Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD) - Digital Craft
The MAAD Digital Craft concentration focuses on contemporary digital design technologies and digital craft. It provides students with both broad and in-depth exposure to contemporary topics of 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 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 mid-career design professionals who are interested in deepening their knowledge, gaining expertise, and experimenting with digital design technologies.
MAAD Digital Craft provides students with both broad and in-depth exposure to contemporary topics including but not limited to:
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 ofprofound 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.
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.
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.
Teaching & Support Team
MAAD Digital Craft centers around research led by CCA Architecture faculty members:
Andrew Kudless, Associate Profesor & Digital Craft Lab Co-coordinator, Matsys
Jason Kelly Johnson, Associate Profesor & Digital Craft Lab Co-coordinator, Future Cities Lab
Additional faculty teaching studios and related seminars include:
Nataly Gattegno, Future Cities Lab
Ben Rice, Matter MGMT
Brandon Kruysman & Jonathan Proto, Bot n'Dolly
German Aparicio, InformedCities
Peter Anderson, Anderson Anderson
Facilities & Resources
CCA San Francisco is the hub for design innovation and experimental architecture in the Bay Area. Its downtown campus is located in a 120 meter-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, 3D 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 Bay Area: Beauty & Technology
Surrounded by water and connected by spectacular bridges, San Francisco is well known for its dramatic hills, diverse neighborhoods, world-class restaurants, and liberal-minded, tech-savvy citizens. Nearby attractions include Napa Valley, Muir Woods, Berkeley, Silicon Valley, and more.
San Francisco is also the metropolitan center of the Bay Area. 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. It's the ideal location for
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:
Every semester we also host a series of software workshops called FORMATIONS that explores 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
MAAD Applicants should have previously earned a professional degree in architecture, or equivalent.
Questions & Contacts
For general questions email: email@example.com.