CCA Hybrid Lab

Makers Gonna Make

Turning a leftover room into a “maker space” that would light up California College of the Arts students’ creativity.

Open Space, Open Minds

This commission from CCA, a longtime Jensen Architects client, was unusual even for an institution known for its inventive learning environment. With technology asserting growing influence across all disciplines, the school sought a new kind of space for its San Francisco campus: a flexible platform for interdisciplinary experimentation merging design, art and technology. As CCA defined the project, the space would be the hardware, and the teaching that would happen there would be the complementary software.

Forever New

CCA and Jensen agreed that the space should be highly adaptable, with nothing precious about it. Custom work desks on casters and modular shelving allow each department in residence to reorganize the space to suit their program. Large glass doors and a bright orange floor bring visibility to the curriculum and invite students to stop in and explore.

Hands On

Cross-pollinating nontechnology-based disciplines with technology practice is central to the lab’s mission. Students have access to equipment ranging from a desktop drill press and industrial sewing machines to 3D printers, LEDs, and many other components. Supplies and tools are at arm’s reach, enticing students to hack, tinker and prototype— together. A painter and textile artist might experiment with digitally printed fabric, for example, or an architect might test ideas for 3D printed ceramic building components.

Come See

The Hybrid Lab was an instant hit. It proved so popular with students and teachers alike that within a year of the lab’s opening, the school opted on an expansion. Today the lab features prominently on donor tours, and is a showcase for CCA’s ability to partner with the region’s tech industry. But even more important, the industrious activity that goes on here day and night shows visitors what CCA is all about.

California College of the Arts
San Francisco


Project Leads
Mark Jensen
Steven Huegli
Project Team
Andy Lin
Andy Pluess


Johnstone McAuliffe Construction


Mariko Reed