In the Department of Architecture, you will depend upon personal computers for communications, scheduling, research and personal work. Computer use is also required in many courses. The Olver Design Building has a forty seat classroom and a flexible laptop lab adjacent to the Department of Architecture Studios. It is open for student use when classes are not in session. There are other computer workstations available in the Learning Commons at the UMass library. While you may find these resources useful, it will be difficult for you to be productive without your own laptop computer. The University provides many software packages for free and others at a significant educational discount. Before purchasing hardware or software, it is worth reviewing the resources available to you.

Computing Advice for Incoming Students

A laptop is required for sophomores, juniors, seniors and all M.Arch students.

If you are an incoming first year undergraduate intending to continue in the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture, we recommend that you do not purchase a brand-new computer right away. Instead, we recommend that you bring with you an older computer or perhaps an inexpensive notebook for the first year if your general studies curriculum is not computationally intense. The computer recommendations listed in this document apply to the second- year of study, when students take Analysis and Representation I and II courses and design studios that contain more intense computer-related work. Deferring your computer purchase to the second year will enable your laptop purchase to last more effectively through the fourth year of study.

Plotting and Digital Fabrication

The Design Building has a plotter room adjacent to the computer lab with large format plotters.

The Design Building features a digital fabrication lab featuring laser cutters, 3d printers, a cnc router, and a vacuum former. Equipment is available for academic assignments and research projects.
Information, hours, and trainings are available on the fab lab blog: Digital Design + Fabrication Lab

The  2023-2024 TA is Emma Picardi (@email).

UMass Amherst Information Technology

First stop for all things UMass and technology, including your email account and academic software purchases, visit the UMass Amherst Information Technology website

Other Important Links include:

Free & Discounted Software for Students
Adobe Campus Agreement Program
Microsoft Campus Agreement Program
UMass USave Hardware Discounts - educational pricing on many products