Robotics and Autonomous Systems [MSD-RAS]

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MSD-RAS aims to develop novel approaches to the design, manufacture, use, and life-cycle of architecture through creative engagement with robotics, material systems, and design-computation.

Students will gain skills in advanced forms of robotic fabrication, simulation, and artificial intelligence in order to develop methods for design that harness production or live adaptation as a creative opportunity. Robotically manufactured architectural prototypes (part or whole) will be developed by students and presented and exhibited at the completion of the program.

Why robotics in architecture?

The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) describes recent shifts towards autonomous systems and societal reliance on cyber-physical processes that incorporate digital communications and navigation infrastructure, robotic manufacturing, and artificial intelligence. The building industry is currently being transformed through the adoption of robotics technologies that enable a reduction in the time, cost and complexity of delivering buildings, and have potential humanitarian and socio-economic benefits while challenging existing modes of architectural practice.

The MSD-RAS program explores avenues for re-situating the role of architectural design within present day autonomous technologies, with the aim of expanding societal and design opportunities by leveraging robotic and material processes.

Fostering innovative career trajectories.

The MSD-RAS program aims to empower graduates to operate at the forefront of industry research and development by gaining state-of-the-art robotics, material fabrication, and design-computation qualifications, and to graduate as highly skilled professionals, capable of impacting the present and future trajectory of architecture and industry through novel forms of production, practice, and entrepreneurship.

MSD-RAS Curriculum
The MSD-RAS Program includes the following courses:

Introduction to 3D Programming
(2 week course prior to start of Fall Semester)

ARCH 8010 (801) Material Agencies: Robotics & Design Lab I: Part I (1 CU)
ARCH 8011 Material Agencies: Robotics & Design Lab I: Part II (1 CU)
ARCH 8030 (803) Algorithmic Design & Robotic Fabrication (0.5 CU)
ARCH 8050 (805) Introduction to Cyber-Physical Systems (0.5 CU)
ARCH 8070 (807) RAS Theory (1 CU)
Designated Elective (Within Architecture + Engineering)

ARCH 8020 (802) Material Agencies: Robotics & Design Lab II (2 CU)
ARCH 8040 (804) Advanced RAS Programming (1 CU)
ARCH 8060 (806) Experimental Matter (1 CU)
ARCH 8080 (808) Scientific Research and Writing (1 CU)

Total Course Units: 10

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, uploaded unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended for credit, a résumé, a digital portfolio of design work, one writing sample, a description of computing skills and software proficiency, and a personal statement describing his/her educational goals in taking the program. International applicants must submit official IELTS Academic, PTE Academic, or TOEFL scores if English is not their first language.


Program Director
Robert Stuart-Smith

Department Chair
Winka Dubbeldam

Program Faculty
Andrew Saunders
Ezio Blasetti
Jeffrey Anderson
Billie Faircloth
Evangelos Kotsioris
Nathan King
Jose-Luis García del Castillo y López