Advanced Projects in Digital Design Media


Instructor: Prof. Takehiko Nagakura
Prerequisite: 4.561, 4.562, 4.564, experience in design software, or graphic programming/scripting language
Units: 6, 9 or 12 (H-level, repeatable)

This course provides opportunities for a student to develop an individual research project with a topic related to digital design media. The primal audience are students who have already acquired basic technology foundation in advanced design software or graphics programming languages through the previous classes at MIT. A student in a research degree program in architecture can use this course to start up a pilot research project prior to his or her thesis semester. A student may take this class repeatedly for credit to develop different projects.

The class expects each student a self-driven exploratory process while working closely with the instructor and under his supervisory guidance. A student must declare a clear frame of a research project at the beginning of the semester upon consultation with the instructor. There will be bi-weekly individual critic sessions to help each student advancing the research project. At mid-term and the end of the semester, review sessions will be held with all class to share the progress and outcome. Contingently, occasional short presentations may be scheduled for the instructor or guest speakers to introduce a variety of research projects and different approaches to solutions.

Potential student research topics include:

  1. Software-based design tool development (for design process, construction process, facility management, etc.)
  2. Design knowledge representation and its digital implementation (example: a Shape Grammar development)
  3. Advanced digital design/visualization content creation (example: computer graphics video, animation, stereo-graphics visualization, panoramic imaging, and other 3D/interactive production)
  4. Exploration of emerging design/visualization tools (example: BIM, Photogrammetry, Kinect, Leap, UNITY game engine, hand-held device)
  5. Development of interactive hardware device for design and presentation (example: augmented reality application, mobile application, location specific installation)
  6. Study of human behaviors in the context of spatial design (example: psychological experiment, video analysis, data mining from on-line resource and big data)
  7. Other topics related to the use of digital technology in architectural design

Class Information  
  • Enrollment
    Students who wish to take this class should meet Prof. Nagakura (Write to takehiko@mit.edu for appointment.) in person during the first week of the semester and submit one-page proposal of a course project. In the proposal, include the topic, method, deliverable, and schedule.

    Enrollment is limited to 5 students.

  • Class Meetings
    Students are expected to meet with the instructor individually at least once in two weeks at 7-304 conference table or in Nagakura's office. The default meeting time is 3-8pm on every two Wednesdays, and through 60 min. slots for individual meetings. Separately, there will be a few group meetings scheduled for project proposal, review, and final presentation.
    In other Wednesdays, Nagakura will be available for additional individual instructions by appointment.

  • Requirement
    Each student will develop a research project and present it to the class at the end of the semester. Also, submission of a description of the final project in a single-page on-line format is required. Here are an example and the instruction for making a page from template.

  • Grading
    Grade is based on the project's conceptual level of exploration, technical finesse, completeness, craftsmanship and aesthetic quality.
          Project Development (75%) + Desk Crits/Class Presentations (15%) + On-line Project Description (10%)

Project Examples  



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