KEY TAKE-AWAYS: DIGITAL FABRICATION’S ROLE IN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Digital fabrication, including laser-cutting, 3D printing, and CNC routing, has become an invaluable platform in bringing ideas to reality which may be subsequently tested and developed in an iterative process. Stemming from the manufacturing sector, these technologies have become increasingly commonplace in academia yet are typically dispensed with as tools exclusively for production as opposed to pedagogy. As experiential learning continues to demand applied academic skills beyond the classroom, it also must be contextualized in a cross- and interdisciplinary framework. Within Canada’s largest architectural program, an extracurricular student group has undertaken several projects that have not only precipitated great syntheses, but also yielded incredible experiential learning opportunities that have encouraged collaborations with charitable, cultural, and community organizations. As the use of digital fabrication technologies continues to gain momentum, it is imperative to identify the four key ways they may be used to foster a robust level of experiential learning.