Rafael Vargas

Rafael Vargas is an architect and multidisciplinary designer. He directs the Fab Lab at the University of Puerto Rico, where he teaches and manages research projects for graduate students dealing with digital prototyping and design. Rafael is involved with non-traditional education at various levels. He created the Emergent Tools initiative, which delivers technology training to diverse communities around the Puerto Rican archipelago and other Spanish speaking territories through physical and online courses. Emergent Tools focuses on the idea of providing and democratizing emergent technologies through education. Rafael is involved in creating educational experiences dealing with various technologies, such as 3d printing, parametric design, digital fabrication, 3d modeling, and most recently, virtual reality. He pioneered the development of the first maker spaces in schools in Puerto Rico. For example, the STEAM Fab Lab at Tasis is used by students from elementary to high school level for project-based learning integrated courses. Rafael often provides professional design services and consultancy related to emerging fabrication technologies and their applications towards architecture, design, engineering, and product development.