SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Assistant Professor James Stevens has received a $1,200 grant from the Architecture Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) Incentive Fund to disseminate knowledge of digital fabrication processes to the architecture community through Lawrence Technological University’s makeLab blog, http://makelab.wordpress.com.
Architects frequently use models to help planners, building departments and clients visualize a completed structure. Digital fabrication on computers has made it easier to construct models.
Stevens established the makeLab in Lawrence Tech’s College of Architecture and Design in 2010 to give students and faculty access to digital fabrication, which has many other applications.
According to Stevens, architecture publications either focus on theoretical aspects of digital fabrication or vocational techniques, and there is an absence of how-to publications available at the collegiate level.
“If the typical architecture student wants to profile cut or slip cast for a project, there is no definitive source for how to start such an endeavor,” Stevens said. “Students have to conduct their own research along with trial-and-error methods to become acquainted with the digital fabrication equipment and processes.”
Stevens edits an active makeLab blog, and the grant will make it possible to expand the blog to include sections on such processes. These sections will focus on easily replicable digital fabrication processes. The information included will be a balance between design theory and vocational information presented at the collegiate level.
The new how-to sections in the blog will disseminate the knowledge Lawrence Tech students have gained to other universities and schools throughout the country.
ARCC is an international organization dedicated to the advancement of architecture and design research. In 2005 it established the Incentive Fund to support research dissemination efforts.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student groups and NAIA varsity sports.