The Design and Computation Group inquires into the varied nature and practice of computation in architectural design, and the ways in which design meaning, intentions, and knowledge are constructed through computational thinking, representing, sensing, and making. We focus on the development of innovative computational tools, processes and theories, and the application of these in creative, socially meaningful responses to challenging design problems.
Faculty, research staff, and students work in diverse and mutually supportive areas including: visualization, digital fabrication and construction processes and technologies, shape representation and synthesis, building information modeling (BIM), generative and parametric design, critical studies of digital and information technologies, digital heritage, and software and hardware development of advanced tools for spatial design and analysis. Our aim is to cover the many facets of a rapidly changing and growing area with in-depth, agenda-setting research and teaching.
Our work is informed simultaneously by architectural practice as well as a variety of other disciplinary perspectives including mathematics, computer science, cognitive science, philosophy, anthropology, STS (Science, Technology, and Society), media studies, and art. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the interdisciplinary environment of MIT, and to take subjects and participate in research across different MIT departments to explore and develop their interests. They are expected to acquire both the technical skills and the theoretical and conceptual foundations to rethink and challenge the limits of current design processes and practices, and to consider the social and cultural implications of their positions.
This area of study offers a concentration in the Master of Science in Architecture Studies (SMArchS)  program and a doctoral (PhD)  program.