Adobe Illustrator and Beyond


Oct 4th,

12:00pm — 3:00pm

Location: Whitaker Lab

About The Workshop

Adobe Illustrator is a pattern and image-making tool that can also bridge several other tools and programs. This workshop will demonstrate Illustrator’s usefulness as a medium between Photoshop, Rhino, and the laser cutter. In the first half of the workshop, we will learn how to edit images taken from Photoshop and Rhino by working with vector lines. We will draw, live trace, build shapes and patterns, and put on different effects using Illustrator. In the second half, we will learn how to export this work to the laser cutter to produce a physical object of your design.

Cross Disciplinary Connections

Illustrator is a significant digital tool that is useful across multiple disciplines, including art, communication design, architecture, landscape architecture, product design, urban design, and engineering. The program allows for multiple types of imported files to be graphically edited for diagrams, images, plans and measured drawings.


Students will learn how to use Illustrator both as a tool on its own, and as a tool that can bring other programs to life. With this workshop you will be able to create images from an empty canvas in Illustrator, as well as edit images that you import into the program.

Ultimately, you will be able to take a file in Illustrator to the laser cutter to build 2- or 3-dimensional objects. The goal of this workshop is to demonstrate illustrator as a method to transfer between different programs and tools. These workflows can be used for final products, but also for sketch models and drawings as part of the design process.

Resources for Continued Investigation

This workshop will connect with the following Fox Friday laser cutting workshop that will show how to cut the files we create. For further exploration into vector design software, there are great tutorials on youtube and

Next Steps

For Illustrator, vector design or laser cutting questions, feel free to email Alexandra Mei at Other WashU experts in these areas include: Jon Navy, Claire Thomas-Morgan

Recommended courses: Digital Studio


  • Alexandra Mei

    Alexandra Mei is a landscape designer at Merritt Chase and a lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches undergraduate architecture studios. She graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design with a Masters in Landscape Architecture and received her Bachelor of Design in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.