create the large 3D form. See how it looks. Break off different sections, add new pieces, and try new ideas. Take photos of your model.
  • Sketch or use software such as Google SketchUp, AutoCAD, or Revit to put your ideas on paper.

sjmolina's work for the Develop Solutions step:

The student did not provide any content for this step.

Final Instructions

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The final step of the design process is to create a more finished model that communicates your ideas to others.

Try This

  • What color or colors will your locker be? What colors have inspired you?  Add colors to the digital model of your locker.
  • What materials will your locker be made of?  Choose materials and details to add to your digital model.
  • Include a human figure in your final locker model, so we can see how big your locker really is.
  • Upload additional images of your finished locker model to the slides for your project.  Write short captions explaining your ideas.
  • Congratulations on solving this design challenge!

sjmolina's work for the Final Design step:


The locker I designed is different from the locker we use at school. It would be placed in the wall instead of outside the wall because it would take up too much space in the hallway. It has an edge design to it, and sections as to where things would go.

The top of the locker is where all books go, such as binders, notebooks and text books. Underneathe to the left is where jackets, sweaters and scarfs would go. It has a rod with hangers to hang up the clothing. Below the jackets, there is space availabe for instrument use. At my school, we have students who play the guitar, the trumpet, etc, so I took consideration to have space where they could put them so they wont take up much room in the locker. To the right is where bags go. My partner and I play sports throughout the school year and our gym bags take up a lot of room, so I designed an area where we could put our bags. It has a small rack to be able to hang the bags incase there's no room for both of ours. Below, I designed space for shoes. We always have shoes in our locker for volleyball, cheerleading, and sometimes soccer. I decided to make it in a form of cubes, that way I can have my own cube to place my shoes and my partner could have her's. The locker is pretty big; it's designed for two people.