Computational Design and AI

Part One: June 2020

We dive deep into computational design, interactive design with an AI focus and material systems.

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CPD Points

30.00 NZRAB Points 3.25 CPD Standards Global Points 3.00 Australian QLD - NSW - TAS - WA Points 3.00 Australian CPD ACT-SA-NT Points 2.00 Licensed Building Practitioner - Design 1 Points 2.00 Licensed Building Practitioner - Design 2 + 3 Points 2.00 RIBA - The Royal Institute of British Architects Points 2.00 AIA - USA Points

Presented By


Event Description

Sean Ahlquist 9am - 10am

Sean Ahlquist is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is a part of the Cluster in Computational Media and Interactive Systems, which connects architecture with the fields of material science, computer science, art and design, and music. Ahlquist teaches courses at all levels, including ongoing involvement with the Master of Science in Material Systems program. 

Ahlquist's research formulates computational design frameworks where materiality functions as a primary agent in the organization of architectural systems and their spatial tectonics. In particular, his research explores and develops new technologies in highly articulated textile and composite materials. Research is developed through the use of a large-scale industrial CNC knitting machine, which is part of the FabLab at Taubman College. Ahlquist’s research agendas include the design and fabrication of pre-stressed lightweight structures, innovations in textile-reinforced composite materials for aerospace and automotive design, and development of tactile, sensorial environments as interfaces for physical interaction. These intensely collaborative streams of research involve a diverse array of fields. This collaborative research initially was explored as a part of his doctoral studies in the Institute for Computational Design (ICD) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. 

Behnaz Farahi 10 - 11am 

Behnaz Farahi is a designer, creative technologist and critical maker working at the intersection of fashion, architecture and interactive design. Trained as an architect, she explores the potential of interactive environments and their relationship to the human body. Her goal is to enhance the interaction between human beings and the built environment by following morphological, and behavioral principles inspired by natural systems. Her work addresses critical issues such as emotion, bodily perception and social interaction. She specializes in computational design, interactive technologies, additive manufacturing and digital fabrication technologies. 

Jenny Sabin 11am - 12pm 

Jenny E. Sabin is an architectural designer whose work is at the forefront of a new direction for 21st century architectural practice — one that investigates the intersections of architecture and science, and applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design of material structures. Sabin is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Professor in Architecture and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University where she established a new advanced research degree in Matter Design Computation. She is principal of Jenny Sabin Studio, an experimental architectural design studio based in Ithaca and Director of the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell AAP, a trans-disciplinary design research lab with specialization in computational design, data visualization and digital fabrication. 

With strong links to the Sabin Lab at Cornell AAP, Jenny Sabin Studio is an experimental architecture studio based in Ithaca, NY. The talk will discuss the intersections of architecture and science, and applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design, fabrication, and production of material structures and spatial interventions.

Sean Ahlquist

Behnaz Farahi

Jenny Sabin

Learning outcomes and AACA competencies:

4. Design: Schematic Design 

  • 4.2 Evaluation of design options against values of physical , environmental and cultural contexts. 
  • 4.3 Application of creative  imagination aesthetic judgement to produce  coherent design 
  • 4.6 Investigation and integration of appropriate material selection for the project design. 

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