Former students leading digital fabrication network TEX-FAB

Brad Bell

Brad Bell

Andrew Vrana

Andrew Vrana

Kevin McClellan

Kevin McClellan

[TEX-FAB] ( , an organization founded by three former Texas A&M environmental design students, is facilitating collaborative exchanges through an emerging network of companies, institutions and design professionals in Texas and the Southwest that are working with [digital fabrication] ( and [parametric modeling] (,1237,t=parametric+modeling&i=48839,00.asp) .

Founded in 2009 by Brad Bell ‘93, Kevin McClellan ‘98 and Andrew Vrana ‘93, TEX-FAB sponsors lectures, exhibitions, workshops and competitions, helping to shape a discourse among academics, professionals and students.

“With steady growth over the past few years, TEX-FAB has developed an international reputation and presence,” said Scott Marble ’83, founding partner, Marble Fairbanks Architects, director of integrated design, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and an outstanding alumnus of Texas A&M’s College of Architecture.

TEX-FAB’s international design competitions serve as platforms for a diverse set of designers to explore the potential of parametric modeling.

[Cast Ticket] ( ,” a piece by Christine Yogiaman and Ken Tracy, earned top honors in the fall 2012 TEX-FAB Applied: Research through Fabrication competition. Yogiaman and Tracy’s design will be built for display at the TEX-FAB spring 2013 convention in Dallas.

The collaborative drew four internationally leading parametric designers to speak at its spring 2012 convention at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In fall 2011 TEX-FAB launched its first traveling exhibition, featuring the work its 2011 international competition, with the aim of bringing the work to a broad audience.

“We see the combination of hosting competitions and rolling the work into a traveling exhibition as a potent combination of reaching further into the region beyond our symposia and events,” explains the TEX-FAB website.

The founders said the creation of TEX-FAB grew out of their common activities and interests as university faculty members and firm practitioners.

“We were all leveraging our universities as a bridge back into the community to increase applied learning opportunities for our students,” they said. “We were all very interested in developing digital fabrication techniques and methods that investigate substantive and material realities. Dialogue, and at times collaborative exploration, laid a framework that facilitated the formation of TEX-FAB.”

Bell is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Architecture, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate students how to integrate digital fabrication technologies into architectural design. In 2012 he founded [TOPOCAST] ( , a design and consultation firm focused on the implementation of innovative methods in casting through the application of digital fabrication technologies.

McClellan is a lecturer at the University of Texas-San Antonio’s College of Architecture and a designer, artist and founder of [Architecturebureau] ( , a design research office exploring complex systems and their material effects on form.

Vrana is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Houston’s College of Architecture and principal architect at Houston-based [Metalab] ( , where he integrates his expertise in digital media and fabrication with architecture, product development and civic art from concept through construction.

posted December 7, 2012