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Writing in response to two essays by Bre...

Any discussion of theory has me looking for competing theories and seeing how they function in the same context as the specified theory. In this case Aristotelian drama immediately calls to my mind comparisons with Frazer’s and Campbell’s theories, centered on the hero and their actions, in stark contrast to the gestalt families of dramatic(…)

Reflecting on the Dynabook

I wanted to offer a couple of observations on the discussion topic for this week’s New Media Seminar, Personal Dynamic Media by Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg. The most striking thing about these early discussions of computer technology, in this case about personal computers and applications, is how prophetic they have proved to be. In(…)

Build Lab at Virginia Tech 2014-02-19 16...

The Build LAB has been moving at break neck pace through the Fall and Spring terms. A couple of highlights include a new research project headed by Rohin Lahoria looking at CNC manufacturing of structural building components. That project will include a join industry/academic meeting April to include workshops, demonstrations, and general knowledge exchange. Very(…)

Build LAB will be at Maker Faire New Yor...

Build LAB will be represented at Maker Faire New York 2013 by a presentation outlining the LAB’s mission, purpose, and capabilities. The Faire will be September 21st and 22nd at the Hall of Science in New York. We’ll be bringing a group of interested students to the Faire as well. This will be great exposure for(…)

Build Lab at Virginia Tech 2013-08-08 19...

At the invitation of graduate student Khris Beagley this morning I had the pleasure of watching the testing of some novel composite lumber samples at the Brooks Center, part of the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials. The sample in the photo finally failed at 39k lbs. Khris’s research is working on developing the engineering data to(…)

New Machinery and Tools arriving

We have new equipment of all kinds arriving all the time now. The new Grizzly machines (jointer, spindle sander, bandsaw, and planner) are setup, the Festool portable power tools are ready to go, the epoxy mixing and vacuum bagging products are ready to go, the list could go on and on. Renovation work is just(…)

Build Lab at Virginia Tech 2013-07-12 19...

I’ve just returned to the LAB after a conference at the Haystack Mountain School. It was a really fruitful trip and a great conference on interdisciplinary work. Great presenters, much directly on the topic of working together across boundaries in places just like the LAB. Its going to take some time to unpack everything but(…)


Not to be too prosaic about it, but there are hazards and dangers in everything we do. An advantage in a lab environment is we can work to know those hazards and mitigate their risks. Anytime we see blades spinning or hear motors running our animal brains jump straight to worrying about the physical damage(…)

The Lab As it Stands

The future Build LAB space consists of most of the first floor of Bishop-Favrao Hall. This summer we’re working on the build-out but also completing a range of projects creating a vibrant mess. We’ll enjoy these ‘before’ pictures when we put the finishing touches on the new lab space and then proceed to mess it(…)

Who builds in the Build LAB?

The Build Lab is a project of the Myers-Lawson School of Construction and the Department of Building Construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Members of those communities are our most immediate users but the LAB is intended to be an interdisciplinary space whose goal is to foster the sort of serendipitous collaboration(…)