If u had a REALLY complete Design LAB... would u use it?

Hi!! I study industrial design at Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Guadalajara. (That’s in México) Few months ago a new Lab was inaugurated at our campus. I mean by Lab, not a computer one, but a lab where u can work with metal, wood, plastic and create real prototypes.
My question is… YOU, as industrial design students (or teachers), consider that having this kind of lab gives advantages to us as students today, and later as professionals?

Please tell me what do u think.

PD.- Sorry for my poor english.

Making things physically definitely helps your understanding of manufacturing, form, even shading, later as a professional, even if you stop making your own models and prototypes. The key is not to get so involved in making things that you become a model maker, you want to do it just enough so that it helps you mature as a designer.


Not only does a Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) give advantages in the creation of prototypes, it also exposes students to some of the actual techniques used in manufacturing. That knowledge alone can help make future design work better by making the collaboration with engineering a little easier.


Absolutely. The first 2-3 years of design at Virginia Tech you spend a huge amount of time in the shops. Having the means to produce your own prototypes and products is far more valuable then drawing a chair on paper and saying “this will work just fine”. It takes the 20 hours of bending tubing, riveting parts together, and then 5 seconds for someone to break it to realize you need to go back to the drawing board.

Having physical models is also invaluable for things like hand tools, where testing the physical object is absolutely imperative.

Heres a quick sample of some of the furniture we had to build during the beginning of sophmore year.

I get much more satisfaction realizing my design than sketching it.

Wow! That’s really cool, then. So we really should be making more use of this Lab. Thanks for your opinions so far.