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Master of Science in Architecture

Situated Technology

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The Master of Science in Architecture with a specialization in Situated Technologies is a three-semester MS program. The degree program is designed to introduce graduates of programs in architecture, design and related fields to the analysis, design and interpretation of artifacts, spaces and media that are responsive to their context. Computational technology provides both a means and a medium for this research - an operative paradigm for articulating relations between people, information and the material fabric of everyday life.

The program features an open and flexible curriculum that can be customized around students' interests. Two focus areas of instruction include courses in the techniques and methods necessary to work creatively with contemporary and emerging technologies, and courses aimed at developing a critical position vis-à-vis the history and theory of technology, mediation and spatial experience. The program recognizes that today, architectural production takes a variety of forms and that careers in architecture often extend beyond traditional modes of professional practice and academic scholarship. It prepares graduates to address questions regarding the convergence of architecture and situated technologies throughout their creative, intellectual and professional lives.

The post-professional Master of Science in Architecture and Situated Technologies offers those with prior studies and professional experience in architecture and design the distinct opportunity to obtain new vocabularies and methods of research, and to pursue a special research or thesis project, all with a focus on relations between the built environment and computational technologies.

Possible Electives

ARC 619- Architecture and the Information Environment

The information environment refers to the ideas and artifacts produced by information and computing technologies (ICT) and their influence on social and cultural production. This critical reading seminar, roughly organized in historical progression, will explore a series of themes that intersect ICT development, architecture and urbanism. We will study some of the important concepts that have influenced the technological imagination and how they continue to frame the debate on technological progress. We will also explore what it means to situate technologies and how the architectural imagination can provide us with the resources to question technological determinism.

ARC 588- Situated Technologies 1

This seminar is the first in a two-semester sequence designed to introduce relevant theoretical and historical models for advanced research conducted in the design of Situated Technologies. Working from primary texts as well as their interpretations, the seminar examines concepts, research methods, practices and discourses through a broadly interdisciplinary lens. Readings are drawn from the history of science, aesthetics, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, geography, media, computing, art, architecture and urbanism.

ARC 597- Orders of Magnitude

This seminar is the second in a two-semester sequence that introduces relevant theoretical and historical models for research in the design of Situated Technologies. It investigates relations between situated technologies and their emergence with architectural and urban cases of highly varying scale, considering the rise of contemporary problems of the built environment that are tied to their magnitude. Course readings will relate architectural and urban topics from many disciplinary perspectives, including writings from science, computing, philosophy, geography, sociology, media, art, architecture and urbanism.

ARC640 Relational Geometries

This techniques seminar introduces students to the next generation of computer aided design tools that facilitate movement between modeling and material prototyping. It will explore methods and techniques of parametric modeling; an approach to design that frames the problem of form-making as an interaction of multiple material systems. We will take the topic of parameters and variables as a theme to be interrogated through different types of computing, including NURBS modeling in Rhinoceros 4.0, scripting in Grasshopper 0.8 (or newest release), physical computing with the Arduino microcontroller and rapid prototyping with the Universal Laser Cutter, ZCorp 3D printer, CNC Router and Plasma Cutter. The semester will be broken into 2-3 week problems that will focuson specific methods and technologies. We will take inspiration from formal organizations found in nature that aggregate, cluster, crowd, flock and flow. These will be studied carefully to understand how their dynamic behavior articulates itself into form.

ARC547 Conditional Form

This techniques seminar introduces students to current computer aided design tools that facilitate movement between modeling and material prototyping. It will explore methods and techniques of parametric modeling; an approach to design that frames the problem of form-making as an interaction of multiple lateral systems. We will take the topic of parameters and variables as a theme to be interrogated through different types of computing, including NURBS modeling in Rhinoceros 4.0

scripting in Grasshopper 0.8 (Or newest release), the various rapid prototyping machines in the Digital Workshop and in some cases, physical computing with the Arduino micro-controller. If the discourse of the projects require, we will implement other parametric software such as Vasari, and analysis software, such as Ecotect into our work. We will also be working with the local manufacturing facility (Rigidized Metals) to develop our research under the contingencies of real-world machine and material parameters. Semester projects include algorithmic patterning for specular surface conditioning, geometrically enhancing thermodynamic capabilities of materials, reconfigurable molds, as well as both rigid and elastic connections between unique cast elements.

ARC***IDxA: Interaction Design for Architecture

ARC 691 Zero Atmosphere Architecture

How does architecture anticipate a future Earth, and a future atmosphere? How are architectural ideas realized without gravity? How is air to be produced? What notions of contamination and of leak emerge in design for space? What role does interaction design play? What future for responsiveness? This seminar will open these questions through a set of readings, film screenings, case studies and other examinations of design for outer space. We’ll try to address these questions with actions that reach beyond our classroom to interact with our sources.