Faculty Research

Inside the Computation discipline, there are several research groups led by faculty and research scientists.

Digital Design and Fabrication


Principal researcher: Larry Sass

The Digital Design and Fabrication group is a center for education and research in areas of rapid prototyping and CAD/CAM fabrication for architects and designers. The group engages faculty, students and staff in research focused on the relationship between design computing and physical output used for design representation and reflection.

Architecture Representation + Computation


Principal researcher: Takehiko Nagakura

Founded in 1996, the Architecture Representation + Computation group sponsors a wide range of education and research activities to students and visiting scholars at MIT's Department of Architecture. The group's challenge is innovative use of computation for solving problems stemmed in contexts of architectural design practice. Current projects encompass software and hardware development, computer graphics content creation, and design work for architectural competitions and building projects.

Shape Grammars


Principal researchers: George Stiny, Terry Knight, Takehiko Nagakura

This group is engaged in a broad range of work on Shape Grammars, a visual and generative system for creating and describing designs on multiple levels. Work on shape and shape representation at the theoretical level aims at a new computational basis for design. Work on practical applications focuses on the potential of shape grammars in stylistic analysis and in the creative design process. Faculty and students are also exploring the use and development of digital and web-based technologies, computer software, and remote collaboration for supporting shape grammar applications.

Computational Making


Director: Professor Terry Knight

The Computational Making research group is articulating a new area of interdisciplinary research on the processes and practices of making across contexts and scales. In recent years, there has been growing interest in materials and material practices, and in “making” and “makers”, usually revolving around digital fabrication. Our work aims to expand the study of making beyond its current bounds. We view making as an improvisational, action-centric, embodied, and situated activity. We examine the potentials of computational theories and techniques for understanding and enhancing making activities.