Digital fabrication lab edifies a new generation of architects
A place of experimentation and craft, the new lab gives architecture students and faculty modern tools for fashioning models and building components.
It’s a different world from the one in which the College of Environmental Design (CED) co-founder and celebrated architect Vernon DeMars ’31 designed buildings. A former Berkeley architecture professor, he had a hand in designing the campus’s Student Center, Zellerbach Hall, and Wurster Hall. Now his bequest to CED, made during The Campaign for Berkeley, has helped to build a digital fabrication lab.
Students and faculty make heavy use of the lab’s 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC router, and state-of-the-art knife cutter to move their digital designs out of the computer and into the real world. For example, Assistant Professor Paz Gutierrez directs graduate students enrolled in this year’s Studio One, a one-year post-professional master’s program, to bring to life biomimetic designs and materials for architecture, with functionality and aesthetics inspired by the natural world.
“The DeMars gift, along with in-kind donations of design and construction expertise by alumni Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects and Tom Mead, formerly of WebCor Builders, allows CED to bring the best facilities to our students and faculty,” says Jennifer Wolch, William W. Wurster Dean. “Professor DeMars would be proud.”