Health and Safety: All work conducted in any of the Architecture Shops must be conducted in accordance with this policy. Safety rules are posted clearly in all our shop spaces and include standards for attire, alertness and state of mind, use of personal protective equipment, housekeeping, training, and safe equipment use practices. Anyone, including students, staff, faculty, and visitors to the lab may be asked to leave and may have access revoked at any time by shop staff (including lab managers and student lab monitors) for being unable to conform to this policy.
Access: Access is permitted only for individuals employed by MIT or students
receiving academic credit from MIT for the work being done in the shop. No shop access can be offered
to anyone not falling into one of these two categories. General access to the facilities is reserved for
students and faculty in the MIT Department of Architecture. We may collaborate on projects from other
departments, labs, or centers on campus with a specific scope and duration, but any outside collaboration
that is undertaken must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and is dependent on availability of resources
and staffing. Requests for outside collaboration should come from faculty or staff responsible for the
project and may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are unable to grant general or open-ended access to
those not affiliated with the Department of Architecture. We reserve the right to charge a fee for access
to certain facilities and equipment. We do not offer access to non-architecture students wishing to
pursue their own work in our facilities.
Our 'Outside Use' policy is available in PDF form here:
During the fall and spring semesters, student academic work has first priority for access to equipment and other resources, with faculty and UROP research projects offered use of facilities as available thereafter. During the summer, access is available only for faculty research projects and, in some cases, to students receiving academic credit during the summer term. Access during IAP varies from year to year and is dependent on course offerings and availability of staff.
All facilities and equipment may be taken offline from time to time for safety and maintenance reasons. We make every effort to correct issues in a timely fashion and will send notice of planned outages as early as possible. In the event of unplanned repairs, shop staff will discuss other techniques for finishing projects within our facilities but we cannot offer or provide access to other shop facilities on the MIT campus, nor do we offer access to commercial services when our equipment is down.
Training and supervision: The Department of Architecture requires general shop safety training and hazardous waste disposal training for everyone who will enter any of our shop spaces. Students using manually operated tools in a woodworking shop are required to undergo training on that equipment in one of the wood shop spaces. The MIT EHS Working Alone Policy states that no one may operate a machine tool without a second person present, except in rare situations where the individual is given express prior approval from a shop manager. To meet the requirements of this policy we provide staffing for our general shop spaces during hours they are available for student use during the fall and spring semesters. Extension of these hours during peak periods may be possible with prior approval. The shop may not be staffed during the summer and research projects wishing to access the facilities must hire students who already have the appropriate training. When staffing is unavailable and research projects need to access equipment covered under the EHS Working Alone Policy, those projects will be responsible for providing both people.
Additional training and supervision is required for certain equipment as follows:
Availability of staffing and schedules for staffed access will be posted at the beginning of each semester.
The Fab Lab is an instructional and prototyping facility with a range of tools, including laser cutters, a waterjet, a range of small CNC routers, an electronics workbench, and a range of hand tools. Other facilities include, but are not limited to a fume hood/spray booth and a thermoforming machine.
This shop is housed in a building that is primarily offices and classrooms. Access to the rooms is open to trained students 24/7 during fall/spring semesters (Covid-related restrictions aside). Access to stationary and CNC machinery is only available under supervision (during staffed hours). Material deliveries for this area are left at the loading dock at the Stata Center (32 Vassar st.) and must be brought to and from the lab by students. It is better, if at all possible, to avoid using materials here that are cumbersome or difficult to carry.
The N51-160 Woodshop is host to a full complement of woodworking tools, geared primarily towards traditional furniture making techniques. It is also home to the C.R. Onsrud router and a CNC knee mill. It is accessible during staffed hours only, listed here.
This shop is also directly adjacent to an outdoor courtyard which is set up for assembly of large projects. This courtyard is accessible, via a gate, to the street. Material can be delivered directly to this shop by most vendors, although all deliveries here should be coordinated through the shop manager Christopher Dewart. It is also easier to dispose of large waste sheets here, so this shop is ideal for fabrication and assembly of larger projects.
The Mars Lab is the main ACT workshop and general assembly area. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in ACT classes with a fabrication component for the production of class projects. Short term access to Mars Lab facilities may also be granted to Archshops users individually, based on project needs (please email managers for more info).