Our primary mission is to promote material investigation in design. We seek to understand how and why things are made in order to innovate them in creative and thoughtful ways. By supporting advanced and interdisciplinary materials research, development, design and fabrication, the Materials Lab provides patrons with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to design and construct for a better built environment.


The heart of the Materials Lab will always be our physical collection, a comprehensive circulating library of current and future materials and assemblies. Our collection inspires us to rethink the built environment in all aspects, and we strive to be an active and engaged center of materials research, experimentation, and development. Just as the scope of materials is all-encompassing, so are our interests.


With the assistance of the University Co-operative Society, the Materials Resource Center was established in the Fall of 2001 and encompasses both the Materials Lab and the Architectural Conservation Lab.  The University Co-op Materials Lab is comprised of the circulating materials collection, gallery space for temporary exhibitions, book and magazine collection and reading area, and two classrooms.  

The Materials Lab is a product of a merger between the Interior Design program – originally located in the School of Human Ecology – and the School of Architecture in 1997.  Before the two came together, the architecture school and the interior design program each maintained their own material collections.


The Collection
One of our material researchers shows off a sample of translucent concrete to a group of students


The Collection
Our gallery space hosts 3 - 4 exhibitions per semester. Pictured: "Think Concrete"


The Collection
Students have hands-on access to inspiring materials that they can apply to their design projects