Digital Fabrication Lab

Over our 54-year history, the Ranch has a history of embracing innovative new technologies and incorporating them into the arts curriculum offered on campus. Earlier in 2020, through the gift of an anonymous donor, the architecture firm of Rowland + Broughton was hired to expand and upgrade the Ranch’s Digital Fabrication Lab (FabLab) to keep pace with emerging digital fabrication technologies and support artistic innovation across various disciplines.

Relocating the FabLab into a larger studio space within the centrally located Maloof Barn allows greater access to and visibility of the lab’s equipment. Retrofitting the space for improved infrastructure and ventilation supports investment in the technologies needed to stay on the forefront of innovation in the arts. The central location on campus is meant to allow all mediums to incorporate digital fabrication into their education and art making.

Integrating innovative technologies into this ever evolving campus with historic log buildings meant embracing the creativity and maker-ethos of Anderson Ranch. The work surfaces and tables are being made by Brad Reed Nelson, a woodshop faculty member. An installation by Brad Miller, a Visiting Artist, will integrate art into the studio. An outdoor sculpture by internationally recognized James Surls will mark the entrance to the FabLab on the campus.

Formerly the Turning Studio, the new FabLab studio features a light-filled space with vaulted ceilings and an existing covered deck. The deck is a communal area where fellow students and artists may gather and visit. Two existing glass garage doors open into the studio, allowing for indoor-outdoor workspace for students and creating a welcoming environment to observe the digital fabrication equipment in action. With the campus closed in Summer 2020, online courses will allow students to create art through code. The FabLab will produce the work that will then be shipped to students.

Principal Architect, Sarah Broughton virtually sat down with Peter Waanders, President and CEO of Anderson Ranch Arts Center to discuss this new addition to the Ranch.