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Culture of Making Master Plan

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3 June 2013

Definition / Charge

The Culture of Making committee was created by Dean Vernooy at the 7 December 2012 meeting to discuss the development and improvement of the fabrication capabilities of the college shops and laboratories. Committee membership is self designated through participation in meetings and work contributions.

Goal / Timetable

Establish a comprehensive and integrated master plan for the college laboratory facilities by the end of Spring 2013.
Develop a near term plan for the newly acquired funds for capital improvements of the college laboratory facilities.


The Culture of Making committee should cultivate a deep sensibility of material engagement, foster an ethic of inquiry and discovery through experimentation, and create a place of physical learning central to the curriculum developing within the College of Architecture at Texas Tech.

Pedagogic Intent

The growth of the college shops and laboratories ushers a shift in both understanding and use of our facilities and resources. Rather than being places where particular tasks are accomplished (cut wood, join metal, cast media); they are becoming places of exploration where ideas develop. The laboratory is a distinct venue of education and research within the discipline of architecture. The identity of its position (physical/conceptual or analog/digital) is vital, finding balance between the classroom and studio. Inherent in this effort is the development of a 'culture of making' that permeates the college. While this certainly includes proper use and respect of tools, equipment, facilities, materials, and personnel it should be founded on an innate curious-ness in the making of things and the discover of ideas in matter. The culture of making should facilitate understanding and experimentation of traditional and emerging building materials through manipulation of material for both small and large-scale investigations.

Executive Summary

Given the invest and curricular importance of the shop to the future of the field of architect and the identity of our college it is imperative that all future investments in the shops support a comprehensive master plan. Past success of the shops by individual fortitude and ingenuity has been vital to bringing our facilities to a tipping point of development. Now is the time to move beyond shops organized as tinkerer facilities for the use of relatively few to a research and development facility that supports the entire college and its mission. This will entail strategic investment in: infrastructure to enable flexible future uses, layout to support safe and productive workflow, and increased staff support to expand operative horizons.

Desired Outcomes


  1. Realign shop space to better accommodate existing and new machinery to support curricular ambitions.
  2. Develop comprehensive Master Plan detailing current needs and future solutions (near and long term) for optimizing space, machinery, and infrastructure in all college shops.
  3. Master Plan must include highly adaptable areas and infrastructure trunks (electrical power, compressed air, dust collection) to avoid constant altering of singular use areas.
  4. Organize machinery to facilitate safe workflow, handling of standard material units, clear safe zones, and accessibility.
  5. Create variable shop access zones to provide safe 24hr work areas for students.
  6. Create a high bay fabrication space useable for all materials.
  7. Create secure and safe exterior work areas.
  8. Create wet and dry rooms for casting materials.
  9. Create properly vented clean finishing room.
  10. Increase space for storage and staging of raw materials.
  11. Increase space for storage of works in progress, specifically large scale assembly.
  12. Create material library with increased space for storage of models and examples developed for construction courses.
  13. Create tool cribs to facilitate hand tool organization and tracking.
  14. Create a new lecture space in the building, or through a first floor addition, that provides better acoustics and does not interfere with gallery use.


  1. Insure all future infrastructure investment support Master Plan.
  2. Establish proper dust collection throughout all shop spaces.
  3. Upgrade base electrical power supply to flexibly accommodate current and future machinery.
  4. Introduce fume exhaust areas to support project needs.
  5. Establish lighting adequate for safe operation in all shops.
  6. Create infrastructure for lifting and moving large scale works.
  7. Upgrade visibility and location of first aid stations.


  1. Develop connections to the culture of making within the shops and laboratories to as much of the curriculum as possible.
  2. Institute shop introduction and orientation early in first year.
  3. Evaluate project statements to support productive shop use and coordination across all areas of the curriculum.
  4. Build shop use into course objectives.
  5. Investigate other university partners in shop use.


  1. Review organizational relationships and responsibilities of existing shop staff to streamline conductive shop management.
  2. Consider additions to staff to support new laboratory capabilities and operations.
  3. Develop mechanism, and time, for shop staff training of machinery and processes (particularly new technology).
  4. Cultivate respect and healthy shop use across the college community (students, faculty, and staff).


  1. Create a culture of making within the college bridging physical reality and curricular ambitions.
  2. Create faculty committee to oversee shop planning proposals and decisions to increase transparency of management and more directly target curricular goals.
  3. Create a faculty committee to oversee shop income, expenditures, and budgetary planning to increase transparency of management and more directly target curricular goals. (Could be same committee as above.)
  4. Consider changing the fee structure of shop use from per output piece to general shop fee paid by all students to promote greater use, design process testing and budget stability.
  5. Create shop use policy with clear directives about proper training and orientation, safety, acceptable use, and firm recourse for noncompliance.
  6. Create shop equipment check out policy to track location of tools and equipment including firm recourse for non return.
  7. Consider access to shop areas through card swipe to increase access and track use of college community.

Possible Scenarios

Existing Conditions

Site Plan Site Plan - PDF

Existing Plan Existing Plan - PDF

Existing Detail Plan North Existing Detail Plan North - PDF

Existing Detail Plan South Existing Detail Plan South - PDF

DREAM PLAN - New Art Building

  • Construct new building near 3D art annex to unify School of Art in single compound providing 2D and graduate studios, lecture and gallery facilities, and faculty and administration offices.
  • Move College of Architecture into former art building to provide additional space for growth of college: graduate programs, faculty research, campus profile.
  • Architecture administrative offices move to ground floor to improve wayfinding facilitating interaction with campus and public.
  • Existing architecture tower floor plates opened to create integrated studios. Architecture to occupy all floors.
  • Activate existing courtyard as large scale fabrication space and ring with laboratory spaces that benefit from adjacent access.
  • Locate specialized studios and program specific spaces in former art building to free studio plates in architecture tower.

DREAM PLAN - Area Summary

Space Area (sq. ft) note # of floors floor plate area
Existing Architecture Building110,700912,300
Total Exist. Arch. conditioned area110,700
Existing Art Building50,514316,838
Existing Art in Architecture Bldg.24,600212,300
Existing Art 3D Annex27,412
Total Exist. Art conditioned area102,526
New Architecture Building total135,30022%1112,300
Art Building50,514316,838
Total New Architecture cond. area185,81468%gain (total building)
New Art Building100,0002.540,000
Existing Art 3D Annex27,412
Total New Art cond. area127,41224%

PLAN E - Total Expansion

Plan E Overview Plan E Overview - PDF

Detail Plan E North Detail Plan E North - PDF

Detail Plan E South Detail Plan E South - PDF

  • Expand architecture building into north courtyard to capture largest roof area possible and create high bay work area.
  • Construct trolley crane from new Flint Ave truck loading zone through courtyard work areas to enable large scale work.
  • Reconfigure retaining wall at north courtyard to maximize usable work areas in north courtyard. Include new stair from main courtyard to north and reconfigure courtyard shallow stairs to maximize work area and create a new loading area.
  • Maximize flexibility in infrastructure to allow for future movement of machinery.
  • Locate robots, wet casting, and high bay assembly areas in new shop area north of building.
  • Locate CNC, milling, lasers, and tabletop tooling areas in existing model shop on north end of building.
  • Add roll down security screens to allow high bay assembly and model area to be accessed independently.
  • Create new interactive lab and materials library in existing room 7 on north end of building.
  • Convert small gallery into 3D Print area.
  • Enclose area under First Floor walkway to become 24hr access assembly and open shop area with storage below/above tables.
  • Use elevator hallway for lockers and exhibition.
  • Expand architecture building to the south to create metal work area.
  • Remove CMU wall between existing wood and metal work areas to create a larger single space wood working area with a roll up door to the 24hour area.
  • Construction of a mezzanine considered a very low priority and something only to be considered after other more flexible and productive work spaces are created.

PLAN E - Area Summary

Space Area (sq. ft) note
Existing Wood Shop1,658
Existing Metal Shop800
Existing Model Shop2,742
Existing Storage221
Total Exist. conditioned area5,200
Total Exist. Storage221
Total Exist. Shop area5,421
CNC /Milling Area1,230
Laser Area970
Robotics Area1,000
Wet Area780
High Bay Assembly Area1,780
3D Print Area325
Interactive Area480
Material Library480
24hr Assembly Area3,880
Wood Area2,712
Metal Area810
New Exterior Fabrication area 13,448
New Exterior Fabrication area 22,860
Total New conditioned area14,668182%gain
Total New storage area221
Total New Exterior Fab. area6,308
Total New Shop area21,197291%gain

Culture of Making Committee