Studios + Learning Labs More than a Space

Great studio spaces and learning labs don’t just happen. They are planned. Just like an interior architect plans the use and functionality of a space, engaging the right lighting for the task and understanding the cultural needs of the occupants, our studios are designed for the optimal benefit of students and faculty.

In 2015, we spent $1.5 million to refurbish all of our studio spaces, including providing a new desk, ergonomic chair and high-res monitor for every student. It’s your desk while you’re here. (Who else does that for every student?!)

The new desks are designed for the rich collaboration that occurs in the studios. You and your friends will spend a lot of time in the studios, and the open environment — your view from one end of the studio to the other is largely uninhibited — makes collaboration easy and studio time more enjoyable and rewarding.

And because of our interdisciplinary curriculum, you’ll share studio space with students from other schools in our college, which leads to richer discussions and broader thinking.

In all, close to 40 studio classes meet in our three floors of studio spaces in the Art + Architecture Building (our main hub), and three meet in our large studio space in the Fab Lab, our exploration hive in downtown Knoxville. Plus, we have studio space in Nashville at our partner, Nashville Civic Design Center.

 

Studio Culture

The Studio Culture Policy was developed and adopted by the Dean’s Student Advisory Council and college faculty in Spring 2010. It was reviewed and its graphics were updated in 2017. The policy simply lays a foundation of respect, collaboration and excellence, so critical thinking, ideating and exploring are welcomed and celebrated.

 

Technology at Your Fingertips

Within the studio spaces and learning labs, you have ready access to advanced technology:

  • 27” LCD high-resolution monitors, one provided for every student
  • 24 virtual workstations that connect students to incredible processing power (up from 12 in 2016-2017)
  • 14 short-term loaner laptops (up from 6 in 2016-2017)
  • 7 virtual Adobe Creative Suite virtual workstations
  • 23 65″ wall-mounted LCD screens in studios and other areas
  • 6 printers in studios in the A+A and 1 in the Fab Lab studios
  • 2 color self-serve printers
  • 2 upgraded full- and self-service plotters
  • 5 self-serve plotters giving students 24/7 plotting access (up from 3 in 2016-2017)
  • 3 CNC routers
  • 1 water-jet cutter
  • 2 small robotic arms
  • 3-meter robotic arm, an 8-meter linear rail with a 2-axis turntable and several robotic end effector tools
  • 7 3D printers in A+A
  • 19 industrial- and consumer-grade 3D printers in the Fab Lab
  • 5 laser cutters (up from 2 in 2016-2017) MORE COMING SOON!
  • 1 horizontal panel saw
  • 1 helix planer

The value of the technology in the Fab Lab, alone, is more than $1M, and recently, we made about $100,000 of upgrades to technology in the A+A Building. And we’re not finished, yet.

Letterpress Studio

The UT Letterpress Studio, with a Challenge and Vandercook Press and type specimens, is a joint project of the Graphic Design and Printmaking programs at UT. The studio provides tutorials in letterpress printing to both graduate and undergraduate students at the university, and since 2016 has made it possible for students in Studio Art, Graphic Design, Architecture, Creative Writing and other disciplines to work on books and broadsides created through letterpress. Additionally, the facility has been used as a resource and teaching tool for a variety of classes at the university.

The Printmaking and Graphic Design programs include a letterpress studio for creative research, collaborative projects and instruction. The studio is located in Rm. 335A of the Art + Architecture Building. For semester hours and more detailed information please visit Printmaking Letterpress.