The University of Houston’s Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design is set to debut a new media and technology lab that aims to “develop the next generation of structural materials, digital fabrication, and sensor technologies.”
The school’s Advanced Media Technology Lab is scheduled to open during the Spring 2020 semester and aims to “take experiential learning to the next level” by providing students with the tools they need to prototype new approaches to materials research, building envelope design, social design, and prototyping for mass production, according to a university website. According to a press release, the lab will focus on “digital fabrication, robotics, 3D printing/additive manufacturing, advanced computation and parametric design, as well as advanced visualization and simulation.” The 8,500-square-foot research lab is currently under construction adjacent to the college’s Keeland Design Lab.
The new $5 million media lab is funded partially by a $1 million donation from Gerald and Barbara Hines. Gerald Hines is a University of Houston architecture graduate and the founder of real estate development firm Hines, while Barbara Hines is an international artist. The Hines company, founded in 1957, is responsible for some of the most iconic signature buildings in Houston, including the John Burgee and Philip Johnson-designed Williams Tower and Pennzoil Place high-rises, and the Houston Galleria mega-mall. The university’s college of architecture was re-named in honor of Gerald Hines in 1997 following a $7 million donation from the developer.