Spring 2021

ARC 327R (00825) ARC 386M (01180) LAR 381R (1800)

Design processes are rapidly evolving as new programs are co-opted from other industries and technological advancements change the way we build. This class will look at the experimental application of digital tools to develop new tactics for design. Students will develop a series of digital models using an evolutionary design approach, rapidly producing a large number of iterations. Select models will be embedded with procedurally driven surface systems and further modified using texture mapping techniques. Finally, students will create a short animated film for their final project.


The class is divided into 4 project-based assignments. Each assignment builds on the completion of the previous one through an integrative design process. Each student will develop one object (defined loosely) over the course of the semester that will be continually modified, updated, and calibrated through constant feedback and exchange. Students will develop a project agenda with specific goals informed by an analysis of the object itself. The qualities that emerge through the design process will provide a framework for the further development of the project and a tool for evaluation. The agenda will not be one of optimization. Rather, students will develop a multi-layered and multi-functional object with cross-scalar properties made manifest in the object's form, performance, and physical properties — or put simply, its digital matter.


Though the goal is not to produce buildings (program, circulation, site), projects will be evaluated on their spatial and experiential potential and attention to digital craft. Students will be using Autodesk 3ds Max for the generation and visualization of form and Processing for pattern, texture, and surface design.

The seminar will be taught through a series of in-class tutorials, discussions, readings, and project based critiques. Students will attempt to reconnect highly specialized trajectories of architectural discourse into a single, cohesive design process.