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Spaces, Design Labs, and Workshops

Burchard Plaza in the evening with students sitting and standing out front

The School of Design prioritizes a respectful and intellectually stimulating environment that contributes to students' design education and fosters a lifelong pursuit of learning. 

With a dedicated desk in the design labs, students work in open studios alongside other majors and/or student cohorts on design issues through iterative making and design critique.

Labs and Workshops

The Industrial Design program features dedicated studio workspaces and cutting-edge prototyping equipment in Burchard Hall to foster hands-on learning and skill development. The MAD Lab serves as a hub for experimentation and collaboration, allowing you to explore various materials and techniques. As an Industrial Design student, you will be empowered to create innovative solutions for real-world problems. The Kiva is an active space for hands-on classes, group discussions, and student activities.

The Interior Design program in Burruss Hall provides students with extensive resources to develop their design skills, such as open studios, a materials library, and computer output facilities. The program emphasizes the importance of collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, equipping students with the tools needed to excel in the world of interior design.

All landscape architect students in the program have a dedicated studio workspace located in Burchard Hall. While grouped by student cohort, landscape architecture students often collaborate across academic years as they explore and develop their design and technical knowledge and skills. The open studio, shared with architecture and industrial design students, offers students substantial opportunities for collaboration, sharing of ideas, peer support, study, and reflective critiques.

Makerspaces and Fabrication Labs

Cowgill Hall offers a variety of makerspaces and labs, including the 'bot shop' and 3D printing studio, ceramic workshop, and 24-hour printing/plotting labs. These spaces support student research and design exploration in a hands-on setting, allowing you to experiment with various materials and techniques while developing your design skills.

The Art & Architecture Library is located on the first floor of Cowgill Hall. Its collection of approximately 78,000 volumes and more than 200 journals encompasses the visual arts, art history, architecture, decorative arts, and design. It holds nearly 900 multimedia items and houses several hundred sets of architectural drawings for in-house use. This branch of the University's Newman Library offers state-of-the-art technology and serves as a vital resource for the School of Design students, providing you with access to a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Burchard Hall offers studio workspaces for 200+ students in industrial design, landscape architecture, and architecture. Its extensive shop facilities for student use are staffed by experienced technicians to enable students to engage in hands-on learning, refine technical skills, and bring designs to life. 

Workshops include woodworking and metalworking equipment; a fabric/textile laboratory; a plastics shop (basic equipment including lathes, a vacuum former and an Objet Printer); LaserCamm laser cutting rooms; a 3D printer room; a ceramics lab; a silkscreen printing studio; photographic darkrooms; and a computer input/output room with multiple large format printers, scanners, and plotters.

Burruss Hall houses all of the Interior Design program and parts of the Landscape Architecture program.  For the Interior Design program, Burruss Hall offers open studio spaces, zoom-enabled seminar rooms, and conference rooms for collaborative design work and discussions. These facilities create a supportive and inspiring environment where students can develop their design skills and grow as a professional. For the Landscape Architecture program, Burruss Hall offers faculty and PhD offices, seminar rooms and a conference room.

Located approximately 1.5 miles west of the Virginia Tech main campus, the Research + Demonstration Facility (RDF) houses high bay working spaces, shop facilities with wood- and metal-working equipment, CAD/CAM machines, facilities for large scale welding projects, and/or studio and workshop spaces for students and faculty working on special projects. The RDF also houses the Design Robotics Laboratory, Advanced Ceramics, and our innovative BioDesign Research lab devoted to material science and tooling bamboo.

The Media Building provides studio space for the Institute For Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT). These include the digital arts and animation studio, the digital interactive sound and intermedia studio, and the cinema studio.

Virtual Campus Tour

Overhead shot of the back of Burruss Hall and front of Cowgill Hall with Burchard in between

Explore the Virginia Tech campus through our 360 virtual tour, providing an immersive experience of the larger university setting. 

Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, Blacksburg, Virginia is a vibrant community with a low cost of living, award-winning services, and abundant leisure activities. Its natural beauty and diverse cultural offerings make it an ideal location for students to live and learn. The region's growing economy, scenic vistas, and historical attractions create a dynamic environment for students at Virginia Tech. 

For more information or assistance, please reach out to our front desk at (540) 231-5383 or visit us at Cowgill Hall RM 201, Virginia Tech. Our team is eager to help you explore the School of Design and guide you through your academic journey. We look forward to welcoming you to our creative and inspiring community.