about us

In 2010, founding director James Stevens PhD, AIA along with a group of Lawrence Tech students established makeLab. The lab was founded in the belief that design cannot be separated from making. makeLab has now progressed beyond teaching and includes research, industry sponsored projects, and international workshops. The makeLab now operates in downtown Pontiac as a nonprofit under a Board of Directors of makeLab almuni. 

Contact: Info@make-lab.org

James C. Stevens, PhD, AIA

James Stevens is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Architecture at Clemson University. Prior to his appointment at Clemson University in 2020, Prof. Stevens was Chair of the Department of Architecture at Lawrence Technological University, where he was the founding director of makeLab, the University’s digital fabrication laboratory. James is co-author of the book Digital Vernacular, Architectural Principles, Tools, and Processes (Routledge 2015) and has authored multiple peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. He is a licensed architect and certified by the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the recipient of the AIA Henry Adams Medal for Excellence in the Study of Architecture and was the 2016 Fulbright Scholar in Albania. He holds a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Ferrara in Italy, where he conducted his residency and research at Polis University in Tirana, Albania. He also holds a Master of Architecture degree from North Carolina State University and a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts degree from The Savannah College of Art and Design.

Chris Westerlund

Chris Westerlund is the Director and a board member of the makeLab. He has worked at one of our building’s partners, TDG Architects for ten years now. Chris also works at houm exploring alternative construction methods for housing. He sits on the planning committee for Computational Design Detroit (co.de.D). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture & a Master of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University. 

Nathan Ickes

Nate Ickes is the Manager and a board member of the makeLab. He teaches Introduction to prototyping and fabrication part time at Lawrence Technological University. He is also working at Three Squared Inc ; an architecture and design firm whose revolutionary technology uses steel cargo shipping containers instead of traditional construction techniques. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture & a Master of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University.


Board of Directors 

James Stevens 

Brent Dekryger

Pandush Gaqi

Nate Ickes

Steve Kroodsma

Chris Westerlund 

Brian Gill

Breanna Scranton