LAB—OR is a self-incriminating design practice that works as an ongoing record of the teaching and scholarly work of Jessica Garcia Fritz and Federico Garcia Lammers. Jessica and Federico are faculty members in the School of Architecture (SoA) at the University of Minnesota. They are active members of The Architecture Lobby, and they align with other action-based programs. More details about their work are shared in news and events. Please say hello, contact us.
DoArch / Department of Architecture / South Dakota State University
Jessica and Federico were founding faculty members of DoArch at South Dakota State University. DoArch was started in 2010 as the first professional architecture program in the state of South Dakota and the newest program on the Great Plains in a century. Located on Oceti Sakowin lands and defined by the presence of nine indigenous nations, the geopolitical implications of this legacy simmer beneath the surface of design education in the region. The potential to transform the relationships among materials, places, and peoples continues to shape DoArch. Jessica and Federico spent ten and nine years, respectively, designing architectural education in South Dakota.
The aim of DoArch is threefold:
1. Provide the region with well-trained, ethically-driven professionals that advocate for and collaborate with local communities;
2. Strengthen the connections between the design and building arts industries to highlight the importance of labor in education;
3. Expand academic discourse to engage small urbanism and the role of architectural education in un-metropolitan contexts.
In 2015, programs in Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Graphic Design, Architecture, and Studio Arts were brought together to form a new School of Design (SoD). The following year, DoArch moved into a new building with offices, design studios, and a 13,000 square foot workshop outfitted with state of the art manual and CNC fabrication, construction, and manufacturing tools. DoArch has a unique mandate to remain a small program of no more than 220 students.
Both Means and Ends
Architecture is a way of seeing, shaping, and making sense of our environment.
It is a curiously pragmatic and material practice.
It is a long-standing intellectual discipline.
It is a legally responsible profession.
At full throttle, it is a material mediation of translating productive intellectual action to social effect. Architects use conventional and unconventional technologies (media) to direct specific labor (building arts) to effect a greater socio-public outcome (urbanism). In the Department of Architecture (DoArch) at South Dakota State University the collective work of faculty and students highlights the relationships between the Building Arts and Public Works.
The Department offers an accredited Master of Architecture (M-Arch) degree and a pre-professional 4 year Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture (BFA-Architecture) degree. Students with a 4 year undergraduate degree in architecture matriculate through the M-Arch degree in 2 years. DoArch also offers a 3 year M-Arch path to students that have completed an undergraduate degree in disciplines other than architecture. Land grant institutions were established to promote “agriculture and the mechanical arts”. Since their founding, institutions such as South Dakota State University have grown to include disciplines that highlight the importance of the humanities within the liberal arts. As part of a land grant institution, DoArch is uniquely positioned to heighten the humanities through the study of diverse cultures and the ethical implications of making places, spaces, and things.
The first ten years (2010-2020) of DoArch were shaped by the emotional, intellectual, and financial investment of faculty, students, and surrounding communities.
Founding Faculty, Staff, and Students
Brian T. Rex, Department Head
Jessica Garcia Fritz
Federico Garcia Lammers
Dr. Fang Xu
Founding Architecture Firms
Koch Hazard Architects