Integrated Design Lab | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Integrated Design Lab

NWACC’s state-of-the-art Integrated Design Lab (IDL) holds courses in design, art and construction, as well as a dedicated makerspace for collaboration and testing design ideas. The lab offers space to explore form and function, art and entrepreneurship, and creativity and industry; It's a place where you can make your passion your profession.

The facility also offers opportunities to gain valuable creative and technical skills in drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, construction and three-dimensional design media such as wood and metal, as well as digital tools of design, fabrication and art making.

The following video offers an insider perspective on the concept of the IDL and all that its makerspace has to offer NWACC students and the community.

IDL Concept

The IDL is an educational philosophy, actualized through the Bauhaus philosophy, and a metacognitive teaching tool. The structure of the building is a work of art that simultaneously demonstrates, through intentional connection points between the labs, the existence for design-based problem solving to produce maximum impact and inspiration.

NWACC Integrated Design Lab

Bauhaus Educational Philosophy

The Bauhaus educational philosophy is described as the following:

  •  The broad, democratic conception of what it means to be human.
  •  The belief in the educability of everyone.
  •  The cultivation of the individual who can work well with others.
  •  The emphasis on function and usefulness in their broadest sense.
  •  The integration of theory and practice rather than their separation.
  •  The nurturing of human creativity as it emerges from an informed and skilled starting point.
  •  The benefits of an interdisciplinarity that is based on solid disciplinary foundations.

More about Bauhaus philosophy.

IDL Virtual Tour

Map by 3DTourLab


IDL Construction & Opening

Facts and timeline about the Integrated Design Lab: 

  • In February 2017, NWACC’s Board of Trustees (BoT) approved an Integrated Design Lab building.

  • The IDL user group, comprised of college administration and faculty, was an extremely collaborative and creative group that came up with a unique and innovative mission and design for this building.

  • Selection committees comprised of internal and external members made recommendations for an architect and construction manager.

  • The BoT approved selection of SCM Architects, PLLC, as the project architectural firm on May 8, 2017, and Nabholz Construction as the project general contractor for the building on November 6, 2017. These selections enabled us to use the ‘Construction Management-at Risk’ method of construction, meaning that the architect and construction manager worked closely together with us for the duration of the project.

  • In August 2017, the Integrated Design Lab building project received method-of-finance approval by the state’s legislative review council.

  • On September 5, 2017, the user group began meeting with SCM regularly, developing plans based on experience, research and on-site visits.

  • After Nabholz was selected as the general contractor, their representatives began meeting with the group in December.

  • With Nabholz on board, a project schedule was developed.

  • The IDL houses workforce/ construction and visual arts classrooms, and is around 18,582 sq. ft. with an additional outdoor fabrication space of 3,500 sq.ft.

  • Space is available to showcase projects and allow their creators to offer them for sale.

  • The building incorporates NWACC brick, as well as glass, metal and stone. Attractive metal screening was added for the exterior fabrication space.

  • On August 26, 2019 the facility opened for classes in fall, 2019.

  • Estimated at a cost of $5.5 million, the facility houses construction technology and the visual arts, addressing core needs of adequate ventilation and much-needed space.

Grand Opening - Sept. 27

  • In the fall of 2019, NWACC held a grand opening event for the new Integrated Design Lab (IDL) and invited college and community members to join in the memorable celebration. 

  • The event was filled with inspirational speeches as well as great conversation, food and drinks. Speakers included NWACC President Dr. Jorgenson, Board of Trustees member Joe Spivey, and an art and construction technology graduates. Attendees enjoyed taking self-tours, chatting with staff, faculty and students, and learning about this state-of-the-art facility.