Connecting people passionate and skilled in different fields brings a multitude of creative ideas to life – it’s this premise that inspired a handful of UCLA students from the Bruin Entrepreneurs Club to create Creative Labs, a new platform that connects UCLA students from both north and south campus together who are passionate about technology, design, entrepreneurship, marketing, or simply creating. UCLA counts with great programs ranging from Computer Science to Design Media Arts. These programs are ranked amongst some of the best in the world. As members of Creative Labs, we want to harness this by bringing together the best people from all different majors and provide them with a space that encourages cross-discipline collaboration.
At Creative Labs, I serve as a product manager for Creative Labs’ quarterly creative projects. Every project has a team of 6-10 people and any student at UCLA is welcome to apply to work on available projects at the beginning of the quarter. In Fall 2016, my team worked on a data-visualization project named VisualizingLA. We built an immersive, interactive website that visualizes data in different ways to depict the story of LA transportation and help us derive interesting insights about our city. Some of the answers we were able to visualize were answers to questions like “Where is the highest density of parking tickets in the city or where do people from LAX fly out to the most?”
Besides quarterly projects, Creative Labs is also committed to propagating skills and spreading creativity. Our peer workshops in topics such as web development or illustration are open to everyone. We also invite industry experts to share their wisdom with our group on topics such as engineering, being creative, designing, or business. It’s been awe-inspiring to hear from guests such as Chris Do, Founder and CEO of Blind, as well as representatives from Facebook Engineering, Active Theory, and Use All Five.
By combining expertise from all disciplines, Creative Labs is able to not only encourage the best innovative ideas but also entrepreneurial ideas. We have an objective to deliver beautiful and creative solutions for everyone and have members with backgrounds ranging from web/IOS application to motion graphics to user experience research. Within a short period of time, Creative labs has become a community of over 100 people, and we are now able to take on project needs from other organizations. Our next goal is to scale-up our community to include more UCLA creatives. The more diversity we are able to bring to this already diverse group, the better our products will be and the greater the opportunities will be for more diverse projects each quarter.
Mihir Mathur ’19 is the Co-Founder of Creative Labs and is currently one of six finalists in the FuturizeX 2nd Annual Student Challenge at UCLA. Learn more about Mihir’s Creative Labs project, VisualizingLA, here.