Graduate Architecture of Responsive Spaces

Graduate Seminar SPEC 620B/2 & SPEC 820W/2

Prof. Sha Xin Wei

Thursdays 2:00 - 4:00, & times to be arranged

Classroom TBA (EV 7.725)

In this graduate seminar we study the design of responsive environments: spaces augmented by computational media, mechatronics, and elements of animated, architecture in the built environment that respond to inhabitant activity. We survey technologically mediated spaces, ranging from Situationist and other early modern experiments in public spaces, and theories of everyday life such as Debord, Alexander, Seamon. In particular, we critically survey computationally augmented built environments. The practical application is interventions in public spaces hybridizing techniques from real-time computational media, theater, and architecture.

It parallels the CART 451 studio class which meets Monday afternoons.

Based on their expertise, students will construct workshops exploring topics from areas of current research in sensor-based systems, active materials, media choreography systems, or related technologies, with particular relevance to experimental architecture and public / shared space.


A prerequisite for this course is technical facility creating installations or events, or technical theater or architecture. In partcular some shareable expertise with mechatronics, an interactive or realtime media authoring system (Max/MSP/Jitter), or with materials: paper, print-making, metals, fabrics, etc. Students without such background may contact the instructor.


Students will prepare and discuss readings, and lead 1/2 to 1 workshop to share their expertise. (Hour & place TBA, likely a Monday or Thursday afternoon.) The students will participate in critiques of, or take a lead in creating prototype installation-events with teams drawn from peers and undergraduates in the parallel course.

As a final project, students will submit a 15 page essay with annotated bibliography, OR 3 reviews of student or professional installation-events with references to antecedent work.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of seminar / workshop participation and on the final project.

(PhD / Masters Students should register for a SPEC8XX / SPEC6xx class with Darlene Dubiel at SIP <>. )





Calendar of Topics & Readings

Mailing list:


(original calendar)


Sostre de Flors, Casa Girbal, Girona, by 10x15 Col•lectiu; Jaume Blancafort | Ingrid Valero, 1997.