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School of Architecture

Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Manufacturing


Advanced Architectural Manufacturing Concentration

This program seeks to develop the future leaders of Advanced Architectural Manufacturing (AAM). When approximately 40% of the carbon dioxide emission in the world is associated with the built environment, there is an ethical obligation to transform how we design and build more sustainably. Just because we can build it with our current means and methods doesn’t mean we should. We need to reduce waste, time, energy and make things that last.

Cedric Price famously said, “Technology is the answer, but what was the question?” If “technology” is the answer, then what exactly is technology? For starters, the word technology stems from the Greek word “techne”—which is more associated with technique, craft, or calibration than simply focusing on “high-tech” as the singular future or answer to all questions. Just because something is fabricated with a robotic arm doesn’t make it innovative and just because something is fabricated by hand doesn’t make it obsolete. This program teaches students to understand the constraints, biases, and opportunities of handcrafted techniques as well as advanced robotic fabrication.   



Additionally, architectural manufacturing is different than fabricating a small bespoke physical artifact by yourself. Manufacturing operations are a team of people with a wide range of expertise working seamlessly together. Students within this program will learn to work together but they will also learn by directly engaging with industry. This program was created in dialogue with an industry advisory board composed of some of the top leaders in architectural manufacturing. AAM students will have opportunities to visit and work in manufacturing facilities while pursuing their academic studies. They will listen to conference calls with clients and learn the various phases of a manufacturing project. Simultaneously, they will have opportunities to explore research questions that challenge how we design and build within a “real world” context full of constraints.

Throughout the course of their studies, students will complete a series of required courses that range from research methods, building assemblies, technical computation-based skills to theoretical ideas linked to material innovations. In addition to providing students with the skills and knowledge to develop a successful career in industry, this degree also prepares students to continue rigorous research towards a Ph.D. Unlike any other program in the country, AAM literally blurs the distinction between academy and industry. How can industry help prepare students for the current challenges in architectural manufacturing and how can the academy help prepare students to challenge the future of industry? 

  • Plan of Study

    Fall (13 credits)

    ARCH 8900 Advanced Architectural Manufacturing 1 (6)
    ARCH 8210 Research Methods (3)
    ARCH 8720 Production and Assemblies + 8721 Lab (3)
    PDBE 8120 Colloquium (1)

    Spring (13 credits)

    ARCH 8900 Advanced Architectural Manufacturing 2 (6)
    ARCH 6990 Glass as Modern Material (3)
    STAT 8010 Statistical Methods I + 8011 Lab (3)
    PDBE 8120 Colloquium (1)

    Summer (6 credits)

    ARCH 8580 Thesis Research (6)

    Fall (7 credits)

    ARCH 8590 Thesis Manuscript (6)
    PDBE 8120 Colloquium (1)

  • AAM Faculty

    Faculty associated with the Advanced Architectural Manufacturing (AAM) concentration have a range of research interests. These include: robotic fabrication, computational design, augmented reality assisted fabrication, artificial intelligence, foldable structures and materials, ultra-thin formwork for concrete casting, natural material innovation, energy simulation and evaluation, timber construction, history of glass, kinetic structures, responsive environments, additive manufacturing, ceramics, and metalsmithing. 

    • Dustin Albright
    • Dina Battisto
    • Vincent Blouin
    • Joseph Choma
    • Dan Harding
    • Ufuk Ersoy
    • Douglas Hecker
    • Ulrike Heine
    • Michael Carlos Kleiss
    • David Lee
    • Winifred Elysse Newman
    • George J. Schafer
    • James Stevens
    • Shan Sutherland
  • Industry Advisory Board

    The industry advisory board plays a critical and integrated role in the M.S.Arch in Advanced Architectural Manufacturing (AAM). The board is composed of the top leaders in architectural manufacturing with expertise in a range of building materials from steel, wood, stone, and composites. These leaders in industry have collaborated with many international architects including Gehry Partners, Morphosis Architects, Steven Holl Architects, SANAA, Herzog & de Meuron, Howeler + Yoon, SHoP Architects, Trahan Architects, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, WOJR, William Rawn Associates Architect, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, and many others. Students will regularly have opportunities to directly engage with the industry advisory board. Students will also visit each of the board member’s manufacturing facilities and have opportunities to participate in paid internships during the course of their studies.    

    • James Durham, Owner of Quarra Stone Company
    • Shawn Keller, President of CW Keller
    • David Riebe, Owner of Windsor Fiberglass
    • William Zahner, CEO of Zahner
  • Application Requirements

    The Master of Science in Architecture degree is open to individuals who have completed professional or nonprofessional studies in architecture, engineering, design, or other related fields of study. In particular, evidence of research, creative, and/or professional work related to the specific concentration area is desirable.


    Statement of Purpose

    The statement of purpose should describe the applicant’s motivations for pursuing this specific concentration. For example, the applicant should write about their academic and professional background and how those experiences have led to their current research interests and career aspirations. The tone of the statement can be both academic and personal. The applicant is encouraged to write about their most noteworthy accomplishments to date, but are equally encouraged to write about other life experiences, opportunities, or challenges that have contributed to their decision to pursue graduate studies at Clemson University. The statement should be well-written and no longer than two pages.   


    Resume / CV

    A resume or curriculum vitae will provide an opportunity for an applicant to share their academic background, professional experience, groups or organizations they have been involved in, technical skills, awards, publications, exhibitions, community involvement or service, and other accomplishments or activities outside of the classroom.   



    A dossier representing the applicant’s best scholarly and creative work is required as part of the application process. A dossier can include a combination of a design portfolio of creative work and writing samples (such as scientific papers). We encourage applicants from a range of backgrounds and expertise to apply to this program. As a result, think of the dossier as an opportunity to best express who you are as an individual and why this program is an appropriate next step for your career ambitions. All dossiers will be submitted electronically. They should be no larger than 25 MB and saved as a single PDF.


    Letters of Recommendation

    Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation. At least two of these references should be by professors from the applicant’s college or university. However, one of the letters can be from a professional reference, such as an employer.  


    Academic Transcripts

    Applicants will be required to upload an unofficial transcript to their online application. If an applicant is accepted, they will be required to have an official transcript sent directly from the applicant's college or university to Clemson University Graduate Admissions.


    Standardized Tests

    The GRE is not required. However, the TOEFL is required for international students whose native language is not English. 


    The application deadline is January 15th.

  • Funding Opportunities

    Assistantships are employment where a full-time graduate student serves the School of Architecture as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA), graduate research assistant (GRA), or graduate administrative assistant (GAA) in return for a paycheck and tuition credit. Each year, the Master of Science in Architecture in Advanced Architectural Manufacturing (AAM) program offers graduate teaching assistantships (GTA) on a competitive basis. The primary role of these specific assistantships is to advance the digital literacy of the undergraduate architecture program. All students admitted into the AAM concentration will automatically be considered for these assistantships.  

    Each student in the AAM concentration will automatically be offered a paid internship with one of the companies affiliated with the industry advisory board. Students will be exposed to the phases of a particular manufacturing project as well as have an opportunity to engage and contribute to an ongoing research agenda not necessarily specific to one project.  

  • STEM-Designated Degree Programs
    The Master of Science in Architecture degree is an approved field of study within the U.S. government’s official STEM fields list. When a student earns a degree in a field on the STEM fields list, he/she may be eligible for the 24-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. OPT is defined as practical work experience in your field of study after completion of a degree. With a STEM degree, a student's regular OPT of 12 months may be extended for an additional 24 months.
  • Fabrication Facilities

    The School of Architecture is equipped with state-of-the-art fabrication facilities. These include four robotic arms, multiple computerized numerical controlled (CNC) machines, a plasma cutter, multiple laser cutters, numerous additive manufacturing machines (including ceramic printers), kilns, vacuum forming machines, and more. Beyond the digital fabrication equipment, there is a wide variety of traditional woodworking machines and tools, castings facilities, and a welding station. Additionally, the school has a green-screen room with virtual reality and augmented reality (AR / VR) equipment for augmented fabrication research.

    Periodically, AAM students will have access to the manufacturing facilities at Quarra Stone Company, CW Keller, Windsor Fiberglass, and Zahner. In many ways, these manufacturing facilities will act as satellite fluid campuses for our students.  

  • Dual Degrees

    Currently, the Master of Science in Architecture degree offers two dual degree tracks.

    The Master of Architecture (M.Arch) is a NAAB accredited professional architecture degree. A professional degree is required by most state registration boards as a condition of licensure for architectural practice. The M.Arch + M.S.Arch track awards a student with both degrees after three or four years of study, depending on the student’s placement into the M.Arch. program (two or three-year track). This is an ideal track for individuals interested in research but who also have a desire to become a licensed architect.    

    The Ph.D. in Planning, Design and the Built Environment is an interdisciplinary terminal research degree. The M.S.Arch + Ph.D track is a 1 + 3 program. In other words, students on this track will be able to complete both research degrees within four years. The M.S.Arch thesis will segue directly into the Ph.D. research proposal. Note: Students can also apply to the Ph.D. program after finishing their M.S.Arch degree. However, it will take slightly longer to complete both degrees if a student is not on the accelerated dual degree track.   

    For both dual degrees tracks, students need to apply to both programs prior to the start of their studies. For more information on the specific plan of study for these dual degree tracks please contact Joseph Choma, Director of Master of Science in Architecture.   




Joseph Choma

Director of the MS in Architecture / Associate Professor of Architecture

Email: Office: Lee 1-160

About Joseph Choma
Joseph Choma
School of Architecture
School of Architecture | Lee Hall 3-130, Clemson, South Carolina 29634