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Mon, Dec 14


Online Presentation

Global Series | Cambridge, USA old

MIT | Harvard GSD | project:if | OPT Industries

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Global Series | Cambridge, USA old
Global Series | Cambridge, USA old

Time & Location

Dec 14, 2020, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST

Online Presentation

About the event

Join us for the ninth event of the Digital Design Community, featuring a great group of speakers! This event is the last in a series of online presentations for the year, each showcasing work by academia and offices in a particular city around the globe.

In this installment, Cambridge-based academics and practitioners from MIT, Harvard GSD, project:if, and OPT Industries will showcase how technology is shaping the way designers create and develop projects in their research groups and offices. This event will explore how innovative workflows and advancements in analysis, modelling, and fabrication have allowed their practices to continue to push the boundaries of design and realization of projects.

Event Organization and Moderation:

Andrew Haas  |  Founder, Digital Design Community  |  Computational Designer, KPF  |  Director, AA Visiting School New York


Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Caitlin Mueller, PhD | Associate Professor at MIT, Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering

Caitlin Mueller is an academic who works at the intersection of architecture and structural engineering. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in the Building Technology Program, where she leads the Digital Structures research group. Her research focuses on new computational design and digital fabrication methods for innovative, high-performance architecture in the built environment. In particular, she works both on developing new design techniques and tools, and on applying them to innovative material systems for buildings. Professor Mueller earned a PhD in Building Technology from MIT, a SM in Computation for Design and Optimization from MIT, a MS in Structural Engineering from Stanford University, and a BS in Architecture from MIT, and has practiced at several architecture and engineering firms across the U.S.  She has recently contributed to the organization of several major conferences in architecture and engineering, including the 2017 Design Modelling Symposium in Paris, the 2017 ACADIA Conference at MIT, the 2018 Symposium of the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures at MIT (which she chaired), and the 2021 Advances in Architectural Geometry conference in Paris. With her research group, she regularly publishes and presents her research in peer-reviewed journals, international conferences, and the popular press.

Ramon Elias Weber | PhD Student, MIT Building Technology Group

Ramon Weber is a PhD Student in Building Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Working with experimental fabrication platforms and digital simulation technologies he is investigating how computational design and robotics can impact future architecture. He graduated with a Master of Science in Media Arts and Science from the MIT Media Lab where he was part of the Mediated Matter Group. He received his master’s degree in Integrative Technologies and Architectural Design Research with distinction from the University of Stuttgart and holds a bachelor’s in architecture from ETH Zurich, where he conducted research at the Block Research Group, the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD), the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) and was a designer at the lightweight composite construction company FibR. He previously worked for Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) in London, where he was involved in projects across all scales and design research in the in-house ZHA|CODE research group. His work has been published and presented internationally in both scientific and design venues such as the Journal ‘Building and Environment’, ACADIA, Ars Electronica and the Experimental Architecture Biennial in Prague.

Harvard Graduate School of Design | project:if

Iman Fayyad | Lecturer in Architecture, Harvard GSD; Founder and Director, project:if

Iman Fayyad is a designer and lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is founder and director of project:if, a research practice that uses techniques of geometry to facilitate design transformations across scales, subjects, and media. Centered on the relationship between flatness and three-dimensional form, the work celebrates projective systems as they relate tectonic and material expressions of space to modes of inhabitation, cognitive perception, and the political domain of architecture. Fayyad’s independent and collaborative work has been published and exhibited in Log, Pidgin, Archinect, Yale Architecture Gallery, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Roca Gallery in London. Prior to the GSD, Fayyad served as lecturer at Princeton University and the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. Fayyad was the inaugural John Irving Innovation Fellow at Harvard GSD where she conducted research on historical and contemporary geometric techniques in architecture, examining the relationship between three-dimensional form, representation, and construction in digital media and culture. Fayyad holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from MIT and a Master in Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

OPT Industries, Inc

Jifei Ou (欧冀飞) PhD | Founder, CEO @ OPT Industries, Inc

Jifei Ou is an inventor, researcher and entrepreneur. His work focuses on designing and fabricating mechanical metamaterials across scales (from μm to m). As much as his work is informed by digital technology, he is inspired in equal measure by the natural world around him. He has been leading projects that study biomimicry and bio-derived materials to design shape-changing packaging, garments and furniture.

Jifei was born and raised in southwest China and has brought his design practice and scientific research to Asia, Europe and the U.S. His works have been published in academic conferences such as UIST (2013, 2016 & 2017), TEI (2014 & 2016) and CHI (2015 & 2016); awarded by design competitions such as FastCo’s Innovation By Design Award (2017, 2018), A’ Design Award (2016, 2017), IXDA award (2016), etc. He has been granted 10 US patents on his research inventions. He is also deeply involved in the manufacturing community in Shenzhen, China, to facilitate the mass scaling of his works.

Jifei holds an MS and PhD from the MIT Media Lab and a Diplom in Design from the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach in Germany.

Webinar hosting made possible by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)


  • General Support Ticket

    Tickets help sustain the Digital Design Community and its operational costs.

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  • Student/Instructor Access

    Discounted tickets for current students and instructors.

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