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.

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