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Digital Ecologies

Digital technologies have influenced all realms of life and practice, and architecture is no exception. 

The Digital Ecologies certificate program focuses on cultivating design research and design practices that are responsive to and augment an increasingly digital society. More specifically, the program aims to cultivate the theory, application and innovation of the following sub-areas:

  • Computational Design and Morphology
  • Parametric Design and Shape Grammars
  • Digital Fabrication
  • Smart Materials and Smart Structures
  • Interaction design at the scale of the built environment
  • History and theory of digital tools, methods and environmental artifacts

The Digital Ecologies certificate program includes a range of courses that may be chosen to address specific research questions and interests. A minimum of 9 credit hours are required to earn the certificate; these credits can be used to partially fulfill the requirements of the M.Arch.M.S. Arch., and Ph.D. PDBE degrees. The courses that are currently available, from which students can fulfill program requirements, are the following:

  • Computation Design Methods (ARCH 8120) 3 credits, offered Spring by Dave Lee
  • Smart Materials & Kinetic Structures (ARCH 8760) 3 credits, offered Fall by Vincent Blouin 
  • Digital Manufacturing Processes (ARCH 8780) 3 credits, offered Fall by Doug Hecker
  • Design Science (ARCH 8790 Special Topics in Architectural Technology), offered in Spring by Carlos Barrios
  • Interactive, Responsive and Assistive Artifacts and Environments (ARCH 8790 Special Topics in Architectural Technology), offered in Spring by George Schafer

There is no procedure or criteria for the selection of students into the certificate program. Interested students need only: complete the minimum credit hours prior to graduation; submit a completed Graduate Certificate Curriculum Form to the School office for signatures; and submit this signed form with the required form for requesting graduation. The earned certificate will be acknowledged on the recipient's academic transcript. (For these Graduate School forms and submission procedures, see