THE IMAGING LABORATORY
A long-time leader in the integration of CAD/graphics into the design curriculum, the College of Architecture and Design (CoAD) has offered electronic/paperless digital design studios since 1985. Our decentralized Imaging Laboratory, established in 1991, operates throughout the College. An in-house IT staff manages the CoAD network and works with the approximately 1,000 computer users in the College.
The Imaging Laboratory is a decentralized facility that organizes, maintains, and operates the information technology resources at the College. The facilities include the network and IT infrastructure that encompass all computers in the design studios as well as specialized laboratories and equipment including the Architecture Teaching Lab, Art + Design Freshman Labs, Animation Lab, Physical Computing Lab, and digital fabrication equipment located throughout the College. Auxiliary support is provided to the Print Room, the Littman Library, and administrative computers in CoAD. Imaging Lab personnel administer the internally developed classroom management and student work archive system - Kepler, a proprietary and password-protected application of Microsoft SharePoint. Additionally, Imaging Lab personnel are “the first line of defense” when individual IT and computer-related problems occur with College of Architecture and Design specified personal computers and implement the annual imaging process that provides students access to the wide range of software applications available at the College. The directors of the Imaging Laboratory represent the College interests within the university and externally, and evaluate academic-related requests for IT resources. They are also charged with the solicitation of external support for the College via the Imaging Laboratory.
We focus on the incorporation of ever evolving computer graphics technologies into the most universal component of design education: the studio. A robust relationship between the computer industry and the Imaging Laboratory faculty and staff provides students with access to new and developing software.
BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING
The introduction of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the architecture and interior design industries requires the most broad-based changes in the knowledge, skills and attitudes of designers seen in many decades. As the largest provider of architectural and design graduates in the region, professional offices look to our graduates to be competent in BIM techniques, and understand the implications of intelligent systems in the design and delivery process. Recognized for this leadership in BIM education, in August, 2007, CoAD received the Revit BIM Experience Award from Autodesk - the first educational institution, public or private, to be so honored. CoAD students have received industry-sponsored scholarships to attend Autodesk's Summer Bootcamp since 2009 and NJIT was the first university to have representation from interior and industrial design programs in addition to architecture.
STUDENT COMPUTER REQUIREMENT
Students at the College of Architecture and Design use their computers as professional tools during the course of their studies. The study and practice of architecture in the twenty-first century requires extensive use of the computer. As graphics-intensive machines, the demands placed on them are high. A typical CAD/graphics workstation has to be much more powerful than a computer that is primarily used for business applications – or even for many computer programming tasks. The creation and manipulation of graphics (including animation) on a computer are among the most demanding applications that can be run. As such, it is important for the computers used in the College of Architecture and Design to be able to accommodate the tasks students are assigned. Students are required to purchase a workstation-class computer for use in the design studio. Specifications are released every spring in time for purchase prior to the start of the fall semester. Architecture students are expected to purchase their computers prior to matriculation. Freshmen in the Foundation Year in the School of Art + Design have lab-based classes so Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Fine Arts students are required to purchase their computers prior to the start of sophomore studios, and Digital Design students are required to purchase their computers prior to the start of their third year design studios. Most software is made available to students with the specified computer through the CoAD/Imaging Laboratory network.
Answer to Frequently Asked Questions for students in the New Jersey School of Architecture may be found at http://ist.njit.edu/compreq/faq_arch.php. Students in the School of Art + Design may find answers to questions at: http://ist.njit.edu/compreq/faq_art_design.php.
In addition to the school-wide network and current software, specialized laboratories and peripheral equipment are located throughout the buildings to support elective courses. Equipment in specialized labs and studios, and/or available for student use includes a variety of digital cameras (including handheld HD video cameras), field digital audio recorders, 3D printers, Universal laser cutters, desktop 4-axis milling machine, CNC router, and more.