present the


at the


October 11th - 13th, 2019




The UNLV College of Fine Arts and the Las Vegas and Boston Hubs of the Global Shapers—in partnership with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering and the UNLV Lee Business School—present the Las Vegas Make-A-Thon 2.0 at the UNLV School of Architecture, bringing together art, architecture, business, design, engineering and entrepreneurship students to hack, make and create innovative solutions using programming and rapid prototyping techniques featuring arduino. All making will be done in an open and collaborative studio environment to incubate creative ideas.

This year, the theme will be the Future of Experience Design (XD).
This event is free and open to all UNLV students.

Las Vegas Make-A-Thon Video by Cole Skaggs
Oct 19-21, 2018
Making, ideating + rapid-prototying the Future of Food. #makevegas #makeUNLV2018




Schedule: day 1

Friday, October 11th
5pm - 9pm

5:00 - 5:30 PM_Doors open.

5:30 - 6:00 PM_Make-A-Thon Launch and Event Overview

6:00 - 7:30 PM_Art Walk 2019 Speaker Panel: “Young Voices on Interdisciplinary Design: Paradigms, Practices, Prospects.”

7:30 - 9:00 PM_Art Walk 2019

*Please check back in late September for the final schedule!

Schedule: day 2

Saturday, October 12th
9am - Midnight

9:00 - 9:30 AM_Check-in + Breakfast.

9:30 - 10:00 AM_Welcome + Introductions.

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM_Workshop No.1.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM_ Make Session No.1 : Problem Mapping + Ideation.

12:00 - 1:00 PM_Lunch.

1:00 - 2:00 PM_Guest Talk

2:00 - 2:30 PM_Workshop No.2.

2:30 - 3:30 PM_Workshop No.3.

3:30 - 6:00 PM_Make Session No.2: Prototyping.

6:00 - 7:00 PM_Dinner.

7:00 - 8:00 PM_Workshop No.4: Prototyping.

8:00 - 11:30 PM_Make Session No.3: Pitching and Design.

11:30 - MIDNIGHT_Midnight Snack + Break.

Schedule: day 3

Sunday, October 13th
Midnight - 3pm

MIDNIGHT - 2:00 AM_Make Session No.4: Synthesis.

2:00 - 9:00 AM_Go home/SLEEP.

9:00 - 10:00 AM_Project Submission.

10:00 - 11:00 AM_Breakfast.

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM_Reception + Open Exhibition.

12:00 - 2:00 PM_Final Pitch Competition.

2:00 - 3:00 PM_Awards Ceremony + Closing Remarks.




Frequently Asked Questions



How does it work?

Over the course of 3 days, you will work in teams of 4-5 to create a solution for an issue your group is passionate about. A prompt will be released at the start of the event to guide all projects. We will provide everything you need in order to hack/make—from prototyping resources to food. On the last day, all projects will be mounted for exhibition at the UNLV Architecture Studies Library. Additionally, the top teams will pitch their projects at the Make-A-Thon Pitch Competition + Finale for the opportunity to win various prizes.

What is the pitch competition?

After the hacking and making period, we will host a public pitch competition where the top teams can present their projects. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to see what you designed, and encourage non-participants to stop by to see all the projects and meet their creators.

What materials and hardware will be available?

There will be a variety of pre-configured base arduino boards to help with accelerated development. A myriad of sensors and rapid prototyping materials—foam, chipboard, cardboard, etc...—will also be available. Every team will have the opportunity to select what they need.

Who can participate?

We welcome all undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in participating, to apply.

I am a beginner. Can I still apply?

Yes! In fact, we encourage students at all stages of expertise to apply. We will have various mentors available to guide and support all the teams. Workshops and Guest Talks will also provide tutorials and introduce online resources to aid in the development and execution of your projects.

Furthermore, every participant will receive a welcome packet with specific instructions and procedures related to the event (such as the hardware you will be using). So, don't worry!

What should I bring?

We recommend that you bring a laptop + charger to hack. We will provide everything else that is necessary for the Make-A-Thon, so no significant additional materials are necessary. However, if you have a certain set of tools that you like to use, please feel free to bring those as well.

What do I hack/make?

You can hack/make anything you and your team would like! We will provide a prompt and base boards to help accelerate development, but everything else is completly up to you and your team.

How does judging work?

Judges will evaluate the projects and pitches based on their relationship to design (how awesome it is), engineering (does it work), and entrepreneurship (how was it pitched and what is its real-world potential). But don't worry! This event is meant to be fun, and all of the judges understand that everything will have been made over the span of 24 hours. And if you are worried that the judges might not like your project even though students will, fear not as well! Every team will be eligible for a People's Choice Award in which one popular vote winner is selected. There will be more information available during the event.

How much does this cost?

This event is completely free, and participation includes all meals, snacks, and necessary materials you will need to hack/make with! This is all thanks to our amazing partners listed below!

This is awesome! Who are the organizers?

This event is an interdisciplinary and wide-ranging collaboration between various University of Nevada, Las Vegas units (such as College of Fine Arts, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, and the School of Architecture) and the Las Vegas and Boston Hubs of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative of the World Economic Forum.


What are the Global Shapers and can I get involved?

Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. We strive to drive dialogue, action and change. All event participants will be eligible to apply for membership to the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers.

I have more questions. Who do I ask?

If you have any additional questions regarding the Las Vegas Make-A-Thon that were not answered in the FAQ above, please get in touch with us via the contact form below. We will reply as soon as possible.






Last year, 70 students from 7 different campus units, along with 30 mentors, facilitators and judges, participated in the first-ever Las Vegas Make-A-Thon. Focusing on the future of food along three tracks (food + health, food + hospitality, and food + data/A.I.), students used Arduino to rapid prototype and ideate. Assembling mentors from Harvard, MIT, and Cornell, along with young entrepreneurs from the East and West Coasts (and here in Las Vegas), the event was a weekend of excellent programming built on interdisciplinary learning where student participants were connected to a rich array of resources while positioning UNLV as a fertile laboratory capable of producing viable solutions for the benefit of humanity, both local and global, in an age marked with scarcity, uncertainty, and growth.








Alberto de Salvatierra, Co-Founder + Co-CHair + Co-MC

Alberto de Salvatierra is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture where he founded and coordinates the interdisciplinary Global Studio Program (SoA’s first international design studio program), and at-LAS (a new interdisciplinary laboratory). He is also Founder and Principal of PROXIIMA and is Curator Emeritus of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland. A polymath, architectural designer, and landscape urbanist, de Salvatierra holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and both a Master of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Design Studies in Urbanism, Landscape and Ecology from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He is the past recipient of Cornell's Robert James Eidlitz Fellowship, Harvard Library's Inaugural May Crane Fellowship, and GSD's Penny White Prize. Prior to arriving at UNLV, he taught ecological design at Cornell University, architecture foundations at the Boston Architectural College, and landscape architecture at GSD’s Design Discovery. This past summer, he was a Visiting Professor at Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO), Mexico's most prestigious university.


Dr. Yvonne Houy, Co-CHair + Co-MC + Mentor

Dr. Yvonne Houy is Administrative Faculty for Learning Technology at the College of Fine Arts and an active member of the international Computer Science For All movement through her work as Professional Development (PD) Facilitator for the Computer Science Principles curriculum. Passionate about providing opportunities for anyone interested in learning computer science, her workshops have gotten rave reviews. Proud to come from generations of European farmers who were creative “Makers” by both necessity and for aesthetic expression, Dr. Houy was Co-Lead Producer of the 2016 Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.A) and Cornell University (M.A. & Ph.D.), her dissertation examined propagandist uses of fashion, and resistance to Fascism through fashion. She grows tomatoes in the challenging Las Vegas Valley environment, and practices the gentle martial art of Aikido.

Michael Raspuzzi, Co-Founder + Vice-Chair + Mentor

Michael Raspuzzi is the Boston City Director for The Knowledge Society—providing Olympic-level training in exponential technologies for future CEOs and innovators. As CEO + Co-Founder of Culinary AI Labs, he helps build algorithms to personalize nutrition support; and as Design Instructor for both the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Harvard University John. A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, he focuses on applied learning and curriculum development at the intersection of design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. Raspuzzi received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and an inaugural Master in Design Engineering from Harvard University—where his project EMMA: Maternal Healthcare Coach, earned him the MDE 2018 Thesis Prize. With playful interdisciplinarity, Raspuzzi ultimately enjoys building collaborative organizations, initiatives, and communities to solve complex problems across the global education, healthcare, and food system. Raspuzzi is the Vice-Curator of the Boston Hub of the Global Shapers Community.


Nicholas Goodman, Technical Lead + Mentor

Nicholas Goodman is a Designer at Thomas J. Schoeman, FAIA, a Project Manager at Renewable Envoy and current Curator of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community—an initiative by the World Economic Forum based in Geneva, Switzerland. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Goodman’s research lies at the intersection of computer technology and architecture as a means of expanding creative potential—and efficiencies—within the building industry. He’s previously worked as a Designer at Bunnyfish, as a Research Assistant at the RTIS Lab, and as a Digital Fabrication Assistant at the UNLV School of Architecture. He enjoys photography and exploring the arid Southwest in his free time.


Carley Pasqualotto, Logistics Lead + Facilitator

Carley Pasqualotto is the President of the American Institute of Architecture Students, (UNLV Chapter) an inducted member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the nation’s largest leadership honor society, and a Global Shaper of the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers Community. Pasqualotto is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Architecture and a minor in Business Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has also studied Urban Planning and Design at both la Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO)—Mexico’s most prestigious university, and at Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Design Discovery. Her work has been featured in various exhibitions and publications. In her free time, Pasqualotto is a Designer and Research Assistant at PROXIIMA and contributor to the Exhibitions, Lectures, Alumni/Global Engagement and Library Committee at the UNLV School of Architecture.


David Douglas, Media Lead + Videographer

David Douglas is the President of National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (UNLV Chapter) and Designer and Research Assistant at PROXIIMA. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Architecture. Douglas has also studied Urban Planning and Design at both la Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO)—Mexico’s most prestigious university, and at Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Design Discovery. His research analyses design projects from the human scale with considerations of the impact on urban design and urbanism policy. His work has been featured in various exhibitions and publications. In his spare time, Douglas is an avid martial arts practitioner, a videographer for a multimedia broadcasting company, and furniture designer.




Daniel LEvine, SPEAKER + mentor

Daniel Levine is currently a PhD Candidate in the Biomechatronics Research Group at the MIT Media Lab where he works on enhancing human physical capabilities through mechanical augmentation. A curious fellow who always dives wholeheartedly into his many interests, Levine has worked on assistive tongue controllers for quadriplegics, exoskeletons, shape-changing pasta, auditory feedback systems (that help people learn how to do back-flips), balloon-drone hybrids, and biosensors. He holds a Master of Media, Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab (Tangible Media), a Master of Information Systems in Connective Media from Cornell’s NYC Tech Program, and dual Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University. In addition to his love of making animations and jumping into artistic space, Levine is an avid gymnast and an amateur pilot.



Manu Ponnapati is a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pursuing her Master of Media, Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab (Molecular Machines). She is an anti-disciplinarian who has worked in the fields of food systems, drug discovery and finance. Mostly recently, she served as the CTO of Culinary AI Labs—exploring the future of customization and personalization in food through algorithms—and was a Global Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Massachusetts. Prior to that, she worked at the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab building computer vision and software tools to help design more inventive future food systems. She was also an MIT Advanced Study Program Fellow through which she studied Scientific Computing and Random Matrix Theory. She received her Master in Engineering from Cornell University where her thesis focused on video games and affective computing-based feedback mechanisms.

David Rosenwasser, Speaker + Mentor

David Rosenwasser is an architectural researcher and designer based at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and a candidate in the Master in Design Studies program. He is also Founder and President of D ROSE MOD, a vintage modern design business, which specializes in the icons of 20th century modernism. Rosenwasser was previously Senior Research Personnel in the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell University. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell and is a Hunter R. Rawlings III Presidential Research Scholar. Throughout Rosenwasser's involvement with Sabin's Lab, he has been heavily invested in core research and innovating material practices. His contributions include work on Sabin Design Lab's Robosense, PolyBrick series, NSF funded ColorFolds, PolyMorph, and various others. The PolyBrick series has recently been exhibited at Centre Pompidou, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and San Jose Museum of Art. Rosenwasser has published extensively, including peer-reviewed papers for ACADIA (2017, 2018) and the International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing (2018).



Travis P. Allen, Mentor

Travis P. Allen is an Adjunct Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture, while also a Project Manager + Designer at Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects. He also currently serves on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Las Vegas Board of Directors as the Director of Emerging Professionals. Formally trained in the field of architecture, Travis believes design is a creative process that permeates disciplines and encourages an exploration of experiences. Taking this approach, he has blended his curiosities by working as an architectural/graphic designer, design/art director, video producer/editor and model maker on various projects that cross typologies from hospitality and commercial architectural projects to science and cultural museum exhibitions. Travis is a licensed Architect in the State of Nevada. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from UNLV, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado, Denver where he received the Richard Reindel Memorial Scholarship to study abroad in Rome.



Iman Ansari is an architect, urbanist, and a Founding Principal of AN.ONYMOUS. His work focuses on speculative approaches to architecture and urbanism, and his office has been a design consultant for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and is currently a design partner of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Prior to his appointment at UNLV, Ansari has taught at USC School of Architecture, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, and the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. He holds a professional degree in architecture from the City College of New York, a post-professional degree in architecture and urban design from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in architectural history and theory at UCLA.


Deepak Awari, Mentor

Deepak Awari is a Data Scientist at Microsoft where he works on improving customer experience with natural language processing, forecasting and business analytics. He is an inter-disciplinarian and has previously worked in cybersecurity, automation and semiconductor industries. He received his Masters in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Cornell University where—for his thesis—he built a gaming console on the principles of affective computing to improve user experience of video games. In addition to his love of computation and electronics, he is an outdoor enthusiast and is working towards his pilot’s license



Ashley Hairston Doughty is a visual storyteller, explaining personal experiences through verbal and visual language. Much of her practice deals with socio-economic, racial, and gender-based issues, particularly those relating to cultural misconceptions and the development of personal identity. Her distinctive perspective has grown through residing in nine different cities throughout her lifetime, mostly in the southeastern, Midwestern, and Southwestern United States. Although trained as a graphic designer, Doughty’s artwork often crosses multiple media, including typography, illustration, writing, fiber and materials, and book arts. She shares and encourages such art making as an Assistant Professor of Art at UNLV and through her design business and blog, Design Kettle. Her work is included in the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection in Chicago and has received awards from the Caxton Club, the College Book Arts Association and Arion Press. Doughty holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications from Washington University in St. Louis and an Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.



Michael Fong is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV College of Fine Arts. A visual artist and designer from Las Vegas, Fong holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Design from UNLV and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Syracuse University. Coming from a traditional materials background in sculpture, Fong combines material sensibilities with new and emerging technologies. With experience in woodworking, plastics, and ceramics, as well as new additive and subtractive manufacturing processes, Fong has the full gamut of fabrication experience. With experience in working with newer technologies, it was inevitable that the proximity of technology would be absorbed. Most recent pieces involved micro-controller regulated temperatures, Arduino-powered CNC machines, and Python-scripted 3D animations.



Kyle Kithas is a licensed Architect in the State of Nevada and manages the Digital Fabrication Lab at the UNLV School of Architecture. Kyle graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and holds a B.Arch degree. While attending Cal Poly, he studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and worked for a Danish architecture firm specializing in urban revitalization projects. One of Kithas’ greatest accomplishments is winning the annual Vellum furniture competition for a chair he designed and fabricated. During his professional career, Kithas has worked at multiple architecture firms and has experience on a wide breadth of project types including: K-12 education, higher education, commercial, worship, and hospitality. Kithas’ dedication to the profession and work ethic enabled him to obtain his architecture license at the young age of 24. Currently, Kithas’ architectural focus includes digital fabrication, prefabricated design, modular fabrication techniques, and furniture making.



Dr. Sang Seo is an Associate Professor in Graphic Design and Media at the UNLV Art Department. He is an educator, designer, and researcher who holds a BFA in Industrial Design at Daegu University in Korea, and MFA in Graphic Design and Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction at Iowa State University. He has previously worked for SAMSUNG, GM, and Korea Mint where he participated in various national projects. His design works have been introduced in over 15 countries and many of his design research outcomes have been presented and published in major design conferences and journals. He has also received several award recognitions such as the Alex G. and Faye Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award, the UNLV Foundational Distinguished Teaching Award, the Lincy Professorship Award, and the Adobe Achievement Award. His current research focuses on visual cognition and perception in UX and UI design—giving his students the knowledge and experience to succeed in the world-class of the design field.


samantha solano, MENTOR

Samantha Solano is an Assistant Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture and Principal of JUXTOPOS. Her research interests include urbanization in arid territories, immersive representation technologies, and landscape design equity. Samantha aims to empower landscape architects practicing in arid regions—providing valuable, actionable strategies equipped to adapt to the sensitive desert ecologies that are in jeopardy due to rapid urbanization and climate change. At UNLV, she teaches courses in advanced digital media, landscape architecture theory, spatial mapping, and landscape architecture. Solano received her Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and—proudly—her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from UNLV.


Joshua vermillion, MENTOR

Joshua Vermillion is an Associate Professor at the UNLV School of Architecture where is he Coordinator of the Master of Architecture Program and Co-Coordinator of at-LAS. His teaching and research focuses on architectural applications of computational design methods, digital fabrication tools, and robotics and responsive systems. Prior to his appointment at UNLV, Vermillion taught design studios, seminars, and lecture courses at the Department of Architecture at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. While at Ball State, he co-founded i-MADE, an applied research + learning institute focused on projects utilizing design, computation, and fabrication. During the spring of 2014, Vermillion was the invited Taylor Seminar Lecturer in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. Joshua has published and presented peer-reviewed research at ACADIA, SIGRADI, eCAADe, ACSA, NCBDS, and ARCC conferences, as well as the International Journal of Architecture Computing. He co-authored/edited the recently published book "Digital Design Exercises for Architecture Students" with Jason S. Johnson (Routledge, 2016).


Check back soon with updates on mentors, facilitators and judges!




organized by

and co-hosted with

in Partnership with our institutional PEERS

with support from our partners


Please check back soon for more updates on our 2019 partners!


2018 Partners