I study traditional and technological practices and their intersections with society. I design and build new frameworks, tools, and methodologies to explore social, cultural, and political aspects of making and computational design for new reconfigurations of practice, pedagogy, and publics. I employ perspectives from design computation, human-computer interaction (HCI), science technology society studies (STS), and media studies to inform my methods and approaches.
The Situated Computation + Design Lab (Sit.Co.De) is always looking for students to join us. I am especially interested in working with those motivated to explore critical, social, cultural, and political aspects of craft and cultural practices, technology, and society. Research areas include:
1. Craft Practices and Computation
The vision of this work is to conduct inquiry in craft for future technological, social, and cultural innovations, inventions, and advancements. Two questions that drive this work are:
- How might computational ideas, methods, and technologies repair craft + cultural practices? and
- How might practices and labors in craft cultures repair computational ideas and theoretical frameworks?
I use design/ making, computation, and ethnographic methods as forms of inquiry and study into the possibilities for new tools, frameworks, and methods. We also ask questions about cognition.
2. Critical Computation
This work involves recognizing and revealing the social, political, and historical entanglements of computational systems and technologies developed and used in design and construction. Some questions include:
- What critical tools, theories, and processes might we make part of our practices, pedagogy, and research to consider questions of justice?
- How are computational design tools and practices implicated in systems of oppression?
- What new approaches, tools, and frameworks can repair computational design such that it refuses to remain ignorant of the structures that shape our theories and technologies?
- What role can design computation play in revealing questions of power, access, and ethics?
I use a Situated Computations approach, which is an approach to computational design (research, practice, and pedagogy) that grounds our tools, methods, and theories in the social world by acknowledging the historical, cultural, and material contexts of design and making. It responds to a setting’s social and technological infrastructure and refuses to remain ignorant of the social and political structures that shape them.
3. Lightweight Structures
Work in this area takes a conceptual approach to “lightweight.” Based on the philosophy of Lucio Blandini, we consider lightweight beyond the physical to include using technology for structures to be light in terms of the environment, biomaterials, fabrication methods, waste, passive energy, community, etc. In this area, we bring together design, technology, materials science, sustainability, culture, and more to create lightweight structures. We investigate materials, systems, tectonics, construction, and more. Close connections and applications are made in architecture, construction, and dancing sculptures.
Work in this area involves using computational and technological systems to preserve, restore, study, reconstruct, and present heritage for new and imagined understandings and possibilities.
5. Artificial Intelligence and Architecture
In this area, we explore and conduct inquiries into developing and using machine learning systems and artificial intelligence in architectural theory, practice, and pedagogy. Here, we also use the Situated Computations framework as a point of departure for a new approach to data and its use in automated systems. Questions include:
- What architecturally informed frameworks should we use or develop when it comes to machine learning systems, algorithms, and architecture?
- What are the implications for the humanities in architectural culture with the use of AI systems in design?
- What might AI systems in architecture tell us about human intelligence, society, and culture?