Spring '17 Digital Architecture


The Case Studies assignment will focus on the research of smart and interactive technologies as they relate to architecture, urban environments, infrastructure, or product design. The goal of the assignment is to help students in defining the area of interest for the term project and prepare a base research with the literature review to facilitate the execution of the term project.

The research should involve two-to-five case studies of similar designs that can be easily compared. It should have both analytical and synthetic components with data collection, analyses of existing designs, and details of technical solutions as well as the discussion (synthesis) of the research findings with projections towards the future trends for smart buildings/cities/objects.

The case study research should be delivered as PDF report 15-18 pages with both text and drawings/images. The submission deadline and presentation is its due date (TBA).

Term Project Proposal

Each student will provide a 2-3 page proposal with text and visuals for the term project.

Term Project

The term project will focus on an application of ideas discussed in the case studies assignment. Students are expected to develop a fully-functional smart and/or adaptive design prototype. The type of used technologies and the scale of the design can span from objects and building components to urban environments and infrastructure. The completion deadline is the end of spring 2017 semester (the last day of classes or during the exam session). In addition to the final presentation, students are expected to document the development and prototyping process.

Public Venue Submission

Students are expected to execute high-quality design/research and submit it to a public artistic, design, and/or research venue prior to the end of the semester. The submissions can take a form of a paper, poster, public lecture, or design/art installation.

How to Approach the Term Project

The most successful design and inventions are those that respond to actual human, social, and cultural needs. Try to identify an unfulfilled need or underserved aspects of our daily lives. Propose a solution that will address these needs. Alternatively, you can identify a product of an object and ask yourself how it can be improved.

There are two suggested paths for the Term Projects: (1) development of the embedded physical prototype(s) utilizing digital fabrication with physical computing components, and/or (2) creating of data gathering, processing, and visualizing tools for smart design.

  • PDF documentation of Case Studies, Initial Term Project Proposal, and Final Term Project Physical prototypes of smart object/component/system
  • High-resolution digital imagery and video of the prototype behavior
  • The process documentation in form of a booklet (8.5 x 11) (paper and a PDF)
  • Coding Files