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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Brian Robert Johnson
ARCH 587
Seattle Campus

Theory of Design Computing

Examines the relationship between theory of design and computational tools for practice. Explores how the emergence of computers as a mainstream tool in design has already changed architectural practice. Discusses how, as with other technologies that revolutionized the practice of architecture, information technologies carry hidden implications about design process and products. Offered: A.

Class description

You will learn how much broader the field of Design Computing is than the traditional "Lines, circles, arcs and text" of CAD systems. You will learn what the most persistent ideas and challenges have been over the years of research in Design Computing, and who some of the major scholars, thinkers, and researchers have been. You will learn many of the concepts and vocabulary underlying design computing discussions.

Student learning goals

Knowledge of primary subject-matter divisions of research and discussion in the field of design computing.

Familiarity with major writings that have informed and structured the discussion and research in the field of design computing.

Opportunity to explore, develop and present literature research in an area of personal interest within the field of design computing.

General method of instruction

Reading of primary sources (papers, book chapters, etc) and discussion as a group, plus an independent term research paper into one of the topics. This is not a software skills-building course.

Recommended preparation

You should have some experience with design, whether in an academic or professional setting, and you should have experience with a variety of computer applications and environments.

Class assignments and grading

Reading primary sources, face-to-face and on-line discussion of topics with peers and instructor. One research project regarding a related topic, producing a term paper and class presentation.

Evidence of preparation for in-class discussions of readings, including participations, quality of contributions to discussions (face-to-face and online). Also, quality of term paper and presentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Course Web Site
Last Update by Brian Robert Johnson
Date: 08/27/2010