In addition to two floors of open studio space, the School of Architecture maintains maker and incubator spaces that support a range of design practices and field work. These spaces are laboratories for thinking and making both in the analog and digital realms. Through courses, workshops and interdisciplinary projects, the UVA School of Architecture Fabrication Lab (FabLab) pushes the boundaries of technology and tools, and facilitates research in materials, tectonics and design. FabLab spaces are located in Campbell Hall and at Allied Street. In addition, Milton LandLab supported by the School's FabLab, offers a unique place for the UVA School of Architecture's students and faculty to engage in innovative research and teaching in landscape design — a place and facility to experiment with landscape forms and processes rigorously on-site and over time. Finally, a host of Digital Design Labs provide our students with both general computing resources and advanced digital tools with a specific focus on computation, visualization, and simulation of the built environment.
In 2019, the School of Architecture completed an exciting renovation and expansion to its first floor FabLab in Campbell Hall. The project radically expands the School’s capacity for fabrication, modeling, and material exploration and publicly foregrounds the role of emerging digital design workflows at the School. The FabLab encompasses a series of spaces that range from workshop spaces to flexible project labs, from exterior work courts for larger-scale prototyping to full-scale testing labs, from an updated robotics lab to installation spaces for the display of material assemblies. The Open Lab (laser cutters, 3D printers, sewing machines, soldering stations, hand tools, and more), the Woodshop, Elmaleh CNC Lab, the Garage (large reconfigurable project workspace and robot lab), FabLab studio spaces, and exterior workcourt collectively comprise a hub for innovative forms of making. In addition to the FabLab's Campbell Hall facilities, the School maintains nearby spaces at Allied Street and Milton Airfield.
The Fabrication Lab, or FabLab, is a center for empowering people with tools for making, prototyping, and construction at a range of scales, materials, and techniques. As the staff and students of the FabLab Team, we are dedicated to a creative and inclusive environment through access, training, consultation, and support on a range of analog and digital fabrication tools for UVA students, staff, and faculty. We engage projects and research from all the departments of the School of Architecture, connect to shop and lab partners all over Grounds through the MakerGrounds network, and develop research discovering new materials, tools, and fabrication processes related to the built environment.
The FabLab Team is run by Melissa Goldman, Trevor Kemp, and Andrew Spears — three full-time fabrication experts — and a Crew of undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants, all passionate about making and teaching. The team trains basic and advanced techniques and tools, develops and supports curricula, pushes and publishes research, and maintains a positively enthusiastic environment for investigation and high craft.
Milton LandLab is a collaboration between the School's Landscape Architecture faculty and students with support from the FabLab. It is based at the 172-acre Milton Airfield located about eight miles east of Campbell Hall, and a formerly operating airport owned by the University of Virginia. As a historically disturbed site (from its use as a WWII airstrip to its present utilization by the Rivanna Radio Control Club's model airplane runway), with frontage along the Rivanna River, forested in parts, meadowed in others, Milton Airfield provides a site for extended study, large-scale intervention, and intimate engagement with landscape media.
Milton LandLab provides a unique opportunity for UVA School of Architecture students to study and propose methodologies and practices for design research based in landscape mediums. Driven by the need to work at very large scales, with time, and out in the landscape — the Milton LandLab is a place where students, working collaboratively with each other and with faculty, can benefit from one-to-one engagement with materials, plant forms, time, tools, and processes of design, installation and maintenance. Defined as a space for experimentation, observation, practice, disturbance and site maintenance, Milton LandLab enriches design education and the field of landscape architecture through its innovative and forward-oriented approach — at large scales, in real time and through engagement with landscape itself.
DIGITAL DESIGN LABS
UVA School of Architecture operates Digital Design Labs which include computer graphics labs, classrooms, projection facilities, a print center, and clusters, offering a suite of resources that support our students' academic success and their ability to be leaders in the realm of design experimentation with advanced technologies. Digital Design facilities include:
+ Digital Media Lab: This lab hosts digital media workstations with software that includes CAD, animation, image processing, rendering, analog and digital video capture, editing and recording, video conferencing, and multimedia authoring. It also includes multiple flatbed scanners, batch and large format slide scanners, grayscale laser, color laser, and photo printers. Analog videotape editing equipment is also available for standalone work or in combination with digital video capture, editing, and recording.
+ General Purpose Digital Classroom: This is a supervised-use only classroom with software including: GIS, CAD, animation, structural analysis, image processing, rendering, digital terrain modeling, desktop publishing and more. This classroom is only available during scheduled class sessions.
+ Studio Computing Clusters: Windows and Mac computers are available throughout the 3rd and 4th floor studio spaces, including the Technology Bridge on the 4th floor mezzanine.
+ Print Center: The Print Center at the School of Architecture provides students and faculty with access to a variety of regular and large-format high-resolution color plotters and printers.