Co-Founder of Nortd LabsAddie Wagenknect

What are your favorite aspects of your job? Travel and constantly meeting new and interesting people. I love being in a room surrounded by people who are extremely brilliant – it gives me so much more to look forward to learning.

What do you like to do outside of your job? I love to ski backcountry and downhill, I am a rock climber, lately I love to go running or hiking with my dog. I am also a coffee nerd, and am obsessed with red velvet cupcakes especially because you can’t easily get them outside of the South or the bigger cities of the US.. . I am really into cooking, traveling to regions of Central Asia and Africa but less so lately since I’ve just been traveling back and forth from NYC, its been more consuming but I am hoping to go to Morocco this winter.

What are some important skills for this career? I think its very important to learn how to document your work- what I mean by that is the ability to shoot, edit and create videos about your work, the process, why you are doing what you are doing. Keep a blog from day one where you document your process, this can function as a portfolio when you are in a bind.

Keep a basic web presence, network with other people, reach out to those who inspire you- more often than not they are really honored you are interested and want to know more.

I always reminded myself that without asking the answer would always be ‘no’ and I was surprised how often just asking got me what I wanted.

Bio: Nortd Labs, co-founded by Addie, is self-described as “a collaboration based studio of creative thought that engages science, art and design.” Our open source hardware has been built and used by thousands of people, labs, hacker-spaces and universities worldwide. We believe that people should collaborate globally and build locally.” Challenges faced in this job? “Trying to convince people to support an idea before its even sketched. I can’t tell you how many times we had an idea, people said it was crazy, couldn’t be done and we would do it. If I listen to someone every time I was told no, life would be much more boring and I would have done a lot less with my life.”

Addie has trained through an undergraduate degree at University of Oregon in Digital Arts and Computer Science, a graduate degree from ITP at New York University for Graduate School, and a fellowship at Eyebeam in NYC. She has personal goals of exhibiting at the Venice Biennale and getting work into the MoMa. Addie might wear casual clothing to work from home, painter overalls when building and creating or a gown to a gala. She works with programmers, artists, scientists, curators, professors, makers, hackers, graffiti artists, journalists, students, manufacturers, editors, bloggers, and the list goes on!