The ISU Computation + Construction Lab (CCL) is an initiative that works to connect developments in computation to the challenges of construction through teaching, research, publication and exhibition.
Since its founding in 2016 the lab has grown to house a variety of architectural hardware, software, and workflows: CNC fabrication equipment, plastic and clay 3D printers, hand tools, power tools, and robotics. However, understanding technology and architecture as cultural undertakings, the CCL pursues not only the ‘how’ (skills and techniques) of computational design but also the ‘why’ (processes and impacts).
The central hypothesis of CCL is that computation in architecture is a material, pedagogical, and social project; computation is both informed by and productive of architectural cultures. This hypothesis is explored, through the fabrication of built projects and materialized in computational practices. We are also invested in questioning the role of education and pedagogy in replicating existing technological inequities, and in pursuing the potential for technology in architecture as a space of and for gender equity.
As ISU is a land-grant institution in the very first state to adopt the Morrill Act, the CCL works to share knowledge beyond campus borders by leveraging design and construction as tools of public engagement with non-profits and small towns in Iowa.
A primary tenet of this work is the democratization of access to and knowledge about technology in architecture, specifically creating opportunities for our students to learn and create with technology.
Follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/isu_ccl
Access to the CCL is limited to courses that pursue pedagogies aligned to the CCL’s agenda. Please contact the CCL Associate, Erin Hunt with questions firstname.lastname@example.org.
The work of the CCL is made possible by support of our donors, partners, and grants:
ISU Department of Architecture
ISU College of Design
ISU Office of the Vice President for Research.
ISU Information Assurance Center
Stan G. Thurston Professorship in Design Build
Daniel J. Huberty Faculty Fellowship
Fieldstead & Company Endowment for Community Enhancement
ISU Miller Faculty Fellowship
Flyover Fashion Festival
Friends of Winterset Library
Power Film Solar
Urbandale Parks & Recreation
Building a lab requires a great deal of logistical and administrative support, which often happens in the background. With this in mind we would be remiss to not thank the following people, without them the work of the CCL – teaching, research, and outreach – would not be possible:
Thank you to the College of Design Administrative Support Office. Particularly, Jean Holt, Hope Kepler, Mona Pett, and Deb Hearn for helping us manage the resources which make all of this happen.
Thank you to the College of Design Operations Staff. Particularly, Mike Miller, Director of Operations for helping us find a way to do something new and a little bit weird.
Thank you to ISU Facility Planning and Management. Particularly, Construction Manager Nate Graves, for helping us to transform a sound stage into a fabrication lab.
Thank you to ISU Central Receiving. Particularly, Todd Wilson, for finding a way to get large machinery through small doors.
Thank you to the Institute for Design Research & Outreach. Particularly, Kevin Kane for taking the CCL from an idea to a reality.
Thank you to ISU Purchasing, ISU Environmental, Health, & Safety, ISU Office of University Counsel, and ISU Office of Risk Management.
Thank you to our Dean Luis Rico-Gutierrez and our Chair Deborah Hauptmann – without their support there would be no CCL.