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.

Topics

MAAD Digital Craft provides students with both broad and in-depth exposure to contemporary topics:

  • 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​​​

Agenda

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.

Curriculum

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

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.

See select work from the fall 2013 semester »

Spring

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.

See select work from the spring 2013 semester »

Teaching & Support Team

MAAD Digital Craft centers around research led by CCA Architecture faculty members: 
Andrew Kudless, Matsys
Jason Kelly Johnson, Future Cities Lab

Associated faculty include:
Mauricio Soto, Studio for Lightweight Design
Thom Faulders, Faulders Studio
Craig Scott, Iwamoto-Scott Architects

Additional faculty teaching studios and related seminars include:
Adam Marcus, Variable Projects
Nataly Gattegno, Future Cities Lab
Ben Rice, Matter MGMT
Brandon Kruysman & Jonathan Proto, Bot n'Dolly
German Aparicio, InformedCities
Peter Anderson, Anderson Anderson

We also work in collaboration with other CCA groups and departments: the Urban Agency, the CCA Design MBA Program, 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).

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 cohosted many international events, exhibits, and workshops:

ACADIA 2012
AA Visiting School "Biodynamic Structures", 2011+2012
Smart Geometry 2009
The Facades+ Conferences, 2012+2013
Digital Fabrication Summit, upcoming in 2014

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.

See upcoming (and past) Architecture Lecture Series events »

MAAD Application Process

The MAAD application info is available here. The program is accepting applications until June 1, 2014. 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).

Questions & Contacts

For general questions email: architecture@cca.edu.

If you have specific questions please email lead faculty Andrew Kudless (akudless@cca.edu) or Jason Kelly Johnson (jjohnson2@cca.edu) directly.