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The UT chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) recently hosted a regional Maker Squad conference celebrating the maker culture at UT and in the city of Knoxville.

Open to all students, the event gave the campus community the opportunity to learn about maker culture and various methods of making such as marble sculpting, metal work, and more.

In addition to UT students, nearly 300 students from 66 different AIAS chapters across 11 states visited the College of Architecture and Design and partners throughout Knoxville for the conference.

“We want to make sure these students get as much exposure to this culture as they can,” said Jonathan Winfiele, a third-year architecture student and the conference chair.

The UT student maker space is the Fab Lab, a 20,000-square-foot innovation hub located in downtown Knoxville, which has a nine-axis robot, laser cutters, CNC routers, a water-jet cutter, woodshop, metal shop, and more. The lab allows students to create and learn in a unique hands-on environment.

“It is a space for us to let our imaginations run wild,” Winfiele said. “It’s a place for us to make the impossible into our reality.”

A variety of workshops and panels were hosted on campus and throughout Knoxville on topics including glassblowing, pottery, and filmmaking.

By participating in the Maker Squad conference, UT students and students from other universities were able to explore the ways traditional methods and technology can be used to create something for the next generation.


Founded in 1965, the UT College of Architecture and Design enriches the quality of life in the region and world through its transformational design education, design/build program, key partnerships, and award-winning facilities including the state-of-the-art Fab Lab. The college is composed of more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students in architecture, interior architecture, and landscape architecture. Visit to learn more.


Brian Canever (865-974-0937,

Courtney Cox (