Looking Inside Fab Lab ~ Columbia University



The New York City Panorama woodshed by the Fab Lab. Photo by Josh Jordan. Image via news.columbia.edu

It began in the 1970s, run by students from the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University.

GSAPP students working in the Fab Lab on campus. Photo by Josh Jordan. Image via news.columbia.edu

Today, the newly remodeled maker space, Fab Lab (Fabrication Lab) is directed by Joshua Jordan, who arrived at Columbia University in 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania. While in past years, architects embraced technology, the new push is in returning to Craft. “There was a powerful computer revolution in architecture in the last 20 years that tended toward hyperrealistic visual renderings,” he said. “But in the last decade, there’s been resistance, and part of that counter-reaction has been a return to making things physically.”

“When you’re working digitally on a computer, nothing has any scale and lines are super-fine so it’s easy for your design to get lost since there’s no reference point for how big or small your buildings are,” said Jordan. “Materials have their own way of teaching people how organization and logic work and how you can test an idea.”

a 3-D print of a human head designed by Matthew Davis. Photo by Josh Jordan. Image via news.columbia.edu

In this Lab, students are free to create. The space is divided up into a woodworking shop with “a roomful of computer-controlled cutting machines, a variety of saws, a wet station for casting work, and even a digital section with robotic and virtual reality equipment, laser cutters and dozens of 3-D printers.

We look forward to Fab Lab’s annual End of Year Show, held in May 2019, when student works are displayed throughout Avery Hall.

Check out Recent Fab Lab Projects Here including Never Built New York, launched in Summer 2017 and opened at Queens Museum New York.

More on Fab Lab Here.