In a recent long-form interview with Autodesk Design Academy, Associate Professor and dFAB Director Jeremy Ficca opines about the multiple roles of fabrication in architecture education and design. Ficca is also track chair of the Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD) program.
In response to Autodesk's fascination with SoA's curricular approach to fabrication, Ficca has this to say:
We have recently rebranded the Digital Fabrication Lab to be the Design Fabrication Lab. It is a subtle change, but we believe more accurately reflects our desire for these to be instruments of design, not merely production tools. Furthermore, it moves fabrication outside a purely digital realm to include analog techniques to elevate an opportunistic utilization of a range of techniques. Students should feel empowered to use a hybrid of both methods. There can be an unproductive distinction and hierarchy between digital vs. analog. This is a tired cliché that we want to move beyond. On one hand many of our resources are reliant upon computation, but we see them as supplemental to the other resources we have in our metal and wood shops. Ultimately, we aim to engender a sensibility amongst our students that leads to good decision making on which tool to use.