MAAD Digital Craft is a one-year (two semester) Master of Advanced Architectural Design post-professional degree with a concentration in digital-design technologies and digital craft. MAAD Digital Craft is intended for early-to-midcareer design professionals who are interested in deepening their knowledge, gaining expertise, and experimenting with digital design technologies.
The program provides students with both broad and in-depth exposure to contemporary topics such as:
Parametric Design and Advanced Computation
Digital Fabrication and Robotic Technologies
Interactive Technologies and Responsive Environments
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Advanced Simulation and Visualization
History and Theory of Digital Design
- Experimental and Emerging Technologies
MAAD Digital Craft explores the reciprocity and synergy between bits and atoms, the digital and the physical, digital code and material logic. Digital Craft thrives at the intersection of creative and technical domains whose boundaries are elastic, continuously evolving, and highly experimental.
What are the implications for architecture, the city, and beyond? What are the spatial, material, and organizational possibilities? How can digital craft be leveraged to create objects, spaces, and places of profound cultural meaning and usefulness? What happens when the “architect” is also a fabricator, or an engineer, a media artist, a technologist, a software developer, or a hacker? The program unites designers, academics, and practitioners who want to engage, question, and expand disciplinary boundaries.
MAAD students are encouraged to tailor a course sequence that meets their specific needs. Each student must complete 30 credits over the course of two semesters (fall/spring) by taking one Advanced Design Studio with a focus in digital technologies, and three seminars per semester.
Fall Semester: During the fall term we focus on a broad range of digital concepts and technologies. Our goal is to provide students with an overview of the contemporary digital design craft, while simultaneously encouraging students to develop a specific research trajectory within the field. Select work from the Fall 2013 semester is published here.
Spring Semester: During the spring term students enroll in an advanced studio that explores digital design concepts and techniques that often involve the integration of digital fabrication and prototyping. Students take advantage of CCA’s innovative digital fabrication and rapid prototyping facilities. Select work from the Spring 2013 semester is published here.
Teaching and Support Team
The MAAD Digital Craft program centers around research led by CCA Associate Professor Andrew Kudless(Matsys) and Assistant Professor Jason Kelly Johnson (Future Cities Lab). Associated faculty include: Asst. Prof Mauricio Soto (Studio for Lightweight Design), Prof. Thom Faulders (Faulders Studio), Assoc. Prof. Craig Scott(Iwamoto-Scott Architects).
Additional faculty teaching studios and related seminars include: Adam Marcus (Variable Projects), Nataly Gattegno (Future Cities Lab), David Gissen, Irene Cheng, Ben Rice (Matter MGMT), Brandon Kruysman & Jonathan Proto (Bot n’Dolly), German Aparicio (InformedCities), and Assoc. Prof. Peter Anderson (Anderson Anderson). We also work in collaboration with the other CCA groups and departments such as the Urban Agency co-coordinated by Asst. Prof. Neeraj Bhatia (OpenWorkshop), the CCA Design MBA Program, and the Interaction Design Program. Additional support is provided by engineer Michael Shiloh (Arduino), Andrew Maxwell Parrish(Hybrid Lab Intel Fellow) and Chris Parsell (CCA Rapid Prototyping Studio).
CCA and San Francisco Resources
CCA San Francisco is the hub for design innovation and experimental architecture in the Bay Area. Its downtown campus is located in a 120m long former bus depot and is home to a world-class fabrication and digital design facility adjacent to its design studio spaces. The facilities on the San Francisco campus include dedicated architecture studios with access to a suite of fully equipped shops for various scales of fabrication and multiple computer labs for digital production. Our facilities include dedicated wood, metal and mixed material workshops, as well as a plaster room and welding shop. Students have full access to the Rapid Prototyping Studio with laser cutters, 3-D printers and a CNC router. Our computer labs are frequently updated with the latest hardware and software and the Intel-sponsored Hybrid Lab provides an interdisciplinary space for making and hacking technologies. The New Materials Resource Center offers a comprehensive, interdisciplinary collection of traditional and innovative material samples and is the only library of its kind housed at an art school. The Alternative Materials Studio is dedicated to exploring various fabrication techniques such as sheet forming, machining, pattern making, and mechanical fastening.
San Francisco is the metropolitan center of the Bay Area. Surrounded by water and connected by spectacular bridges, the city is well known for its dramatic hills, diverse neighborhoods, world-class restaurants and its liberal minded tech-savvy citizens. Nearby attractions include Napa Valley, Muir Woods, Berkeley, Silicon Valley and more. Within a one mile radius of the CCA San Francisco campus are the R&D headquarters of Adobe, Autodesk, IDEO, Frog, Twitter, Google Research, Pinterest, Bot n’ Dolly, OtherLabs, Redwood Robotics, among many other amazing start-up companies. The MAAD Digital Craft program has also exhibited work at the Bay Area Maker Faire since 2013, and our students are active members of local maker / hacker spaces such as TechShop, Gray Area, NoiseBridge and the Crucible.
Events, Workshops, Lectures
In past years CCA has hosted or co-hosted many international events, exhibits and workshops including: ACADIA 2012, AA Visiting School “Biodynamic Structures” in 2011 + 2012, Smart Geometry 2009, The Facades+ Conferences in 2012+2013, and the upcoming Digital Fabrication Summit in 2014. Every semester we also host a series of software workshops called FORMATIONS exploring topics such as Rhino, Grasshopper, Arduino and much more.
CCA Architecture also sponsors a world-class lecture series. Relevant recent MAAD Digital Craft lecturers have included: Marc Fornes (THEVERYMANY), Kas Oosterhuis (Hyperbody / TU Delft), Hilary Sample (MOS), Philip Beesley, Saul Griffith (OtherLabs), Achim Menges (ICD), Gregg Pasquarelli (SHoP Architects), Theodore Spyropoulos (AA/minimaforms), Heather Roberge (Murmur), Francois Roche (R&Sie(n)), Farshid Moussavi(FOA), Shohei Shigematsu (OMA), Michelle Addington (Yale University), Sanford Kwinter (Harvard University), Natalie Jeremijenko, among many others.
MAAD Application Process
The MAAD application info is available here. The program uses a rolling application open from Feb 1 – June 1steach year. Applications made after this date may be accepted at the discretion of the Program Chair. Applicants should have previously earned a professional degree in architecture: BArch, MArch (or equivalent). Submission requirements are generally the same as those for CCA’s MArch Program application.
Questions and Contacts
For general questions about the program, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have specific questions please e-mail lead faculty Andrew Kudless (email@example.com) or Jason Kelly Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly.