Polymathy values different ways of learning, knowing, and being, ranging from the written word to various modes of embodiment and creative practice. The Ahmanson Lab extends the Harman Academy's focus on integrative learning by offering students a space for experimentation, play, and creative exploration. Through workshops on design, digital authoring, physical computing and other creative endeavors, students explore the value of making to polymathic inquiry. A roster of faculty, artists, designers, and makers work with students to expand their thinking about the potentials of polymathic practice.
View a selection of our programs and services below.
Want to visit the Ahmanson Lab? We're located on the third floor of Leavey Library (Map).
Ahmanson Lab Innovation Scholars
Each academic year, a cohort of dedicated and creative USC students join us at the Ahmanson Lab as Innovation Scholars. Innovation Scholars work over the year with faculty, experts, artists, designers, and fellow students in one of our team-based Collaboratories. As part of their yearlong residence Innovation Scholars are also awarded $1000 stipend and given access to the Lab’s technology and space.
Collaboratories are interdisciplinary, team-based research labs designed to engage students in critical making—activities that bridge critical thinking and digital fabrication. They are polymathic in nature, bringing faculty, experts, artists, designers, and students together at the Ahmanson Lab over an academic year. They are organized around topics, problems or set of questions that are best explored via the hands-on design and production of digital artifacts.
See our Collaboratories for 2018-2019.
Digital Writing Workshops
This series of workshops and talks at the Ahmanson Lab center around emerging practices and tools in digital communication, writing, and scholarship. The series is meant to bridge digital praxis and theory and to help students work as well as think digitally. Workshops offer hands-on training in digital methods and platforms -mapping, interactive timelines, data visualizations, and online scholarly writing- while talks inform training sessions by offering broader questions and theories about the nature of interactive media.
Learn more about our digital writing workshops and see a schedule for this semester.
Polymathic Making Workshops
This series of hands-on workshops introduce attendees to cutting-edge technologies including Arduio and Raspberry PI microcontrollers, 3D modeling and printing, augmented reality, generative visual coding, neural networks and more. Workshops in this series are for a general audience and require no prior programing skills or technical expertise.
See our Polymathic Making Workshop series schedule.
Open Lab Hours
Technology and training at the Ahmanson Lab are available to all USC students. Staff hold regular lab hours so you can drop by and learn about 3D printing, 3D modeling, microcontrollers and more.
See our lab hours this semester.