A laptop is an essential tool in your design education. We recommend a laptop that can handle advanced 3D and CAD work. Because you will change desks each semester based on your studio, a laptop is more practical than a desktop computer.
For more intensive computational tasks, we have a number of workstations on the studio floor.
While many programs you will use during your studies have been ported to Mac, we recommend a Windows machine to ensure compatibility with our core softwares.
Intel Core i7 Quad Core
16 GB RAM
256 GB or higher capacity solid state drive
Dedicated AMD or NVIDIA graphics with at least 2 GB of video memory
While we do our best to anticipate software and hardware requirements, we cannot guarantee that any given laptop will be adequate to address all computing needs throughout your progress through our curriculum.
You have access to either free or heavily discounted student software licenses for the applications you will most commonly use.
You can get free Office 365 subscription via UBC IT’s Software Downloads page.
UBC IT also provides a free license of Sophos Anti-Virus.
Adobe Creative Suite
SALA provides Adobe Creative Suite for registered students. View the installation instructions here. Please note that you may need to renew your license every 6 months – if this happens, simply follow the instructions again.
Autodesk offers a free education license.
SALA provides a free Rhino license for registered students. View the installation instructions here. Note that you must be connected to the UBC VPN to use the software. While the latest version has been ported to Mac, we still prefer you use the Windows version. Please also note that you may need to renew your license every 6 months – if this happens, simply follow the instructions again.
You can freely download this plugin for Rhino. Rhino for Mac now ships with an early port of Grasshopper, but, again, we prefer you use the Windows version.
UBC hosts several wireless networks to support students, faculty, and staff on campus and at partner institutions. Check their website for options and details.
UBC also offers free virtual private networking services to students, faculty, and staff. VPN encrypts your data and prevents others from listening in on the data that is transferred between your computer and the campus network. Connection to the UBC VPN is required to access many SALA and UBC services off-campus.
UBC Information Technology provides technical support for our computing infrastructure.
You can also visit the UBC IT Help Desk on the main floor of the Walter C. Koerner Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.