MaCAD – Artificial Intelligence in Architecture – Theory
Senior Faculty: Zeynep Aksöz
Senior Assistant: Mark Balzar


Artificial Intelligence in the creative industry is an emerging field, where the use cases are investigated but not extensively documented yet. Although it seems like a novel technology, research on Artificial Intelligence is conducted since the 60s taking its origins from mathematics, statistics, and cybernetics.

This course aims to provide an overview on the history and theory of artificial intelligence and its current applications in the realm of design and architecture. 

During the term, the course will tackle AI’s theoretical topics by overviewing historical and theoretical positions on Artificial Intelligence to understand the fundamental principles governing this field of research. The course will follow technological developments along with the history of the 20th 21st centuries and investigate the influence of these in design practice. 

Crucial at this point are the concepts of artificial as opposed to natural and even more so a theoretical position and definition of the term intelligence. Both terms have undergone an incremental change of understanding their perceived and applied approach. The current discussion seeks these superficial concepts under the umbrella of nature as an entire universe of biology, technology, and the artificial realm.

After a series of lectures on historical and theoretical backgrounds of Artificial Intelligence, the course will focus on the hands-on applications of AI in the creative industry, spanning from design, architecture to arts. This part of the course will concentrate on the generative design methodologies that use different artificial intelligence processes.

Through the development of generative design methodologies, a new approach to design is surfacing. This approach enforces a collaborative method between human and machine intelligence, giving rise to emergent design solutions which are working beyond the isolated and separated methodologies of human intelligence and machine intelligence. 

Learning Objectives

At course completion the student will:

  • gain knowledge on pioneering concepts and background research to the development of Artificial Intelligence and AI Theory
  • gain insights into concepts of logic, abstraction, and algorithmic thinking
  • be provided an overview on overarching methods of Artificial Intelligence
  • gain a detailed understanding of applications of AI in the realm of design, architecture, and construction
  • be acquainted with designers who apply AI-based methods in their practice