Hands-on Learning: Architecture Students Put Their Studies in Action in the Machine Shop

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By Olivia Dimmer, David Ettinger

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Hands-on Learning: Architecture Students Put Their Studies in Action in the Machine Shop

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Aslinur Taskin (ARCH 5th Year): We take a class alongside our studio classes that's called the shop class. And so they go through, with weekly assignments, how to use every single machine, and so the table saw, the bandsaws, how to use different kind of miters, create different kind of joints. And so with each project that we did, we learned how to use every single machine the right way. 

Caleb Schemmel (ARCH 2nd Year): So the shop is really important to what we do as architects. We do a little bit of modeling, a little bit of furniture-making, pretty much anything. It's something which is really integral to our architecture program as a whole since IIT's architecture is all about the physical, hands-on aspect of architecture and making things that are real. I came to IIT having zero hands-on experience with like the shop tools and everything, and as a first-year you take two classes in the shop. They're kind of like almost like labs for our architecture studio. So in that first semester first year you learn all the fundamentals and basics. 

Melisa Ozyurek (ARCH 3rd Year): I would say it's really helping student to understand what can be built and what cannot be built. We have a chance here to closely look at those details of buildings and understand how did they actually build in real life. 

Schemmel: So by far the most important kind of resource I've had here at IIT outside of our amazing professors has been the shop. For me personally, I came to IIT I didn't really know, I knew I wanted to do architecture right, but I didn't know what my college career was going to look like. I found the shop, loved being in the shop, and it's really enabled me to I guess grow into the person I want to be and honestly out of all my experiences here at IIT, my classes in the shop have been the most important in my professional development.