Hi! It has certainly been a year since I began as an OSHWA Trailblazer Fellow. For one, I defended my dissertation and finished my PhD.

I feel very fancy when I sign my new title.

— Dr. Wu

Over the next few days, I will be posting some reflections on my experiences during the fellowship. The Trailblazers program, true to its intention of supporting open hardware in academia, directly supported development on the Loom Pedals, an open-source customizable interface for a Jacquard loom, intended to promote improvisation and experimentation for makers. The system is based on a modular set of foot pedals with customizable functions, integrating with the TC2 Jacquard loom. You can find the latest prototype and documentation on the project website. (always in progress!)

But I think we all know that open hardware is more than just development. And academia is more than just building things. The Loom Pedals system was the final capstone project for my PhD research, forming a chapter in my dissertation. Beyond supporting this cohort of academics on their projects, the Trailblazers program seeks to support those in academia more broadly by generating resources, building networks, and increasing awareness in these spaces. These upcoming reflection posts will explore some of the particular dimensions of my work, namely doing this as a PhD student and hacking a closed-source machine. I hope I can contribute to OSHWA’s efforts by putting out these posts to generate discussions and build new, supportive connections between people.

Links will be updated as posts go live. Stay tuned for:

If anything I share resonates with you, please get in touch with me!

Contact Info

You can find Shanel Wu at: