Computational Design-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

Computational Design (CD)

Computational Design is the discipline for developing and/or applying computational approaches to problems that originate in design...

The Computational Design (CD) program takes a "computer science" view of design, applying both the science and art of computing to design problems, whether in relation to creation, presentation, analysis, evaluation, interaction or aesthetic expression; real or imagined applications, both perceived and conceived. We offer both a Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Computational Design. These research-based degree programs are intended for practitioners, educators and researchers in architecture, computer science, engineering and those interested in design.

The graduate program in CD started in the late 1960's and is among the first and best known in the country. From the beginning, the program has benefitted from close cooperation with other units of the university, particularly the School of Computer Science and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Computing has become increasingly important in a number of areas of design, including simulation, analysis, synthesis, tangible interaction, people-centered as well as building-centered design algorithms. As such, students are encouraged to utilize the expertise, facilities, and personnel available within the School of Architecture, often working closely and perhaps even collaboratively with fellow students in the Building Performance & Diagnostics (BPD), Sustainable Design (MSSD), Architecture-Engineering-Construction Management (AECM) and Tangible Interaction Design (mTID) programs.

Current research exploits the potential of computation in researching and developing systems, methods, and tools for design that surpass limitations inherent in more traditional media. Other areas study include, digital media and materials, digital geometry, soft and hard digital form-making and fabrication, graphics and gaming technology, software engineering, process and product modeling, information visualization and technology, data- and knowledge-bases, sensor-based systems, self-regulating systems, artificial intelligence and more.

We are looking for creative, inquisitive, visionary students, who are disciplined and determined to make positive change in the field of Computational Design. Many of our graduates have gone on to successful careers in government, industry and academia. However, in recent years, we are witnessing a change, in part, brought about by the very success that made our original program preeminent. Some of our graduates are at the forefront of this change, leading the way as design software developers, or as leading teachers and researchers at other institutions.

Master of Science (MSCD)

Structured on a 4-semester curriculum (with an option to complete in 3 semesters), the MSCD program is open to students with a prior bachelor's degree and who have some connection or interest in design through architecture, engineering, computer science, planning, management, or computer-aided design. This is a research-based degree, and will provide a solid stepping-stone to PhD-level education.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD-CD)

Recognized internationally for its rigor and interdisciplinary orientation, the PhD-CD program offers students the opportunity to work with a distinguished and interdisciplinary faculty, while utilizing resources throughout Carnegie Mellon University. Principal research concentrations have included formal grammars applied to the analysis and generation of design, knowledge-based design systems, integrated design systems, and cognitive studies of the way designers and architects perform their tasks. Recent project srelated to  BIM, green CAD, parametric design and parametric fabrication. Graduates from the PhD-CD program have gone on to successful careers as leaders in development, industry, and education.