Inquiry Into Computation and Design OpenCourseWare: MIT's Free Graduate Level Course on the Study of Computation in Design

Published Jan 16, 2009

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Are you interested in expanding your architectural design knowledge with a course that will force you to think in new and unfamiliar ways? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) presents 'Inquiry into Computation and Design' through its OpenCourseWare offerings. In this Master of Science in Architecture Studies (MSArchS) course, students learn, through the use of metaphor, how to look beyond standard design techniques and examine new and unusual approaches to creating and implementing ideas.

Inquiry into Computation and Design: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Graduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Inquiry into Computation and Design: Course Description

For those who already have a background in Architecture or a keen interest in architectural design, this graduate-level course will help to examine preconceived, often unconscious, ideas of design and computation. Professor Terry Knight originally taught this 15-week lecture-style course. As part of the required course work for the Master of Science in Architecture Studies, MIT students learned about design rules, computation, visual calculation and digital fabrication. The class offers an overview of the use of computational design tools like programming, shape grammars, and parametric and geometric modeling, with an eye toward evaluating each one for how well it helped or hindered the design process. Toward the end of the course, students modified a chair's design and constructed their improved versions from plywood. As a final project, students were asked to watch a glassblower at work and consider the possibility of automating the glassblowing procedure.

This free online course includes lecture notes, suggestions for related OpenCourseWare classes, and a list of recommended reading. For more information on this Architecture course or courses like it, visit the computational design course page.

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