Advanced Media Technology Lab - University of Houston
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PHASE II - FORGING FUTURES IN DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES

The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design continues to be a haven for knowledge, innovation, and discovery. With the construction of the College's new Advanced Media Technology Lab currently underway thanks to the generous support of donors during Phase I, fundraising for Phase II is in full swing to make this dream a reality.

The Advanced Media Technology Lab will serve as a world-class research facility, drawing talented students and faculty to the University of Houston in pursuit of more sustainable and innovative architecture and design.  As a home for cutting-edge advanced digital technologies, including construction robotics, full-scale 3D printing, and augmented/virtual realities, among many others, the lab will be a leading center for emerging technologies in Texas, and one of the top facilities in the world.

Experience and engagement in the lab will prepare students from across all the College’s disciplines – Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Industrial Design – to be leaders in trending technologies, increase industry partnerships advancing the Hines College, and enable faculty to pursue influential ground-breaking research.

THE MISSION

The Advanced Media Technology Lab (AMTL) supports the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design in pursuing innovative research in design and fabrication technologies. We value the critical engagement of technology in contemporary design and architecture and look for ways new technologies can augment how we design, build, and live.

The way objects, spaces, and buildings are designed and made is undergoing a rapid transformation. We must find ways to make the built environment more sustainable while simultaneously making it more resilient to change. Also, new technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation create both new opportunities and challenges to the way we currently operate. Like the wave of innovation during the mid-20th century, we are presently experiencing the beginning of the next industrial revolution. Architects and designers' roles and the related industries of manufacturing and construction are rapidly changing and challenged to be more sustainable and productive.

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DEFINING OUR GOALS

World-Class Research Facility

To create the most advanced center for emerging technologies used within design, architecture, and construction in Texas and one of the world's top facilities. The equipment, processes, and knowledge available at the lab will be a beacon of innovation for the University, the city of Houston, and the state of Texas.

Unleash Creativity of the Hines College

To develop robust connections with faculty throughout the industrial design, interior architecture, and architecture programs at the Hines College that will unleash the creative potential of faculty and students producing world-class research.

Sustainability and Equity

To make the world a better place through an intense focus on the sustainability and equity embodied in the materials, technologies, and processes used in literally making the world. We strive to create a more equitable environment supporting equal access to advanced technologies, regardless of background. As part of a public institution, the AMTL pursues research benefiting the public good through making high-quality architecture and design more accessible, safer, and in solidarity with the natural world.

Industry Partnerships

To partner with regional, national, and international industry, academic, and public partners in collaborative research projects expanding the capacity and network of the Hines College. The AMTL acts as a research hub bringing together multiple disciplines within the University of Houston to explore innovative technologies and processes helping our community.

Post-Professional Graduate Research Programs

To establish a well-funded and active post-professional program for students pursuing world-class research and making the Hines College a recruitment hub for the future professional and academic leaders.

Innovative Faculty Recruitment

To attract, retain, and assist the most innovative faculty, students, and researchers, and collectively produce research projects at the forefront of design technologies.

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OUR AMBITIONS

Construction-Scale Additive Manufacturing

  • 3D Printing with clay, adobe, biomaterials, and "green" concrete
  • Investigating Circular Lifecycle of Plastics to be able to recycle plastics into new parts.

From Model to Working Prototypes

  • 3D Printing in final materials that mechanically perform rather than creating only visual representations

Advanced Documentation, Analysis, and Visualization

  • Use LIDAR and Photogrammetry with drones and mobile robotics to better capture real-world site conditions
  • Use Real-time Visualization tools to design, visualize, and interact with complex projects using augmented reality and virtual reality environments

Research Area 4: Robotic Off-Site Construction

  • Onsite construction is dirty, dangerous, and difficult. How can more buildings be autonomously built in more controlled and safer conditions?

Rapid Design and Fabrication Team for Emergency Response

  • The AMTL would be equipped with everything needed to help local and regional communities respond to natural or human-made disasters. With one of the largest populations of designers in the United States, our students and faculty are motivated to use their skills to help our communities.
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LEADING THE WAY

The Advanced Media Technology Lab is led by professor and director Andrew Kudless, the William D. Kendall Professor of Design Technologies. Founder of the design firm Matsys, Kudless comes to Houston from San Francisco where he served as a professor at the California College of the Arts. He has taught design studios, workshops, and seminars at Ohio State University, the Architectural Association (London), Yale University, and Rice University. In 2019, Kudless received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Honor Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Faculty Design Award, and Texas Society of Architects (TxA) Design Award all for his work on Confluence Park in San Antonio, Texas  – a project by Matsys and Lake | Flato Architects.

In 2005, Kudless was the Howard E. LeFevre Fellow for Emerging Practitioners at Ohio State University. He received the Design Merit Award in the Far Eastern International Digital Architecture Design (FEIDAD) competition in 2004 and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to research architectural design and urbanism in the Kansai region of Japan in 1998.  Recently, Kudless became the first American to have work in the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades Collection of furniture and design.

Kudless holds a Master of Arts with distinction from the Architectural Association’s Emergent Technologies and Design graduate program and a Master of Architecture with honors from the Tulane University School of Architecture. He has worked as a designer for Allied Works Architecture in Portland and New York and as a digital design, modeling, and fabrication consultant for Expedition Engineering in London. Kudless’ work has been exhibited in the United States, England, France, Japan and China, and is also in the permanent collections of the Pompidou Centre, the FRAC Centre, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

SUPPORT THE FUTURE OF DESIGN

The fundraising goal for Phase II is $4 million. Gifts of all levels are crucial to moving forward this game-changing capital initiative.

To support the Advanced Media Technology Lab, click here.

For more information on making a gift, contact Emily Brents at 713.743.7906 or ekbrents@uh.edu.