Intelligent Environments-Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology - Carnegie Mellon University

Intelligent Environments

As the technology that we use progresses, we are beginning to notice it less. It is becoming more graceful, knowing when to gently make itself available for us to work and when to fade, allowing us to think. Intelligent environments make us and our ideas the rightful stars of our workspaces.

Students in the Intelligent Environments concentration will focus on spaces that support efficiency and high quality of experience, addressing both the integrated development of such environments and the resulting experience. They will explore this integrated approach in many contexts: daily activity, built environment, making process (from laying plaster to robot development), arts performance.

Students in this concentration will work in tandem with the Physical Computing and Media Design concentrations, which provide knowledge in key component elements of integrative intelligent environments.  Accordingly, students can customize their studies by combining courses across these three concentrations with the help of their advisors.


College of Fine Arts and Dietrich College students will take either the Introduction to Signal Processing for Creative Practice or the Introduction to Physical Computing portal course. College of Engineering, School of Computer Science, and Mellon College of Science students will take the Introduction to Physical Computing portal course. All students will then be able to take three (or four, for a minor) courses from the following lists, with at least one coming from the list of new courses. Students can also opt to take two (or three, for a minor) courses from the following lists, with at least one coming from the list of new courses, plus one course from the Physical Computing or Media Design concentrations.

New Courses:

Existing Courses:

Please note that existing, upper-level courses may have prerequisites. Please see the department for a full description.

  • 16-867 Human Robot Interaction - offered by the Robotics Institute
  • 12-xxx Biologic Building - offered by Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • 48-777 Participatory Culture Incubator - offered by Architecture
  • 12-xxx Infrastructure Management - offered by Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • 18-540 Rapid Prototyping of Computer Systems - offered by Electrical & Computer Engineering

Capstone Project Course

Students will also have the option of proposing a one-semester, interdisciplinary mentored project that needs to be approved by both their primary and IDeATe advisors.