Hi, I’m Rachelle Doorley, founder of TinkerLab, and I’m so glad that you found us!
I’ve been passionate about creating for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I would make wild kitchen concoctions for my younger brother (he was a good sport), hacked random bits and bobs together into sculpture, and soaked up every art class I could take. Major props to my parents who thought nothing of getting in line at 3 am to sign me up for art classes in those pre-internet days.
This all led to a career in the arts as a costume designer, prop maker, art teacher, museum educator, and art book author. Now it’s my turn to give back to my community by offering families easy ways to support creativity at home. I care deeply about bringing arts education to as many children as possible, and TinkerLab is both my platform and my muse.
My goal is to uncover easy and simple ways to set up a home that supports creativity, and it’s my hope that TinkerLab will shorten the learning curve for you.
I’m an experienced arts educator and community builder with a background in non-profit administration. With a BA is in Theater from UCLA and a Masters in Arts Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, I worked on films with Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures, oversaw school and docent programs at art museums in California and Massachusetts, wrote a best-selling book that inspires other and educators to support childhood creativity through the arts, lecture on Visual Thinking Strategies and Design at Stanford University, and hold the position of Artist-in-Residence at the Cubberley Art Studio Program in Palo Alto, CA.
Tinkerlab has been featured in Real Simple Magazine, Family Fun Magazine, Palo Alto Pulse, Kiwi Co, PBS Parents, Apartment Therapy, Palo Alto Online, Modern Parents Messy Kids, Playful Learning, and Babble Dabble Do. Tinkerlab was named Best Local Blog by Red Tricycle San Fancisco and Rachelle was named a Top 25 Creative Mom at Circle of Moms.
If you start to poke around my blog, you’ll notice that a theme of open-ended discovery, curiosity, experimentation, and process-based art runs through most of my posts.
Here’s why I think experiments and a fail-forward mindset are important in childhood (and grownup-hood, for that matter).
1. Experiments teach children that there are multiple ways to approach a problem.
2. When children solve self-designed problems, they think for themselves and build confidence.
3. Experiments remind me, as a parent, that I’m a co-learner and that I don’t hold all the answers.
4. The spirit of experimentation, exploration, and boundary-pushing is at the root of innovative thinking.
4. Experiments are fun and playful.
If you believe that there’s more than one way to do things, you’re attracted to the DIY culture, and you want to raise children who are confident thinkers, then TinkerLab is for YOU! I love the community that’s grown around these ideas and I hope you’ll feel welcome to join in at any time.
Interviews + Articles
In case you want to dig a little deeper, these articles will give you a fuller picture of me and my pov.
Process over Product: Building Creative Thinkers in Art, Americans for the Arts
Rachelle from TinkerLab on Museum Education, The Artful Parent,
TinkerLab Book Blog Tour, Q + A with Rachelle Doorley, Not Just Cute
First Person VTS: Rachelle Doorley, Visual Thinking Strategies
A Peek into Rachelle Doorley’s Kitchen, La Food Sitter
Rachelle Doorley is an experienced arts educator and community builder with a background in non-profit administration. She oversaw school programs at the San Jose Museum of Art, lectures on Visual Thinking Strategies at Stanford University, and worked on films with Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures. She designed an art curriculum for the San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum and is an advisor to Kiwi Crate. Rachelle holds a BA in Theater from UCLA and a Masters in Arts Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She’s the founder of Bay Area Bloggers, is an Artist-in-Residence at the Cubberley Art Studio Program, and mom to two creative kids.
Tinkerlab has been featured in Real Simple Magazine, Family Fun Magazine, Palo Alto Pulse, PBS Parents, Apartment Therapy, The Crafty Crow, Craft Gossip, Tip Junkie, Baby Center, Make and Takes, Parent Hacks, and Parent Map Magazine. Tinkerlab was named Best Local Blog by Red Tricycle San Fancisco and Rachelle was named a Top 25 Creative Mom at Circle of Moms.
I’d like to invite you to join me at Club TinkerLab: If you’re looking for easy and actionable ways to support your child’s creative journey, TinkerLab is here to help. We’ve been inspiring parents and educators with our smart and simple projects since 2010. Join the Club!